Compare and Contrast and Yummy Smooches

A friend of mine commented on an article about Fergie saying how French kissing her son is “so delicious.” The friend then described how her own infant son kisses her: wide-mouthed, tongue out as if trying to latch onto her lips. Babies do this all the time. It’s cute and fun and food for the soul; so I agree with my friend’s interpretation (and probably Fergie’s, too) that babies’ kisses are delicious. I also agree that calling it “French kissing” is weird, but right when I read the headline, I immediately thought open-mouthed kissing–because babies kiss with their mouths open–though I knew people would also associate it with sexual tongue kissing. To that I say, Fergie, please choose your words more carefully. Or at least acknowledge that to the baby, it’s merely kissing.

This whole thing reminded me of times my daughter latches onto my chin. And those times remind me of a certain scene in the comedy-horror-tongue-in-cheek movie “Drag Me to Hell.” If you know the movie, you know the scene. It’s hilarious, and when Zinger catches my chin this way, I pretend she’s attacking me the way the gypsy is attacking the young lady. But I’m having more fun than the lady here. Maybe.

image from
image from

Ways this image from the movie “Drag Me to Hell” is like how my child sometimes kisses me:

  • This kisser has a lot of hair
  • The kisser appears toothless
  • The kisser opens her mouth wide 
  • The kisser takes as much of the kissee’s chin in her mouth as possible
  • The kissee may be laughing and thoroughly enjoying the moment (it’s hard to tell)

Ways this image from the movie “Drag Me to Hell” is different from how my child kisses me:

  • My child has differently shaped ears
  • My child’s clothes do not get that grungy
  • My child is not an old scary gypsy woman
  • My child is always strapped into her car seat when we’re in the car
  • I am not a blonde caucasian


Kissing Poll

It’s February, there’s the 14th. I’m still trying to decide if I’m one of those people who embrace the obnoxiousness of Valentine’s Day.

Sometimes I keep my eye open during prayers. I may bow my head for the first few seconds during a group supplication, but then I start looking at people and their earnest faces. They’re really intent on listening to the words of the prayer and I’m impressed and inspired by the collective faith of the group.

Now sometimes I open my eyes during kisses.

I’m not comparing prayer to kisses. I’m just saying there are two examples of when I open my eyes when my eyes are supposed to be closed.

As with prayers (still not comparing), I used to keep my eyes closed during kisses. I’m talking about the romantic ones you see on tv and the movies where the people close their eyes for entire seconds before lips meet. And then their eyes stay closed after the kiss is over. And then the people look into each other’s eyes and smile.

I thought that’s how kissing was supposed to be.

Sometimes it’s that way, but then I discovered that I could open my eyes. And that makes it a different experience. It seems that the instant my lids shut my other senses heighten. As if I’m actually blind, and I can hear/taste/smell/feel everything to an exponentially elevated degree. But how would I know that if I didn’t also try kissing with my eyes open?

Granted, it’s nice to close my eyes and let myself get lost in the moment, to enjoy this physical bond that represents deeper emotions and attachments. But there’s something about keeping my eyes open. I like being able to watch Reilly’s closed eyes.

(Sorry, Reilly. [We are generally very against public displays of affection but this blog post seems to contradict that principle. But really, you’ve only seen us kissing in pictures. And at our wedding. And a quick peck when he drops me off for work. {It’s only ever quick pecks when we’re outside our home.} That’s it. And we don’t kiss on BYU campus because we’re having too much fun laughing at the collective slobber-swapping that goes on over there.])

With my eyes open during a kiss, I like being able to see Reilly enjoy the moment, to focus on the kiss itself, to epitomize present-mindedness. There’s something very Zen about kissing. At least the kind of kissing that I’m talking about. It makes me smile. With the smiling, there’s the sensing of the smile. With the sensing of the smile, there’s the desire to maintain the smile. Which prolongs the kiss. Which I don’t object to.

So . . . I’ve achieved my blush quota for today. Now it’s poll time! Don’t worry, voting is anonymous.

