Ahh . . . the first kiss . . . that is a moment most girls remember with great tenderness . . . but I was having a hard time remembering it. You would think that such an important moment in time would have forever etched itself in the annals of my mind . . . a mind that is quite capable of remembering such things as "what I had for breakfast on the 4th of July in nineteen sixty two and 'exactly' what I was wearing at the time!" Not so with my first kiss . . . I can't remember it a bit . . . well . . . hardly a bit . . . perhaps it's something I don't want to remember? Perhaps it's quite forgettable?
Oh heck, who am I kidding . . . of course I remember it!!!! I have a memory like a steel trap! It was Lennie Risser, what a kisser! (and I was wearing blue jeans and a white polo shirt!)
My whole fifteenth year of life was spent in preparation for the day when I would finally be allowed to date and have a boyfriend. Certain "looks" were practiced in front of the mirror . . . you know the ones I mean . . . coy, demure, sirenic, surprised, dreamy . . . I didn't want to get caught out by giving the wrong look at the wrong moment, when and if the time ever came.
Kissing was practiced on the back of my hand, as per an article I had read in "Sixteen" magazine. That was a great magazine . . . not only did it keep you "up to date" on all the goings on of all the latest teeny bopper pop idols (David Cassidy, Donnie Osmond . . . sigh . . . ) but it was full of great advice on things like "latest fashion trends", "how to fix your hair", "makeup application" and . . . most important of all, "Boys" and how to manipulate . . . um . . . err . . . I mean handle them!! Some of my friends had boyfriends already, but I had not yet experienced anything other than huge crushes on unattainable boys in the higher grades . . . safe and unrequited love affairs from afar . . .
Some of my friends used to spend summers out at a nearby lake at cottages . . . a place called Lake Pleasant. There was a small town close by called Springfield, and a whole host of boys from Springfield used to hover around like bees to honey every summer, just waiting to hone in on the "fresh" crop of girls, just in from the city. It was win/win all round. My friends got to play dating with a bunch of boys, and they got to play dating with my friends. My parents didn't have enough money to have a cottage, or even rent a cottage, so this one pleasure I was denied. However one lat summer weekend, after all the cottages had pretty much closed down for the summer, those Springfield boys actually came up in a car to visit the girls. I got to be included by default, and it wasn't long before we all gathered at a friends house (whose parents weren't home) to chat and hang out together. Inevitably it was decided that we would play "Spin the Bottle." My very first chance to play the game I had often read about!
We sat in a circle, on my friend's family room carpet . . . giggling girls on one side . . . pimply faced youths on the other . . . a myriad of questions going through my mind . . . the palms of my hands sweating in anticipation. Was my breath ok? Should I close my eyes? What should I do with my hands? What if the bottle landed on another girl? Should I lean to the left or to the right?
My palms got sweatier and my giggles a little more nervous and excited as the bottle made it's way around the circle towards me. One after another, I watched my friends kissing the boys, in turn . . . taking mental notes all the while, so that when the bottle finally landed either on me or in my hands, I would know exactly what to do.
Thankfully it never landed on me . . . and so I had had plenty of time to prepare myself when finally it was my turn to spin it. I took the bottle in my nervous fingers and gave it a spin . . . a rotation of glinting glass that seemed to take forever to slow down and stop . . . and stop it finally did . . . on the only boy in the room with buck teeth . . . dangit! Just my luck!!!! All I can remember is his teeth sticking into my lips as he pressed his mouth against mine and the embarassment of knowing everyone else was watching us. This was hardly how I had anticipated it would be! Where was the tender moment??? The romantic music washing over us in a rising crescendo???? Would my lips be bleeding when he was finished???? Ohhh . . . the agony . . . Ohhhh . . . the pain . . . Ohhh . . . the embarassment . . . How more unlike Romeo and Juliet could things get???
That was only the first, in a long line of "first" kisses with various boys at one time or another, before I finally settled down with one boy in one steady relationship. Each kiss being and feeling more special than the last. How could I have known on that warm, summer evening of my almost 16th year, that this was only the beginning of a long . . . sometimes wonderful and sometimes painful lifetime of experience in dealing with members of the opposite sex.
Yes, I've kissed a lot of frogs through the many years since . . . and yes, I've kissed a few princes, all unforgettable, all special in their own way . . . even the frogs . . . but, I will always remember, with a certain fondness, that warm summer night and the soft lips of Lennie Risser combined with his hard teeth pressing against mine. I wonder . . . did he know he was my first???
P.S. It's not the first kiss that really counts . . . it's the last!
Yesterdays Silver Lining: the temperatures got quite mild and the snow all melted, and the sun shone the whole day through. It brought everyone out and about and all were in a great mood. Long conversations with my sister on the computer. That was another enjoyable pleasure. I love my sister. She's the best.
A thought to carry with you through the day:
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have suceeded.
~Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Here's a little treat this morning that is dead easy and as soft as a first kiss . . .
and just as unforgettable . . .
I am not sure where this dessert comes from. I highly suspect Eaton College. It’s the perfect thing to make when all you have to hand is a bunch of rag tag store bought meringues looking a bit worse for the wear. A punnet of raspberries and some double cream and you have a light dessert, food fit for the gods…
½ of a 96g packet of meringue nests (about 4)
½ pint of double cream
1 punnet fresh raspberries (about 2 cups) gently washed and dried
Break the meringues into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk until it falls in soft peaks. You don’t want it really stiff for this. Fold the cream into the meringues along with the raspberries, taking care not to break up the raspberries too much. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes before serving. You can also stir some raspberry coulis into this, or drizzle it over the top. (Very easily made by whirring one cup of raspberries in a mini food processor with a touch of sugar, and then passing the results through a sieve to remove the seeds)
And, cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Easy Cinnamon Puffs!