I apologise unreservedly to whoever I was with, but I don’t remember my first date. You’re supposed to, I know, and I’ve been picking away at the layers of my life for a while now, trying to recall. It’s not there. My brain obviously didn’t think it was exciting enough to stick in the memory cupboard.
But I do remember the first kiss that wasn’t just a quick peck in a kid’s game. It was outside the youth club, in the dark, against the rough pebble-dash wall. I don’t know quite how it came about. There’d been the usual dancing – girls only, having picked up the requisite moves for our favourite songs – the paper cups filled with Ben Shaws Dandelion & Burdock; a bag of Scampi-flavoured fries.
So why is this stored away, and not a first date? In truth, I remember it because I was under pressure and I didn’t enjoy it. Everyone else had french-kissed except me. I took the first offer I got that night to get it over with. My partner was small, blonde and mouthy. We were both young and inexperienced, and I don’t think he enjoyed it either. He thought it was a good idea to try and reach my tonsils with his tongue, if at all possible – which it unfortunately was. Still, I like to think I got him back with the Dandelion & Burdock/Scampi-flavoured fries taste combination.
Fast forward, months later, to someone completely different. It really helps when you actually like the person you’re kissing. We were in the cinema, in the dark, and there were no Scampi-flavoured fries. I don’t think I saw any of the film because, early on, his hand grazed mine completely unexpectedly. I felt that jolt that people talk about, and there was suddenly nobody else in the whole world. What followed was something to stick in the memory cupboard. For all the right reasons.
There are first kisses, and there are first good kisses. They are usually not the same thing.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons – Marianne Stokes (1855-1927) ‘The Frog Prince’)