Alpine Loop Drive

Around this time last year, about a week later, Reilly took me on a drive through the Alpine Loop. I was hoping — hoping — that he would kiss me for the first time on this date. We wound around the mountain, the vibrant colors jumped at our eyes and danced with the setting sun. We got out of the car and stood together on an overlook.

He gave me a hug and put his arm around me, then . . . nothing. After watching the sun set, we got back into the car, went to JCW’s for a burger, then we went back to his place where we listened to some music and watched Breaking Bad. So, not a complete loss.

Reilly later explained how scared he was that evening. He really wanted to, but he couldn’t, because he was too nervous.

We drove the Alpine Loop last night. The car climbed the winding road through the aspens, up the back side of Mount Timpanogos. On the descent toward American Fork, we stopped at a parking lot for one of the main overlooks. It was the same place we stood last year, right when I was expecting that first kiss. We took some photos, we made fun of things — particularly the beautiful family that was getting professional portraits taken — and we looked at the halo the sun formed behind the peak nearest to us.

Before we got back into the car, Reilly leaned down and kissed me gently on the lips. Confidently. Without hesitation. I asked him if that’s how he would have done it last year. He said maybe, except that he would have also pooped his pants. Yes, he said, “pooped.” And of course it perfectly describes his level of nervousness so many years ago. Which is less than one.

He’s exceeded all my hopes.

Here are some photos we took. The leaves turned early this year, and I was afraid the colors would have faded too much. They were much brighter two weeks ago, and many of the leaves have fallen to the ground. Fortunately, the Alpine Loop is almost always beautiful, except when there are fires. People, don’t start fires.

I Want to Ride Your Bicycle

While sitting at the park this afternoon, I managed to read, listen to music, take pictures, and people-watch all at the same time. I sighted a few runners, observed their form, thought about how much I miss running. Then I got over it and went back to whatever I was doing.

A while later I caught a bicyclist in my periphery. I usually notice the bike first – what kind it is, the pedals, the gears, the handlebars – and if I see the pedals are clipless, I try to see what kind of shoes are attached, then I can’t help but notice the legs that are attached to the shoes, etc. YOU know.

This guy rode a red mountain bike, which looked old, but sturdy. He was bald, and it crossed my mind how much he looked like Mr. Locke from Lost, but younger. He seemed a little older, but not too old. I guess like his bike, except more attractive.

Before I realized I was actually staring at him so I could quickly look away, he found my eyes and smiled at me, and we said hello to each other.

He rode past me and stopped to rest a few benches away in the shade. We looked at each other, and then I sent the following text to some friends: “A guy rode on his bike into the park. We said hi to each other. If he tried picking up on me, I might let him…”

I went back to my book, all the while acutely aware of the bicyclist ogling me. I took a drink from my water bottle and happened to glance at him drinking from his. I sat a while longer, pretending to read, watching people walk by me and adoring their cute babies.

The bicyclist remounted his bike and rode past me again, and he told me to have a good day, and I told him to take care, and I thought that was the end of it. I “read” for a little while longer and saw that he stopped at a fountain behind me, about 75 feet away. I could feel his eyes searing the top of my head.

I checked the time and decided it was time to go. I packed up my things and started walking toward the car. I ended up walking in front of the bicyclist, and I smiled at him, then all of a sudden I got really shy and turned away onto the path that led to the car.

As I neared the park entrance, I turned my head to the right and saw the bicyclist riding next to me. He asked what my plans were. I cleared my throat. I asked him to get off his bike, and I would tell him. We stopped at the gate.

He gently pushed me against the threshold, and before I could breathe, he leaned down and kissed me. The breeze from the river blew through my hair. His hands barely held me; it was his warm, soft lips that paralyzed me, except for my arms which pulled him closer.

Without breaking, we fumbled our way to a bench, and our mouths continued to work together. His stubble tickled my face. I liked his hands holding the back of my head, the small of my back. All of my senses drastically sharpened, except for my sense of time, and perhaps, my common sense.

Just kidding! We did chat for a moment when he pulled up beside me, then he just kept on riding.

And I went home.


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.
From Montreal.
We cuddled.
But we didn’t kiss.
Then I went home.

