So now you know I grew up without a TV in the house, which had some repercussions for my love life. Grace, my mom, also forbid going to the movies. She said, “You don’t want to go – kids pee in their seats and those seats never get any sunshine.” So I had very little modeling for how to kiss. Yah, Jack would give Grace a peck on the cheek when he got home from work, but that was it. Plus, being the oldest child meant no older siblings with stories to tell. So that was all I knew when I met the first girl I wanted to kiss. (Not really the first one I wanted to kiss; the first one I had any possibility of kissing. Those junior high make-out parties were a bust.)
Her name was Jackie and she was one of the Catholic school girls coming over to the public high school in the Fall as a freshman. I was a year older and we hung out together that summer at the swimming pool. One night near the end of summer I walked her home, through Spring Rock Park. I spied a perfect tree trunk to sit by and figured now or never for getting my courage up. So we sat down and I leaned in. Only I had never seen a long embrace, a lingering kiss, so I thought kissing was a series of short pecks. Moooch – moooch – moooch I went; and she broke away, not willing to show me any different way. Yikes, I knew I hadn’t done it right. Although I did finish walking her home – we never tried again.
In fact that was really the last kissing I did until sophomore year in college, I was so mortified – and another reason I picked a college no one else from my high school was going to – as I was sure I had a reputation as someone who didn’t know how to kiss.
I did have one more chance in high school. But it was more about second base than first base. As you know, Grampa & Grandma lived across the street. They were on a trip to Ohio and I snuck Nancy in, a girl from another town, after a movie date. With the lights out, but the curtains still open, we kissed on the couch and I got her blouse off. That was it, then I went outside to ditch the beer cans, and upon returning was mortified – once again – because, approaching the back door, saw she had all the lights on and was ironing her blouse in only her bra. For all the neighbors to also maybe see!
Tomorrow: The Rest is History