There is absolutely nothing as memorable as a girl’s first kiss. Or at least I’m pretty sure that’s true. I can’t quite remember.
You see, for me, the memory is clogged by an even more visceral, more sweaty-palmed, more heart-palpitating, gut-twisting, spine-tingling experience. . . . Pure revulsion.
It wasn’t Steven’s fault. He was a perfectly decent boy, as boys go– a little dorky (he liked golf) and his hair could have used some product. But overall, he wasn’t bad. Just your basic freshman from the all-boy’s school down the street, here at the beach with his friends for Spring Break, looking for a little lip-action. Not like you’d expect much else, right?
For example, one thing I definitely DIDN’T expect was a giant toungue shoved immediately and forcefully into my mouth. Nor did I expect said tongue to taste like the bottom of a dirty ashtray (no, I’ve never licked one). I also didn’t expect to spend the entire time (twenty-seven and a half minutes) wondering when my friends were going to come get me, or how the hell I was going to excuse myself gracefully back to our condo to brush my teeth. Repeatedly.
After the fourth or fifth tooth collision, and several minutes pondering whether enough Listerine existed to correct this revolting taste in my mouth, I summoned the nerve to say, “There’s sand in my underpants.”
Steven pulled back to look at me like I had mental damage. “Caroline, it’s a beach,” he said. “There’s sand at the beach.”
Oh, right. I told him my name was Caroline. Still not sure why. Also not sure why he didn’t question it when my friends kept calling me Cecily right in front of him. Did I mention Steven was an honor student?
“Yeah, well,” I said, dusting off my denim mini-skirt. “Life’s a beach. Doesn’t mean I want sand in my butt.”
I started to make my way back to the crowded, well-lit area of the beach (all twenty feet of it) when Steven stood up. “I’ll walk you back,” he said, “to make sure you find your way.”
“That’d be great! Thanks!” I said, all the while musing how it’d be a cold day in Tijuana before I kissed anybody ever again. All I could think about was this disgusting article I’d read on how aroma has weight, and every time you smell something– like someone’s farts, or toxic foot odor or nasty smoker breath– what you’re really doing is injesting small particulates of that substance. So just by sniffing you could actually be INJESTING poop!!! Which, translated, meant I had just eaten a partially smoked, fully undigested cigarette.
Back at the condo, I did a heroic job of not hurling. Even when Steven came in for another smooch, lips guppy-wide, with sticky little spit trails connecting the corners of his mouth. Or when someone’s mom came onto the veranda to hose off her kid’s vomit which smelled, unsurprisingly, like bourbon. And especially when I ducked the kiss, gave him a high five, and bolted for the condo entrance.
“Kissing is disgusting,” I announced, slamming the door behind me. “I’m never doing that again.”
My friends stared after me, some with pity, others with measured scepticism. “Never?” Dina asked.
“But what if you have to?” Elizabeth said. “Like if you want to have babies?”
Elizabeth was also on the honor roll.
It wasn’t until my teeth had been firmly scoured, my tongue fully scrubbed with hot water and Brillo pad, then doused with Scope, that I came to one very certain conclusion: If I ever did have babies, NO WAY IN HELL would I ever let them go to Destin, Florida for Spring Break. And no matter where they went or what they did, I would be sure to impart a few pieces of motherly advice.
1. Start with the lips. If tongue seems like a good idea, go for it. Then (for God’s sake) retreat. Nuzzle, nibble, take a freaking breath. It’s a paintbrush, people, not a battering ram.
2. Do not smoke. Ever.
3. Make sure you know her name and at least one other random thing about her. (For example, “Sheila K… likes mustard on her French fries.”)
4. Try not to reek of desperation.
5. DO NOT SMOKE! EVER!!!!
I was pretty sure that advice alone would earn me the Successful Parenting Badge.
How about you guys? What are your first kiss stories?