August 2, 2018

Advice for Your First Kiss

I kissed a dolphin. (Almost!)

Actually, I was the last in a line of about 20 other landlubbers, young and old, each having the goal of kissing a dolphin. But after donning a life jacket, walking  down a long pier, entering the water, and trying to defy gravity by remaining still while wearing a life jacket, my excitement waned. I clung to a gate as we watched the well-choreographed jumps, dives, and claps of the sea creature at the behest of the trainer. However, upon viewing the pointy teeth of the mammal (the dolphin, not the trainer) and learning she was pregnant, my enthusiasm further diminished. The trainer also warned not to approach the animal but to let her come to you. I was the last person in line to kiss the slimy lips. When the person before me passed, it made it easier for me to say, “That’s okay. I’m good!”

Actually, the whole experience reminded me of a similar encounter with a first kiss. The first time I kissed a boy. Or he kissed me. Whatever! That case too involved a long wooden platform. Not a pier, but a porch that ran alongside the tenement housing units I grew up in. I lived at number 6 and Robert lived at number 5. Why we were on the porch running alongside number 1 after dark I can’t really remember. Especially since my mother watched me and her other three daughters like a hawk in an effort to protect our virtue. But there I was, having crept along the porch undetected, perched on the banister. And there was Robert who had the biggest juiciest lips I had ever seen. As he moved in, my heart skipped a beat. I knew if my father came around the corner he would kill me and Robert. Thus another missed heart beat. But I didn’t pass. I accepted the somewhat soggy kiss, jumped off the banister, and bolted to my front door where I was supposed to have been all along. My heart somehow had leapt from my chest and was running a close second.

All types of feelings awakened in me that day. (I’m talking about the dolphin now.)

I have three pieces of advice for those who are about to encounter their first kiss (with a dolphin or a human).  One, get in line early. That way, you won’t have time to change your mind 20 minutes later. Second, do not approach the kisser; let him come to you. That way, he won’t get overly nervous and avoid you altogether. And third, don’t look at the kisser’s teeth. They may be pointy.