Saturday, March 03, 2012

My First Kiss

My first kiss was a bit usual. As a teenager, I loved drama (the kind on stage, not the kind that happened with a bunch of mean girls whispering at their lockers) and when I was 15 I was in a play where my character kissed a guy. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, so kissing wasn’t a familiar activity for me.

Granted, I had thought about kissing. Well, worried about it actually. Because according to the massive amounts of romance novels I had read, the first kiss was really important. Apparently you were supposed to feel all sorts of mystical fire-like sensations that left you dizzy and incoherent.

Plus, I had heard all sorts of horrible tales about people who were bad kissers and the social damage this produced. The problem was, I had no way of knowing whether I was a bad kisser or not. It’s not really the sort of thing you can practice beforehand.

What exactly was a person supposed to do with their lips the whole time? No one had ever told me this vital information.

I don’t remember why I took the part of the girl who kissed a guy in the school play. Perhaps I didn’t thoroughly read the script. Perhaps I thought that the drama coach wouldn’t actually have me kiss a guy—just like drama coaches don’t actually make characters kill other characters in the production.

But no, the teacher wanted a real kiss. And that meant we had to practice the kiss. There is probably no more awkward way to have a first kiss than to have it in a lit auditorium in front of your peers while a teacher yells out stage direction.


That said, I offer my public apologies to Blake Limburg who was a very nice guy and much more adept at kissing than I was. I don’t think I was ever able to look him in the eyes again.

Thankfully, fiction isn’t real life, so my characters have much better first kiss experiences. Here’s Cassidy’s first kiss in my new ebook, Blue Eyes and Other Teenage Hazards.

(SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know which guy Cassidy kisses until you read the book, don't read this scene.)

Josh was still studying me. “You’re not mad at Elise for going after Bob, are you?”

“No. He’s just a friend.”

“Oh.” Josh nodded, considering this. “Is there anyone you like more than a friend?”

My gaze went to Josh’s. Why was he asking? Was he just making small talk or did he have a personal interest in the subject? He was looking at me intently, his blue eyes locked on mine.

I shrugged. “There might be.”

“Anyone I know?”

“Maybe. You know a lot of people.”

Josh put his arm on the back of his seat, his fingers nearly brushing against my shoulder. “What’s he like, this guy?”

Normally I wouldn’t have admitted to anything, but I was tired of all my moments with Josh being ordinary, safe. This was one I was going to seize. “He’s the usual sort of guy that girls get crushes on. Smart. Funny. Really responsible.”

“That’s the usual sort? Why don’t I have girls swarming me?”

“He’s also tall, dark, and handsome,” I added, “Plus he’s got these gorgeous eyes—all deep blue and mystical.” I looked away from him then. I couldn’t keep looking at the eyes I’d just described.

Josh leaned a little closer to me. “A rich guy with a sports car?”

“Not really.”

Josh nodded, his gaze still intense. “Would I approve of you with this guy?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Would you?” I let my gaze slide to his then, just long enough to see him smile. I wasn’t going to say more. I wasn’t about to admit to everything when he hadn’t admitted to anything yet.

“I think I might approve of this guy.” Josh kept smiling. His voice was soft now, as lulling as the heater. “You said Bob didn’t kiss you. Have you ever been kissed?”

“Sure, if you count the time in the fourth grade when Jonny Miller cornered me in the coat closet.”

“No, I’m talking about a real kiss.” Josh moved even closer to me. “You’ll always remember your first real kiss.”

I thought about asking him if he remembered his first real kiss, but on second thought, I didn’t want to hear about any of his past kisses. “You’re probably right,” I said.

“If I was to kiss you now, I’d go down in your personal hall of fame. The opportunity is irresistible.”

And then he kissed me, and it was a real kiss. He pulled me closer. His lips were soft against mine, a question—one that I wanted to answer. In essay form.


Marissa said...

That excerpt makes me really want to get my hands on a copy of the updated version, because there seem to be more significant changes from Deep Blue Eyes and Other Lies than I'd realized.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Wow, you brazen hussy! =) I almost had the exact same experience with my first kiss: in Drama class. But our teacher allowed us to choose either kissing or hugging, so me and my partner chose the latter. (I think he would have preferred the former, though =). But, that being said, my real first kiss was a lot worse than that experience would have been. Yikes. That's all I will say. And yes, there are kisses that can ruin your social standing with a person =)

Merry said...

I just finished reading the ebook, and I LOVED that part! Especially the line "a question—one that I wanted to answer. In essay form." Yes!

Janette Rallison said...

Yes Marissa--thank goodness for revisions.

