I was never the girl picked for kissing in truth or dare. I didn’t have boyfriends in grade school like some of my other friends. I was super-shy, awkward…the usual cocktail of adolescent horror. So by the time I got to high school, and not only made friends, but started dating, it was a new world.
My first boyfriend was a year older than me and I knew him from lunch. He sat with some of my friends. I saw him at a homecoming dance, and we talked and danced (awkwardly). Before he left, he asked for my phone number, which I wrote on the back of my dance ticket.
Neither of us could drive, so for our first date, he and his parents picked me up and dropped us as the mall. This was back when one of the malls in my part of town had a movie theater and a food court. We ate at (I think) KFC, then we went to see Mermaids (which remains one of my favorite movies ever–that scene where Christina Ricci comes in with the pumpkin on her head cracks me up every time).
His parents picked us up after. I thought it was weird that they both came, but he was an only child and they were older parents so maybe they were just really protective? They parked in the front of my house, but my family always went in the side door. It was a blessing, in hindsight, although maybe he wouldn’t have kissed me if they’d been able to see us from the car.
We said our good nights and then before I turned to go inside, he grabbed my arms and pulled us in. Oh my lord, this is really happening, but why is his tongue out?? He wound up sort of mashing his tongue against my front teeth.
Then he was gone.
I went inside, wiped off my teeth, and realized I’d just had my First Official Kiss. And it had been weird.
We went out maybe one more time, again with his parents as chauffeurs, and sat together at school whenever possible. This was before the days of cell phones and we all used phones that were stuck in the walls at our houses. So he and I talked as much as we could.
I got out of the shower one night and my mom said he’d called. When I called, back this conversation happened:
Me: You called?
Him: Yeah, I just called to tell you that I’m not going to be able to talk on the phone tonight.
Him: It’s just that the State of the Union address is on tonight.
Me: (Half-joking because I was fourteen) Oh so the president is more important than me?
Him: At this point in our relationship, he is, yes.
I broke up with him a few days later in the 1990s version of a text message: via note passed between classes.
I went on to successfully date a senior from another school, a misunderstood rebel type, and then finished off high school with my first long-term boyfriend. Lotta good kissing after that first rough start.