That first kiss

Alabama Living Magazine

I’ve found that as I get older, I’ve become more uh…uh…forgetful. Sometimes I can’t recall important things like birthdays and anniversaries without a reminder from my phone. A constant question asked around my house is, “Have you seen my car keys?” And thank goodness for those “Find My iPhone” apps.   

I’ll also admit that I have come to depend on my doctor’s office sending me texts about upcoming appointments.  Yep, there are lots of things I don’t remember, but I will never forget my first real kiss. 

Because February is the month of love, I’ve decided to put the account on paper. Just to be safe, I’ve covered my bases by having my wife sign a notarized document giving me permission to write this story. So, if I come up missing, or you drive by my house and see all of my stuff in a pile by the mailbox, you will know that she chose not to abide by the agreement. 

For a 12-year-old boy, there’s no better place for a first kiss than the woods. That’s where it happened for me.  There was a big rope swing in a forest not too far from my house where kids would gather regularly.  On this particular day, Marcia was there, a cute, sweet girl in my 6th grade class. Marcia was a year older than me and already had a couple of boyfriends. 

I don’t remember how or why we ended up alone in a clearing above the swing. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe she planned it, but for whatever reason, Marcia decided it was time to administer a teachable moment to a naive student. 

Initially, I had no idea this was going to happen. Marcia was cute and popular. I thought she was out of my league. So when I finally realized what was about to occur, a jolt of fear shot through me. “What if I do it wrong?” I thought. “What if I turn my head the wrong way? What if our braces get locked together?”  That was a totally unfounded fear because neither one of us even had braces. 

 The instant our lips met, it felt like an electric shock went all the way to my toes. Not surprisingly, Marcia was cool and confident. I went along with her as best I could.  

Within a couple of seconds, it was over. Maybe I pulled back because I was still scared.  She gave me a warm smile as I stood there trying to process what happened.  It was like Yoda had just taught young Luke Skywalker a valuable life lesson. “Kiss you, I did,” she could have said.  We returned to the swing, where for the next 30 minutes my heart pounded so hard that I thought my chest might burst. Marcia had changed me forever. 

I saw Marcia several years ago when she came to see one of my comedy shows. It was a grand reunion. We hugged and laughed, especially when I said, “It’s so good to see the first girl I ever kissed.”  

I don’t think her husband minded.  

Jay Leno, when asked how it felt to be on “The Tonight Show” for the first time, said, “It’s like the first time you ever kissed someone. It happened fast, and you weren’t very good at it, but you knew you wanted to do it again.” 

A perfect analogy, Jay. 

As I write this, I’ve just had a terrible realization: My oldest granddaughter will be 12 next year.  And just the thought of her having a first kiss is enough to make my heart pound so hard I think my chest might burst – once again.


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