It’s the kiss that many don’t believe exists. While attending a fundraising event that another friend is the chair of, the frenemies and I were reminiscing about first kisses. At various stages of one’s life. Whether it’s that first innocent kiss when in grade school and a crush steals a kiss (or you do) on the cheek. Or middle school and the first game of spin the bottle, or even that first awkward kiss when someone leans in for a kiss you weren’t expecting. And then of course the memories of those first kisses when in high school and in the throes of first love or the teenage hormone fueled years to those first months in college. At some point, the memories became more current if you will, in the more recent past than distant.
One of the women, sobbed that she has never had a first kiss, or any kiss that felt like *that*. Everyone immediately tried to make her feel better by saying things like: “oh i’m sure you have, you might not remember it”, or “surely that’s what you experience with sam?”, “it doesn’t mean you don’t love sam.” to which she sobbed again and said “no, it’s not that. it’s that I don’t know what that feels like. maybe it doesn’t exist.” After closer introspection, and that extra glass of wine, some of the frenemies spoke candidly about kissing. Many of them don’t like it, not at all . It isn’t their spouses or significant other but something that they just don’t enjoy. A couple of women said that they like kissing but their partners don’t. None of what we were saying made Heidi feel any better.
Later, after the topic had changed and we were all involved in various, separate conversations, I found myself alone with Heidi, she wasn’t crying any longer but she was subdued and an air of melancholia was all about her. Emme went to use the restroom and Heidi looked over at me and asked me point blank if I’ve ever experienced that kind of first kiss, the kind that brings to home how lonely you were until that point. I don’t know Heidi well, she’s part of the frenemies from well before I met them, but in that moment I understood exactly what she was asking. What she was searching for. I took a deep breath, looked her straight in the eye and said “Not in my entire life. Until a few years ago.”
She put her head in her hands but I could still hear her utter “I thought I was the only one.”…