Prom. Junior year.
I didn’t go with a date, but with a group of girlfriends.
It was toward the end of the evening.
I was dancing with a good guy friend.
He was a son of one of the faculty.
He was cute. And eccentric.
Adorably nerdy. We had a few classes together.
We were talking.
His mom had appeared along the sidelines of the ballroom while we danced.
She was a chaperone. She was dressed to the nines.
We both saw her.
He looked at me. Smirked a little.
He nodded toward his mom.
Suggested that perhaps we surprise her.
I mean, I had never kissed a boy in front of his mom before.
Also, I wasn’t quite 17.
I wish I could say I had never kissed a boy.
But that wouldn’t be very honest.
Instantly, I got nervous. Terrified.
I said no. Not in front of his mom.
I mean, what about my grades?
We finished the dance.
Oh, the one guy.
But we didn’t kiss.
Then I went home.
Then there was that time.
By the river.
With that older man.
No hints of writing opportunities for me.
But his seeking opportunities of … not writing.
Sun setting. His arm behind me.
I very much didn’t want to kiss him.
I tried saying as much
With all the negative body language I tried to give.
But he didn’t get it.
And he leaned in anyway.
And I had to put my hand up to stop him.
And I was incredibly clever about it.
And I haven’t contacted him since.
Other chances to write will come up.
Then one time
It would have been so easy
Just to lean in
And watch his eyes close
Because he was there
And I was there
And we were talking
And he asked when was the last time I made out with someone
I was honest and said a [long time]
And he answered his own question
With considerably less than [a long time]
What if, he said
What if, I said
I really want to, but
We agreed we shouldn’t
So we didn’t.
Then, the times when I didn’t chicken out or reject and went for it. I don’t know how many times I’m going to bring up this list. It seems to emerge every couple of years:
1. On the band bus … twice.
2. In the parking lot in front of Shopko/Movies 8
In the parking lot of Regency apartments that same night – same guy, of course
3. In the living room of another apartment complex a couple of years later – the fiancé.
4. At a party around Thanksgiving in the late 90s
5. That one dude in Orem I totally forgot about
6. The state attorney
7. The one friend who’s not really a friend anymore
8. The guy from a few years ago.
Well, it seems I’m a bit obsessed right now with kissing. Maybe not so much kissing, but I just spent a week camping with a whole bunch of women and maybe I need the company of a nice man. So maybe I’ve been thinking about a nice man. Not just any nice man, but I have a few in mind. Any of those few would be nice to spend some time with. Or, maybe even a really, really nice random man. From church. That wouldn’t be so bad, right? Maybe? Because it’s church? Right?
And yet, I just spent a week camping with a whole bunch of young women from church, where we emphasized self-control and virtue and changing the world with goodness and purity. I taught excellent things at camp. Didn’t swear once while I was there; not a single peep. So I guess that whole bit about kissing and the boys I’ve kissed and wanting the time of a few specific men or a random man from church even though I wouldn’t necessarily have to kiss him even though I would really, really really want to, I was just kidding.
Sorry. It’s just been too long.