Sunday, January 11, 2009

The First Kiss

There was a news story out about six months ago about the singer Fergie and the actor Mario Lopez where Mario told newspapers that Fergie was his first kiss. They met on the set of the popular 80's show Kid's Incorporated. For whatever reason, this became a topic of discussion in the office last week which got us on the topic of "Would you marry your first kiss?" I actually have one friend from high school who did that - and they have been married for over ten years now. I started scraping back through my foggy memories of childhood - I clearly remember my first kiss - but I want to cheat a little and not count him. The first boy I kissed was a friend of my sister and the only reason I kissed him was because he was being nice to me and flirting with me to keep me entertained so that I wouldn't tell my mom that my sister had boys over while she was gone. As they all went to leave, and all the teen couples were kissing, my sister's friend thought it would be great to taunt me into kissing that boy. So, amid shouts of things like "Just open your mouth and put your tongue in!" I had my first kiss. That one doesn't count, I don't think - because it was not really of my own accord. Besides, if I had to bet money on it... that boy is most likely in jail or has at least spent a considerable amount of time there. So there are no funny stories and the answer to the question here would be a quick and decisive NO.

So I move on to the first boy I kissed on my own - alone - without the pressure of others. Now this boy - there are at least a couple of funny stories here. His name was Brad. I lived in apartments and he lived in the neighborhood right behind us. He moved there over the summer and his mom was a school teacher at another elementary school and so he was going to school with her instead of with all the kids he lived near. I am not sure why he liked me specifically. There were lots of girls our age in the apartments and I don't think I was especially flirty or anything. Our first kiss was while we were sitting on top of the swingset in the playground of the apartments. I remember thinking that he seemed so nervous I thought he might fall off and then I would have just laughed at him. It was a sweet kiss. Short, not sloppy... just sweet.

Brad's mom loved me to death. She would let me come over every day and do homework with Brad. We were allowed to stay in his room for hours without her even peeping in. Don't get me wrong - we were very well behaved. Most of the time we were actually doing homework or watching TV or just talking about whatever 5th graders find interesting (for the life of me I have no idea what that is). At some point, about 2 months into the school year, his mom transferred him into my school - and guess what - he was put in MY class! Now let me explain a small childhood victory to you. In all of my childhood and high school years, Brad was the only boy I really remember dating that actually went to school with me. As a matter of fact, he may be the reason I never dated anyone who went to school with me - but I will get to that shortly. He was a cutie! Blond hair, big blue eyes, olive colored skin that looked like he had just been to the beach, pouty lips and a dimple on one of his cheeks. As he was shown into the classroom immediately the whispers started from the girls in the room. No one in my class knew he was my boyfriend and so my heart was pounding out of my chest. For a minute, I was nervous that he might decide he didn't want to be my boyfriend any more because he might like one of the other girls in my class better. But all my worries faded away when he walked down the aisle, smilied at me and ran his hand across my shoulder as he passed. I immediately began to tell the curious girls around me his whole story - how he was transferring from another school, how he lived right behind me, and how he was MY boyfriend. It is hands down one of the best "victories" I can remember in my younger years.

Life was good for a while. Time frames elude me, but I think it was about a month later when his mom took me shopping at the local Wal-Mart with them. She needed to pick up a few things and I tagged along for the ride. While there, we passed a rack of local tourism clothing that supported our community and our state. As we passed, his mom's eye caught on this red t-shirt that said "Somebody in Louisiana Loves Me" in big black letters, with a heart in place of the word love. She thought it would be super cute if she got two of those t-shirts, one for me and one for Brad. She really did see us as the cutest thing ever. Thinking back to the way she saw me, I wish I could remember more about what I was like at that time. Anyhow, after tossing those shirts in the basket and continue down the aisle, her eye was once more drawn to another rack. Bicycle shorts. Oh - don't laugh - they were cool back then. Go back to the beginning of this blog and click on the Kids Incorporated link and you will see! Well, she found bicycle shorts that were black with red and yellow stripes down the side that just went perfectly with the t-shirts. She just had to buy us those too! So here we were with matching outfits. Now, at the time - we thought it was very cool. We are were already planning (against what later would seem to be better judgment) to wear them to school the next day.

So, the next morning, we met at the bus stop in our matching outfits and waited for the bus while holding hands. Were we not just the cutest thing? I will say that our friends who caught the bus at the same stop thought it was just as cute and kept telling us how lucky we were that his mom bought that for us. I believe it was on the bus ride, as I heard a couple of hushed comments from some kids sitting behind us that I started to think this wasn't such a good idea. I believe Brad had the same idea based on his tense posture and his lack of silliness on the ride to school. We arrived and I decided I would just suck it up. It was only one day - I could survive anything for one day.

The first half of the day was not so bad. A couple of sarcastic "awww - aren't you two so cute" comments from classmates was about the worst of it. But then it was lunch time. We headed to the cafeteria and then out to the playground. The school I went to had only two grades - 5th and 6th. We were in 5th, therefore we were the "freshmen". In 6th grade, there were the "Andreas". There were two of them - best friends and just as mean and snotty as you could imagine. They had a couple of other friends, but the two Andreas were the ones you always heard from.

