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First Kiss

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No one forgets their firsts. The rush of excitement, the uncertainty of how to do what you’re doing. I’m currently away from my husband visiting family in upstate NY and I found myself missing him, thinking back to our first kiss, which then led me to think about my first kiss as a young girl. 


It was so early ’90s. At camp in the 1000 Islands with my mom, my cousin and I met Mike from Jersey. We all hit it off as thirteen-year-olds do, and somehow in the week I was there I became his girlfriend. Hilarious how at thirteen a week can seem like a lifetime. 


Me and Mike at Camp, Age Thirteen
One drizzly evening, my cousin and I were hanging out at his family’s camp and it was time for us to go. I don’t remember all the details, but I somehow ended up getting about thirty seconds alone with him on his boat. While my cousin kept saying, “Come ON, Julie!” I had my first kiss. 


Music was playing, I think either Poison or Skid Row. “Eighteen and Life” was the song that year. I hated it then and love it now. The moment came and he kissed me. I freaked out. I was so nervous and shaky, I quickly stood up and said a clumsy goodbye and headed to my cousin, who was waiting with my bike. 


My whole body shook with nervous excitement. My cousin kept asking if I did it and what it was like and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to ride my bike. I sat on it, trying to get control, as the bike weaved from side to side. I was so dizzy, I didn’t even notice the cardboard Bartles & Jaymes guys to the side of the road.


Bartles & Jaymes
In a flash, I was on the ground. Soaking wet, in a tangle of my bike, the chain that fell off and the sign I crashed into. It was almost curfew and we had to get to the other side of camp. My knee was bloody and I was now terrified. We walked from camp to camp and found someone to fix my chain and give us a flashlight to use. 


It’s now seventeen years later and I’m still friends with Mike. He has a wife and child and we talk and share pictures on Myspace. It’s good to know he also carries fond memories of me and our times at camp. We met there a few times over the years and have always had fun reliving the memories of our childhood.


Now to my first kiss with my husband, Ryan. We were out drinking at a bar with friends, singing karaoke, as usual. I remember I was laughing at this very drunk, VERY large woman who had Ryan and our friend Chris in her grip. She was man-handling those boys, spouting off drunk obscenities we quoted for months. I’ll have to ask Ryan to see if he remembers; I can’t seem to at the moment.


So the night goes on and I remember feeling protective over Ryan. We weren’t a couple and we had been friends for quite a while, but something about that night changed the dynamic of our relationship. I’ll go ahead and assume it was the massive quantities of beer and Crown Royal we were drinking. I remember starting to flirt, and being excited he flirted back.


At one point, I left the group to go to the bathroom, and it turned out he did the same, we just took different routes. We surprised each other by running into one another as we crossed paths to get to our respected rooms. He caught me and we laughed. Out of nowhere, it happened. 


Again, like my first kiss as a child, I freaked out. It was so unexpected and we were around friends, so after a moment of bliss, I mumbled some excuse and pushed past him into the bathroom. Once in the stall, I was so dizzy with the rush I wiped out on the floor. I threw my head back and laughed as I did, remembering the wipe out I had years before at camp.


Now, one would think I’m a complete dork when it comes to men after a story like this. I’ve had my fair share of first kisses, some of them memorable. In all the years of my life and first kisses I’ve had, only Ryan’s has been compared to the first kiss I had as a young girl. The instant connection of love and attraction that transpired in that one random moment took me back to another place. I was suddenly young and vulnerable, thrilled with the rush of a possibility of something more.


I’m not sure if I ever told him I wiped out that night. I know he knows I was dizzy. I’m sure he knows nothing of my first kiss with Mike as a thirteen-year-old. Ryan likes to believe no other humans existed in either world before we found each other. I hope he isn’t uncomfortable reading about my experience at camp, but I think that looking back at my life, it was that kiss with him that made me know he was the man I was meant to grow old with. To have the ability in one sweet, simple action take me back to my very first time, when life was so pure and delicate.


We’ve been married over four years now, and have two beautiful children. In all the time we’ve been together, we’ve never had a major fight. Not one. The most angry he’s made me was when he got drunk and decided to catapult cupcakes I very much planned on eating over the fence with his buddies while I was sleeping. In the rare moments we have alone that we’re not exhausted from the life we live, he can still make me dizzy.


6/14/2004

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