And Kathryn, now I'm really really curious about that first kiss of yours . . . You must spill. I won't tell anyone (except for my 573 blog followers, and um, maybe a thousand or so people on facebook)

And Merry, I'm glad you liked it!

Unknown said...

Loved loved loved this!!! Janette once again I'm reminded why you are by far my favorite author. Keep it up!

Cassandra Day said...

I get ur point. I have to wait to date 'till I'm 16 too. Its so awkward that a lot of friends & classmates are dates or "going out together" when I'm not. I really want a perfect first kiss with 1b of my crushes or my perfect boy.

Tiana Smith said...

LOL. I kinda wish my first kiss had been in such a ... scripted environment ;) I had dated this boy for about a week and knew he was going to try to kiss me soon and I remember thinking that it'd sure be nice to have some random guy that I didn't care about kiss me so that I could get some practice in!

When the time came for the boy to make his move, I was so nervous that I actually ducked. Yes, really, as in a full on duck-away-from-the-boy-who-is-trying-to-kiss-me. Yeah, it took him awhile to build up the nerve after that (I'm still surprised he kept dating me when I was sending such mixed signals!). I actually had to get over my fear and just make the move myself since I had shot him down so hard. Ahhh, the awkwardness. Good times, good times. :)

Melvin and Carly said...

I was 23 - a bit older than your average 1st timer. And honestly my first thought afterwards was "I waited 23 years for THAT?" Total letdown. Thankfully I had a completely different experience several months later while dating my future husband. :)

Love your books!

Janette Rallison said...

Thanks, Julie!

Cassandra, do wait. Also, lower your expectations--especially if you have read romances. The problem is that guys haven't read the romances and so they don't realize they're supposed to be romantic heroes. They keep on insisting on being guys.

Tiana, good story. Must consider using it in a novel sometime . . .

Carly, yeah it sounds like the whole guy-thing vs romantic hero thing. Glad you found the right guy eventually!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Oh funny! I did a lot of theater and in high school one month I did Wed & Thur shows as Ado Annie and then Fri & Sat shows as Juliet. I got a LOT of stage kissing in during those productions.
Fortunately it wasn't my first kiss. But I wouldn't have called myself an expert either.

Janette Rallison said...

Drama class--contributing to the kissing life of girls everywhere . . .

Peggy Urry said...

So I think what all this means is NO DRAMA CLASS for my teenage girls.

My first kiss at age 16 had me swearing off kissing for a long time. But then I was kissed properly... aaah.

Julie Wright said...

love it! I am glad I wasn't into drama. I could never stage kiss. I am not emotionally balanced enough for stuff like that

Britney Gulbrandsen said...

That story makes me laugh :)

I think most people don't have a perfect (or even good) first kiss. I know I didn't. But that's probably what makes them so memorable.

Janette Rallison said...

Peggy--a good mom thought. Or maybe just make sure your daughters are never characters such as Liesl in Sound of Music or Alice in You Can't Take It With You. (Now that I think about it, I had a lot of kissing parts.)

Julie, you don't need to drama because you have drama guys kissing you. (I am not making this up, Julie was kissed by Ewan McGregor.)

And Britney, yeah--thank goodness it gets better.

Betsy Love said...

Is it just me or is every first kiss the most awkward, or gross, or disturbing occurrence in a young girl's life? My first kiss was with a "boyfriend" when I was 13. I think back on that experience think...eeeewww...with him?

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

I haven't got to that part yet, but wow.

If only my first kiss had gone like that! ;) Instead it was more of an ambush.

Jeanna said...

Hey, Janette. Nothing quite so wonderful (aka horrific) as junior high. Love hearing about yours!

It's not about a first kiss, but here's a letter in which I publicly relived my own junior high embarrassment. Thought you might enjoy.

(I did send the letter, by the way, via the magic of Facebook.)

Janette Rallison said...

Yeah, it seems that a lot of people have less than desirable first kiss experiences. (I wonder how all these stories would go if they were told from the guys' point of view.)

and Jeanna--wow, that story is such a good representation of why junior high is painful. Did the guy respond? What did he say?

Jeanna said...

Yep, he did respond. He did remember me (whew, that was a relief--how embarrassing if he'd had no idea who I was!). Here's the link for my update on what he said:

Pretty much, though, he remembered me but didn't remember that incident. It was so ... surreal. Embarrassing but good for the soul.

Janet Johnson said...

Oh my. You are making me glad that drama was never my thing. You just don't have those experiences out on the soccer field. :)

Love that last bit. Essay form for sure! hee hee. :D

College Dating said...

Aww. I loved how you have written your story. :) Great post as well! Good job.

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alex said...

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