Then there was that time.
By the river.
With that older man.
Knowledgeable. Worldly.
Numerous stories.
No hints of writing opportunities for me.
But his seeking opportunities of … not writing.
From me.
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.
I know.

Then one time
One guy
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
Then what
I really want to, but
Then what?
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.

Sort of.

Sorry. It’s just been too long.

More Movies, A Little Music

Just a few more in the past week …

A Man for All Seasons: I could have sworn I blogged about this movie before. I can’t find it, so it must not have happened. That Thomas More, what a man of principle. Stood his ground, defended his faith against the law; became a martyr because of it. The scene where he forgives his executioner before he rests his head on the chopping block? I cried.

Memento: One of my favorite movies. I’ve reviewed it previously, as a way to stall reviewing The Dark Knight. Same director. Similar darkish tones. Different approaches to the storytelling, though. I didn’t cry, but I was all, whoa.

Passengers: Patrick Wilson? Anne Hathaway? Plane crash? Grief counseling? You would think this might be awesome, but IT IS NOT. I mean, I get what it was trying to do, but it unacceptably broke rules regarding dead people and unfinished business. Execution was weak. It’s kind of the writing’s fault. I could have cried for the awfulness, but I have seen far worse movies.

(500) Days of Summer: I liked this, probably because I personally know similar stories to the major relationship in the movie. Sometimes the truth you’ve known all along manages to sucker-punch you. The characters are relatable. It felt a lot like real life. It was funny and melancholy and poignant. I almost cried.

The Dish: Fun. Historical. Hilarious. Particularly enjoyable to watch with certain rocket scientist friends who happen to be extremely fond of Australians. It’s also quite moving. I cried a little.

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama: I suppose this does an adequate job as a documentary. Informative, slanted, but only because it’s inherently political. I liked getting to know Kundun, his manner of speaking, his personality. The interviews were intimate, and the documentarian seemed genuinely interested in the history and culture and non-violence, and he conversed freely, yet respectively with His Holiness. I didn’t cry.

Penelope: Rewatch. I love this movie for two main reasons: 1) The James McAvoy kiss at the end. You know the one. Where Cristina Ricci is at his place and she walks toward his piano, and he grabs her, and awesomely kisses her. I want that kind of a kiss. Now would be nice, actually. It takes my breath away every single time I watch it. And I’ve rewound the scene multiple times, successively, and the thrill just doesn’t fade. That moment brings me to tears. 2)The penultimate song on the soundtrack, the one that isn’t in English? It’s by my favorite Icelandic band at the moment: Sigur Rós. I’ve blogged about another song of theirs before.  This is a video of the song featured in the movie. It’s beautiful. It’s really, really, really, really cool. It brings tears to my eyes. I’ve included the words and translation below. It’s also quite fitting for summer, even though the video is set in the winter. The entire concept deserves an entire entry of its own, but that will have to wait.

Hendumst í hringi
Höldumst í hendur
Allur heimurinn óskýr
Nema þú stendurRennblautur
Allur rennvotur
Engin gúmmístígvél
Hlaupandi inn í okkur
Vill springa út úr skelVindurinn
Og útilykt af hárinu þínu
Eg lamdi eins fast og ég get
Með nefinu mínuHoppípolla
I engum stígvélum
Allur rennvotur (rennblautur)
I engum stígvélumOg ég fæ blóðnasir
En ég stend alltaf upp

Og ég fæ blóðnasir
Og ég stend alltaf upp

Jumpin’ Puddles
Spinning ’round and ’round
Holding hands
The whole world a blur
But you are standingSoaked
Completely drenched
No rubber boots
Running in us
Want to erupt from a shellWind in
And outdoor smell of your hair
I hit as fast as I could
With my noseHopping into puddles
Completely drenched
With no boots onAnd I get nosebleed
But I always get up

