Thursday, May 13, 2010
I know this is a question that has been plaguing the minds of my readers since I first began blogging, so I have graciously decided to address it. My first kiss. Yes, a romantic like me, it's got to be good right? Quite right, quite right. Twas good, for such a long ago affair. Let me bring you back.
The year was... around, wait let me do some mental math. Okay, I used a calculator. The year was 1994. I was stationed along with the rest of the Sturos brood, not being such a big brood at that time, but no matter, at the quaint old palace on Railroad Street. Er. Duplex if you must know. We had the bottom half, and our neighbors with a whole slew of boys lived above us. Naturally from the moment they had moved in--as families were always moving in and moving out, while we stayed put below--I had had my eye on a certain fella in the family. Let's call him Jude as his older brother never stopped singing off-key we all live in a yellow submarine, producing a hatred of the Beatles for me and most of my childhood.
But, Jude, he was everything I wanted in a boy. He was tall (taller than me at least) dark and handsome--as far as fourth grade boys go. He was akin to someone I would have dreamed up while sitting in the trees lining my driveway concocting imaginary boyfriends and what qualities I most admired. Okay, if truth be told I sometimes also pretended the trees were my boyfriends, but I think that's a mere testament to how darn imaginative I was and not at all a creepy thing that would require my parents investing in a shrink. Alright moving on.
The day Jude moved in I remember pulling up the driveway with my dad and getting out of the car to hear that we had new neighbors! My eyes shot straight to the the second story window that I knew to be a bedroom from playing upstairs with previous neighbors and there he was, looking back at me. I smiled and waved. He grinned and then disappeared from the window. Sure enough he came outside to introduce himself. It was enough, I knew before I had even seen him in person that he would be my first love. I just knew, like girls know.
We became instant friends, but I was aware even at a young age that boys weren't meant for mere friendship, holding your jump rope and gabbing about Barbies. No, no they were meant for much more: holding hands, kissing and one day marrying, and this girl was not going to slack on snagging a man. I'd had many a conversation with my tree boyfriends and. wait ahem my other girl friends and I knew the rules of the game.
Speaking of other girl friends. I did have them. One girl, we'll call her Libby (my supposed best friend) knew I was playing basketball with Jude that day and basically following him around every second like a magnet. She had the audacity to tell me she was going to ask him to be her boyfriend! Some nerve! She even said it with a powerful glint in her eye, as if the fact that she had long blonde hair and an evil streak meant she could get any guy she wanted (I would later learn this does indeed get you guys).
Well I was having none of that. I marched home not without stopping and wishing on a dried up dandelion first that Jude would see I was the only girl for him. Lucky for me all the seeds blew off the stem and floated into the air. I pounded on Judes door not seconds later with purpose. He opened it with a wry smile most likely sensing my urgency and the seeds of fate working their way into his mind as I began to speak.
I got straight to the point.
So you're my friend right?
Yep, he nodded casually still smiling.
And you're a boy, I stated.
Yes, he was starting to look at me funny now. Wasn't that much obvious?
So... technically that makes you my boyfriend...?
His eyes got large like he had just been duped. But as he pondered it, I could see that he too saw my logic and it made sense.
Yeah, sure, he shrugged.
Locked in, Libby! Who's boyfriend is he now?
Great! See you later!
I bolted for Libby's to break the news. I mean she had to know he was off the market right?
A few days later Jude and I sat on the railing of our shared back porch talking and playing Dare. I brazenly stated that no dare was out of my league. You couldn't scare me off. He nodded and pondered. And as he mused I stared at his sweet smiling face and wished for him to kiss me.
I dare you to kiss me he blurted out with sudden inspiration. My jaw dropped. If I had known wishes were this easy I would've been wishing for a horse a lot sooner!
Before I leapt into his arms I considered a lesson from my life coach, my aunt Lacey. I remembered her telling me to play hard to get. No man wants an Easy Edith. I couldn't just act excited about kissing him, it'd make him take me for granted or run into Libby's arms for heaven's sake!
So I pretended to mull it over like it was a matter of the state. I hemmed. I hawwed. I tapped my fingers to my lips like it was just so delicate a thing. And then I calmly said, yes I suppose I could kiss you. But not here where people can see. Let's go behind the shed.
We scurried to the far reaches of the yard and stopped once behind the safety of the rusted white metal.
I told him he had to close his eyes and he agreed because that's just how kisses were done right and proper. I leaned in and placed my small pink lips against his. I didn't do much of anything other than lean in, press, and then pull back while promptly getting a rosey flush. When he opened his eyes, he let out a sigh and said, that was great!
My heart did funny things like an Irish jig and a two-step and then maybe a rousing tango for good measure.
So, I said nonchalantly. Since you dared me to kiss you it's only fair that well, you have to kiss me now.
He agreed with no hesitation. I think he was onto my little game.
As soon as my eyelids fluttered down, awaiting his kiss, I desperately thought that life couldn't be any sweeter than my dear Jude approaching with his lips about to touch mine. And when they did, for just an instant, like my kiss to him, just lips touching lips, I felt pink. And giddy. Just as light and buoyant as a lost balloon drifting up, up and away. My eyes opened and he was smiling at me.
Later after swooning in my bed, he would knock on my window and ask me to go to the carnival with him and feeling cocky, I retorted, oh you just want to kiss me again, to which he smiled and ran off to get in the car with his waiting parents.
What ultimately brought this story into my head was confidence. What an alluring and golden thing it is. How back in the fourth grade, nothing could've steered me away from getting Jude. And now, the slightest breeze knocks me off kilter and has me questioning all my dreams, wishes and wants. I doubt that I've got it and when I make wishes now, I wonder achingly if they'll ever come true.
Something about youth and thinking dandelion seeds will come through for you is really the cusp of it all. If back then I could have faith in seeds flying in the wind to make boys turn into boyfriends, then what's stopping me when I have all the resources for making it on my own, right here at my fingertips? What's stopping me is somewhere along the line I lost that sureness in myself and have been struggling to find it ever since.
But all it took was the memory of my first kiss and how I was really the one who made it happen, to make me wonder if there's something to what I've got after all.