Something that never excited me, was to kiss someone.
In fact, I hated it.
What an uncomfortable and ridiculous custom having someone grab and crush themselves to you and plant a very uncomfortable and miserably juicy pressure on your comfortable and dry face.
My aunt Katy was a horror and demon as the family member who continually wanted so earnestly to show her appreciation of any successful accomplishment that I, or any member of our (“talented”??) – family may have achieved – in our school studies, sports, or whatever. She was so proud of all of the kids in our family! She was a lovely lady, in fact, probably a great beauty in her time. But when she grabbed and kissed me, to celebrate whatever my accomplishment might have been at the time, I couldn’t stand the prickly sensation of the heavy beard she had about her mouth. It was like sharp needles sticking into my tender lips, and she always crushed me (now I appreciate that women must hate this when their guys who don‘t shave properly approach them).
To tell you how I despised and did all to avert this sensation is still an embarrassment I live with, even after so many years since. Sometimes I would pretend to be sick, or had to go quickly to the bathroom.
Aunt Katy is long gone now, but to me, she was always the lady I loved and would gladly have presented with an electric razor for Christmas, in return for the most delicious and magnificent Christmas pudding ever tasted by any human that she would prepare for every member of our family. Of course, I always delicately embraced her every time she proudly presented me with her offering. It was like pins and needles, but I loved her.
Later, in my teens, kissing became a most prominent activity of kids of my adolescent age. Honestly, when I went out with a girl, leaving her after I had delivered her safely to her home, the last thing I thought of was getting close to her and kissing her. But she acted differently, offering her lovely lips to press them against mine and causing me to wonder, “Wow this is kind of nice – now what am I supposed to do?”
Well, now I know the answer, and from some invisible friendly ghost of a standby advisor, I would expect the answer to have been – “Hey, Lauriate, keep it going. You may become lucky, even at the bottom of that long abandoned stairway that led up to the flat where she lived”.
But no. I was happy and satisfied that she enjoyed our evening, and showed me that she did by kissing me. I continued on my way to catch the final streetcar that would take me home. The kiss was a nice way for her to say thanks for the lovely evening.
Subsequently, I had many dates with fine young ladies and when we parted, there was always that ritual of the good night thank you kiss, which was fine… but you know, it didn’t particularly excite me.
Years passed. Then I met Frances. I knew she was a girl who would not give the goodnight kiss to anyone. When we went out together to a dance or a celebration of some kind, it was comforting that in delivering her back to her home, the ritual of the good night kiss was nonexistent. I would leave her and head for the tramway station, quite satisfied that I had pleased her with a nice evening and I was quite content with how I enjoyed her company , and how the pleasant evening ended.
Then . . . very late, on a stormy wintry Saturday night – snow up to here – and cold as I can’t express, when we reached her balcony, she put her precious arms around my neck and kissed me – right on the lips. Good night Lauriate. Call you to-morrow.
Well, I didn’t even bother going to mass that Sunday, waiting for the call Frances promised to make.
Miraculously, it came early, when my mom and dad were gone to their church service. So as the words I so wanted to say to my wonderful friend would not be over-heard by anyone, and would only be for the conversation between us to be privately our own, I told her how I loved the sweet kiss she gave me last night as we parted. I believe she read my secret message. The one I treasured to myself.
Well, that was the beginning of a most cherished ritual that we both loved immensely. Things went from there to better. Within two years we were wed and our kissing each other never ceased, and I learned that to kiss the one you love is easy to do and enjoy for at least 65 years. Maybe longer if you’re lucky. . . because a kiss is still a kiss – if it’s with the right one.