Let me paint you a little picture of what I looked like in 5th grade. Actually, I can do one better - I have a picture.
From Old Family Photos
What you can't really see in that picture is how damn skinny I was. I had no curves, no hips, no anything. I was just a tall, skinny rail of a kid. My legs were like twigs. This is where the problem came in - with those damn skinny legs. You see, bicycle shorts, by the pure nature of them, are meant to be fitted shorts used for cycling. However, when you are my age, have no meat on your bones, but are still required to buy a size that allows for the shorts to be long enough to wear to school - you end up with loose bicycle shorts.

This is where the Andreas come in. As we were walking out to the playground, slightly more confident since the morning had not been so bad, we passed the Andreas. I am pretty sure one of them said somthing like "OH - MY - GOD!" or some other colloquialism from those days. I tensed again. Here it comes. So the typical laughter and thinks like "Isn't that cute?" and "Look - they match!" came from behind as they followed us out to the playground. That is when one of the Andreas noticed - I was wearing bicycle shorts, and they were loose. "Hey, aren't those tights supposed to be TIGHT?" Rolls of laughter started behind me. That is where the chant began. The Andreas (and I am sure a few of their evil friends) began chanting "Your tights are loose, your tights are loose" in this sort of schoolyard rap version of hazing. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. That was the longest recess of my life - the longest day for that matter. I also believe that was the beginning of the decline of my first relationship. You see, for some reason - I was mad at HIM for this whole situation. After all, it was HIS mom who had bought these stupid outfits for us in the first place!

I ran inside after getting off the bus and peeled those clothes off so fast you would have thought they were on fire. I think I shoved them in the bottom of my closet or something. I can't be positive of where they ended up, but I can be positive that I NEVER wore them again. After that day, as you would imagine, the chants didn't stop. "Your tights are loose" was now a favorite song of a lot of my classmates. It seemed that the only way I could disassociate myself with that song was to break up with Brad. I needed something to distract people. Evidently, so did he. His distraction tactic was slightly different. He started telling anyone who would listen that him and I were engaging in hot and heavy make out sessions at my house after school. He even went so far as to tell people he had gotten to second base and almost to third but my mom came home. I was FURIOUS. Sure, we had kissed several times by this point, but they were always the same short and sweet kisses - nothing more.

This gave me the ammo I needed - we were over. I broke up with him after school, in the same playground, sitting on top of the same swingset where we had our first kiss. So naturally, being a stinky, rotten boy... he had to go to school and tell his own version of the story. He said that we had to break up because his mom caught us in his bed with my shirt off. THE NERVE. We are inside for recess that day because it had been raining and our teacher was out of the classroom. As Brad sat in his desk, I stood up, leaned across the aisle and started yelling at him about telling lies and that I was going to kick his butt. You know what he did? He pulled my hair! He grabbed a handful of my long blond hair and just pulled for all it was worth - and didn't let go. As I was struggling to regain my balance - there was a desk between him and I that I was practically being pulled on top of - my hero, a boy by the name of Robbie who had a crush on me since the 4th grade, came running over and punched Brad straight in the nose! Brad immediately let go of my hair, grabbed his nose and in a whiny voice wailed, "Why'd you have to hit me, Robbie?" to which the classroom rolled with laughter.

The teacher came in, brought both boys outside and tried to regain order in the classroom. I think both Robbie and Brad got detention and I somehow came out of it as a superstar. Well, maybe not a superstar, but at least as the cool girl who had a boy hit another boy just to protect her. The best part? The new chant on the bus, in the classroom and on the playground was now a unified, whiny version of "Why'd you have to hit me, Robbie?". No more "Your tights are loose!"

Brad and I no longer spoke after that. I moved the summer after that so we didn't live near each other any more but when 6th grade started and he was nowhere to be seen, I found out from a friend who still lived near him that he had been enrolled in the Catholic school in town. I have no idea if this had something to do with me or the torment he received or if it was just something his mother had planned all along - but either way, he was gone and the memories of the "Somebody in Louisiana Loves Me" outfit were far behind me.

So, coming back around to the original question, "Would I marry my first kiss?" the funny thing is, in a lot of ways, I think I did! As I recalled this story, I saw a lot of similarities in the personality of Brad and of my ex-husband. Brad and I spent one year in school together again in high school. We didn't talk or hang out, but we did have a couple of classes together and I could see his personality and remembered thinking how shy he had seemed then compared to the way he was in 5th grade. Somehow, he had grown more introverted. And unfortunately for him, Robbie (the boxer) was still around and remembered him the moment he saw him which started another, although short lived, round of "Why'd you have to hit me Robbie?"

I am sure Brad turned out to be a nice guy. Probably middle of the road sort of worker bee - nothing out of the ordinary, nothing too risky or daring. I like to think he learned his lesson about lying about girls. And for the life of me, I wish I could remember his last name and find him on MySpace or Facebook - I would love to send him an email with the subject of "Your Tights Are Loose" and nothing else and see how quickly this whole story comes back to him!!!


  1. This was so much fun to read about!! It made me think of my memories of my first kiss!! Crazy how it all comes crashing back on you!

  2. Ha! Great story, Jen. I wish my school years were as interesting as yours.