Summer Lovin’


My friend Marci, of scenic Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, gives me this blogging assignment straight from a recent late night game of Truth or Dare*:

“Tell all about your first kiss.”

Frankly, I wish there was more to tell. I could scintillate you with romantic details about any number of first kisses with this guy or that guy (for example, smooching a cute Dutch backpacker, whom I had met at the youth hostel and had known for all of perhaps three hours, beneath a sky full of fireworks in Orleans, France, on Bastille Day**), but the details of my Very First Kiss Ever fall a bit short of schoolgirl fantasy.

I was 13, I think. I was away at camp for the summer. Not just your normal “cabins-by-the-lake” sort of camp, but Sea Camp for brainy kids on Georgia’s beautiful (and primitive) Cumberland Island. We dug our own latrines (where we had to chase ghost crabs away before we could do our business), “bathed” in the surf, dissected a shark, cast nets for our dinner, and ate mussels that we dug up out of the marsh mud and boiled ourselves. We each had to come up with a science project involving the native ecosystem. Mine was about the locomotive apparatus of living sand dollars. It was my first long trip away from home, and it was a turning point in my life in terms of confidence and ambition. If you ever get the chance to send your kids on such an adventure, do it.

But back to the kiss.

It was free time, and we were swimming in the ocean, killing time between our lesson on the microscopic life of tidal pools and a planned moonlight hike through the island interior. There were around a dozen of us, boys and girls, and on this particular day, we were playing Truth or Dare. I can’t remember anything that happened before it was Blair’s turn. He chose Dare, brave boy. So quickly that I’ve always suspected it was arranged ahead of time, his friend said, “I dare you to kiss Katrina.”

So he did.

We were all standing shoulder deep in the warm coastal water, and it seemed like Blair was moving in slow motion as he made his way over to me. The kiss was mercifully quick, a mere peck, and then it was over, leaving my lips tasting of salt water. A little anticlimactic, I thought. And a lot more public than I imagined my first kiss would be.

Later, as we walked down the beach, Blair told me that he liked me. Clumsily, we held hands. I think he kissed me twice more before camp ended, each time an echo of the first–short and sweet.

Years later, forced to recount the straightforward details to girlfriends in yet another Truth or Dare game, it occurred to me to be embarrassed that the guy who gave me my Very First Kiss Ever was named Blair.***

*Which is an interesting coincidence, as you will see.

**Don’t tell my high school French teacher, who was supposed to be chaperoning us. It’s not her fault, anyway. I was incorrigible. And seventeen.)

***No offense if your name is Blair. It just didn’t jibe with my teenage ideal of a romantic hero. He was supposed to be named Max, or Derek, or Jack. “Blair” makes him sound like one of those obnoxious rich kids from “Pretty In Pink“.


10 responses »

  1. I loved this post. I also loved the little tidbit about the Dutch backpacker. Hee hee…let’s hear about THAT one, too! Blair. Too funny. My first kiss was from a boy named Tim (isn’t THAT ironic?).

  2. Hee, it does kind of remind me of Andrew McCarthy’s character in PinP and Duckie’s reaction when Andie tells him his name, “His name is Blane? Oh! That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!”

  3. I knew you’d have a good first kiss story. And somehow I’m not surprised that you went to smart kid’s camp! By the way, how do sand dollars move?

  4. Jen–Sand dollars have tiny tube feet, cilia, and spines; even scientists don’t agree on the exact function of each of these structures, and they may all be used for movement in some way. From my observation (which was tedious, since they move almost too slowly to be seen by the naked eye), they seem to use the cilia in conjunction with the tube feet to move, both in a linear fashion and in a rotary fashion, while the spines are more for digging in to the ocean floor. I bet that’s way more than you wanted to know, huh?

  5. I have to say that shoulder deep in warm coastal water rates above fireworks in Orleans, France, for me. Besides, the “French” kiss probably benefited from the previous kiss(es). Let’s face it, most first, first kisses are rather awkward. You let me down; however, I was hoping that surely I was not the youngest first kisser. Perhaps Kim was younger.

  6. Good story πŸ™‚ My first kiss was so quick I had no idea what had happened, and I wasn’t in the slightest bit giddy or happy about it. It was one of those, “um, gross!” kind of kisses from a guy that was cute, but not my boyfriend or even a crush. He just grabbed me & kissed me, then turned around and walked out of the room. I was left stunned and disgusted! My 2nd kiss was when I was 20ish and came from Michael πŸ™‚ His kiss was much better and I’m so glad that, after waiting so long, that my 2nd kiss came from him πŸ™‚ He actually waited for 3 months before laying one on me…he said he was scared of offending me. Cute, huh?

  7. Ahhh, the first kiss. Do men even care to remember first kisses?

    Mine was in 8th grade. I was “going” with a guy named George and when he kissed me (ie. sticking tongue down throat) I gagged and then laughed. He never kissed me again but we remained close friends until I moved away. He must’ve learned how to kiss properly because he married his high school sweetheart πŸ™‚

  8. Pretty in Pink? Great movie. I was thinking along the lines of Blair from Facts of Life. As for Jenn’s question, men probably are so embarrassed by our ineptitude that we don’t care to remember first kisses. But we’re supposed to learn from our mistakes, aren’t we? As for first kisses, mine was in Kindergarden- the slide was a really happening place!- but i don’t remember her name. My first KISS was with Jennifer…ah the memories. On second thought, maybe I should say, “AAAHHH!!! the memories!”

  9. The name of my first kiss: Whitney Lee.

    It was totally a guy. I have no idea why his parents named him that. They were ridiculously wealthy, so maybe they thought it sounded regal or something.

    He went by Whitt. And he kissed like a cow.

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