Sweet sixteen and never been kissed. But just barely. In March, just weeks after my February birthday, I kissed Jeff G–. My very first kiss.
Like all stories that involve me and boys, it wasn’t the smoothest of rides. We went to the girl-ask-boy Sadie Hawkins dance, so I picked him up in my new-used-and-handed-down Pontiac. Wouldn’t you know it, when I went to get out of the car to walk up to his door, the keys wouldn’t come out of the ignition. Ugh. Of all times to have a car problem. I left them there and went up to get him. When we were in the car, I jokingly said, “I don’t know what’s going on. I can’t get the key out of the ignition.” I probably let out an awkward laugh and added something about this piece of junk car. At the same moment, our eyes met in a gaze aimed down at the gear shift. A gear shift that was nestled snug next to the big letter D. Yes, that is correct. I left the car in drive. More awkward laughter and a five-alarm fire in my cheeks, and we were off. He seemed to be amused by me, so there was still hope. (I know what you’re thinking…first YOT and now this. Look, I did go to UCLA. I just get a little nervous around boys.)
I had so much fun with Jeff G– at the dance, but the nerves were tripling by the moment on our way home. I knew we would kiss. And I knew I knew how to kiss. In theory. But what if I messed it up? What if I knocked teeth with him? What if my tongue went dead fish or–even worse–octopus? I was as nervous as that crazy mad man narrating “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The car stopped, we said some awkward thank-yous, and then it happened. He leaned in. I leaned in. And our lips were touching. And darn it if his tongue wasn’t all over the place. And is kissing supposed to be so slobbery? And why aren’t we taking any little breathers like they do in the movies? All these thoughts passed through my mind. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but I soon lost my worries that I was going to be the one ruining it all.
Sweet Jeff G–, he may not have been the best kisser I’ve ever locked lips with, but he was my first. And like the picture of us hugging at the Sadie Hawkins dance is immortalized in yearbook fame, that first kiss will forever live in my memory. Maybe not as the best kiss of my life, but perhaps the most important.