Tag Archives: relationships

My Two First Kisses

Preface:  The idea for this piece has been on my brain all week.  Last night I watched the video below and it inspired me to finally write this one.  See the clip “High Five for First Kiss” at the bottom of this post.

My first kiss was in May at the end of my freshman year of high school. This statement, is in fact, actually a fallacy.  However, when asked when my first kiss was, this is how I will always respond.

My true first kiss occurred the summer after eighth grade.  Corey McAlester’s birthday party was in June, about a week after school let out.  Over the last month or so of school I had developed quite an interest in Corey’s best friend, David Wickland.  He was tall, outgoing, comical, and a drummer.  As a trumpet player, I saw him everyday in either full band or the brass and percussion sectional.  Band was followed by lunch, thus providing ample time to mingle and make my feeble attempts at flirting.

Shannon Bailey and I went to Corey’s party together.  Shannon was about a year into her dating life and I felt slightly envious over this fact.  Most recently she had been seeing Randy O. and he was a high schooler.  I felt young and childish and was worried that Shannon would view me as such.  That year I felt as if many of my friends grew up while I stayed the same.  But no one had run off and abandoned my friendship yet, so there I was, going to Corey’s party with Shannon.

The night went on most uneventful.  As adult as many of us thought we were becoming, it’s clear how much we were still children in hindsight.  Corey’s fourteenth birthday party consisted mostly of us hanging out in his backyard, running around and playing on his swing set.  (It was proposed that we play spin the bottle, but this was declined by his parents.  I would like to take this opportunity to point out that my parents allowed the playing of said game at my birthday party.  We opted to hug instead of kiss.  Except for Amanda Riesling.)

After the birthday rituals of singing, cake, ice cream, and presents, the party began to split off into smaller groups.  David, Shannon, and I found ourselves taking a walk around the neighborhood at dusk.  I recall nothing of what we spoke of, only that I simultaneously hated and yet was relieved by Shannon’s presence.

There existed rumors that David liked me, but I remained nervous that it was too good to be true.  I had yet to recover from an incident in the fourth grade when the boy whom I felt sure I was in love with had prank called every girl in our class with his friend asking them to the dance.  David seemed excited though and appeared to be geniunely having a good time.

I’m unsure what brought about the subject, but the topic of kissing had arisen.  The specifics remain blurry, but my memory comes into focus as David posed the question: “Can I kiss you?”  To which Shannon responded with a simple yes.  Then he kissed her quickly before returning to our conversation, or rather what was now our lack of conversation.

It was silent, but not an uncomfortable silence.  Interestingly enough I wasn’t angry, upset, or even confused.  I knew that it should be awkward, yet it wasn’t, not for any of us.  Several more silent, unawkward moments passed because no one really knew what to say.

The next words spoken were by David.  For the second time that night he posed the question, “Can I kiss you?”  To which this time I responded with a simple yes.

And he kissed me.  And that was that.

Except that I was filled with a small happiness that I hadn’t experienced previously.  Somehow I knew that he did like me, but we were too nervous and Shannon wasn’t and he had to practice with her first.  It’s like when a child goes to the ocean for the first time, and big sister or Dad has to put their feet in the water first just to show the child that the world won’t end, a shark won’t eat their foot, and they won’t die, or whatever it is they’re afraid of.

He and I didn’t speak for the rest of that summer, and that was okay.  I never thought on it too much.  I never even told anyone about the events that transpired that evening.  But it was my first kiss.

I guess it never felt real.  I would have to wait nearly a year for my next kiss, which is the one I claim as my first.  I suppose it just felt more real because Jordan Holling and I actually spoke after the incident; in fact, he was my boyfriend for several months.

This alleged first kiss wasn’t much better.  After an awards ceremony one evening at school, Jordan and I were walking in the corider that connected the band room to the gymnasium.  Photos of every graduating class since the ’70s lined the walls.

Before stepping out into the night, he leaned in and kissed me.  It was wet and drool-y and most unpleasant.  The prior three decades of Springfield High School alumni witnessed this awkward and somewhat pathetic scene.  Never in my life has something I enjoyed so little brought me such great euphoria.

High Five for First Kiss:


The Birds, The Bees & Body Image

I ninth grade I took a trip to Washington D.C. with the Junior Statesmen of America.  (Have I mentioned how super cool and popular I was?)  There were about seven of us who attended this trip; some of us were close friends and others merely acquaintances.  We had been traipsing around the city for two days at this point.  Mrs. Stewart had set us free to roam, and on our own we found ourselves at Union Station in search of food.

We rode the escalator down and began to engage in a most important discussion of who liked whom.  (We may have been mildly nerdy but we still had our teen priorities in order.)  We started with a review of the love triangles, or pentagons and hexagons as they so often were, of the dating world at Springfield High School.  I was somewhat interested, but I didn’t participate with such zeal as I usually would since I currently was into a boy who attended our rival high school a town over.

The group diverged in two as we selected our food providers of choice.  Myself and three others made our way to line up for pizza as the conversation continued.  My mind had entirely drifted elsewhere, until I heard my name.  What?  Shellie?  What about Shellie?

“So I think Scott Peterson definitely has a thing for Shellie,” I heard Steven continue.

Scott?  Scott Peterson?  But, he’s older than me.  And I’m friends with his little sister.  No, I have no interest in Scott Peterson.  None.

I glanced over to see if I can spot him at the taco joint where the other half of our group went off in search of nourishment, but they were out of sight.

“Yeah, I was talking to him about it last night.  He claimed he didn’t, but I know he’s lying,” Steven theorized.  “I told him, I said, ‘Scott, why won’t you admit it?  You like her, and I mean she does have a nice body!'”

Wait.  Huh?  Me?  We’re talking about my body?

I wasn’t so shocked that someone was describing my body as nice, so much as the fact that someone was describing my body at all.  Aside from a few overweight girls in middle school teasing me about my flat chest, I had never heard anyone give an opinion on my body one way or the other, so one can understand my utter shock.  Since when was the topic of my body up for discussion?  Weren’t there some sort of release of consent forms I had to sign before any male adolescents were able to comment on such subjects?

I entirely blocked out that conversation from that point on as my mind waded through all of these thoughts.

How many others had approached this topic without my knowledge?  What did they say about it?  Besides, what was there to say about it?  I was more or less a toothpick.  I wanted to know if other girls knew about these discussions, and what they thought of this.  Were they okay with it?

It was the first time in my life I came to be aware that these were things people discussed.  I knew they discussed female bodies in the general sense, but I was unaware that my own would actually be up for grabs.  I felt as if I were still a child; we were far too young for people to be talking about our bodies.  I was not pleased.

*Image from Diets In Review