And I get nosebleed
But I always get up

A Little on the Lighter Side, Except for the Heavy Breathing, er, Blushing

“‘Anne? What’s so special about the way that lad kisses?’
Anne looked dreamy, then dimpled, ‘You should have tried it.’
‘I’m too old to change. But I’m interested in everything about the boy. Is this something different?’
Anne pondered it. ‘Yes.’
‘Mike gives a kiss his whole attention’
‘Oh, rats! I do myself. Or did.’
Anne shook her head. ‘No, I’ve been kissed by men who did a very good job. But they don’t give kissing their whole attention. They can’t. No matter how hard they try parts of their minds are on something else. Missing the last bus – or their chances of making the gal – or their own techniques in kissing – or maybe they worry about jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Mike doesn’t have technique … but when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. You’re his whole universe … and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and isn’t going anywhere. Just kissing you.’ She shivered. ‘It’s overwhelming.”

-Robert Heinlein, Stranger In A Strange Land


I’m making my way very slowly through a reread of this novel which I haven’t read since high school. My eye isn’t as critical, so this is definitely just for fun. I don’t know that I reacted to the above passage quite the same way when I was 17 years old, but boy, this excerpt does carry a lot more meaning now that I … now that I … well.

My last kiss was three years ago, June 30 – July 1. If you want to get technical, it was July 1, since there was a lot of kissing going on in those five or maybe six hours, and the very last one happened just after six in the morning. A kiss goodbye, outside of his building, before I hopped on the train back home.

Mom, are you still reading?

It’s hard to believe I remember so much of this. It was a long time ago, and a lot of details are still quite vivid. Quite. I mean, quite.

That, on top of being the last person I kissed, the fellow set some pretty high standards for the next guys I will kiss. Guys, May? Isn’t that a bit presumptuous? Like my midlife crisis is quickly approaching and I’ll have to go on some kissing rampage? Like the well has gone SO dry that I must replenish it with as many lips as will accept me? (Because SO many will accept me?) Maybe we’ll just start with one. Singular. At a time. Guy. Much better.

I mean, the dude from that sultry, summer evening in 2006, and the quote from Stranger In A Strange Land made me realize how much I miss kissing.

I miss kissing.

Let’s just call this guy from three years ago “Hot Man.” He was pretty … focused. And hot. More than the previous guys I kissed. Let’s call these previous guys “little boys.”


Maybe some people make rules, whereas other people have expectations. I thought I had rules, like ones about breath and not kissing on the first date, and the one about breath still is in force, but the one about the first date was never really a “firm rule.” And expectations? Well, let’s just say they were blown out of the water.

I’ve never really had someone focus on me so much as Hot Man. He really made it a point to kiss me perfectly.

And, I mean, perfectly.


Ahem. So.

Hot Man and Mike from the book are similar in that level of concentration. And yet, like any earthling male, it was apparent Hot Man had other things on his mind.

Which we never got to. Not really, anyway. Not really-really.

I am sure clearing my throat a lot while typing this.

I can’t talk about Hot Man, except that he is hot, and he, indeed, is a man.

Sometimes in the summertime, I like to go walking in my neighborhood park and look at all the pretty flowers and if I catch the sunset, I’ll just sit on a bench and contemplate the day or maybe life in general and the birds start singing their night songs and the cooling air tempers my skin and for some reason I wonder what’s for dinner. Will it be a sandwich? or salad? just plain toast? or maybe some chicken and rice? and what about vegetables? is it a dessert night? What kind of dessert? cookies, most likely. Cookies! But then, what kind(s)? The possibilities are endless. Cookies are so awesome. They’re my favorite. I can never turn down a cookie.

Where was I? – Oh! Yes! Rules and/or Expectations:

So, there’s eye contact and smiling but not the jolly smiling but the we-know-we’re-going-to-kiss smiling and not too much pressure from his lips to mine but just enough and a little bit more pressure and it’s just enough too and not always on my mouth but maybe on the neck behind the ears and down to the collarbone and more smiling but this time it’s the we’re-glad-to-be-kissing smiling and playing with hair and his strong hands holding me close and my face brushing against his scruff and coming up for breath and my heart pounding and my knees buckling (not that I would be standing for that long anyway, or at all) and him noticing and smiling as he leans in again and my having no choice but to let him because I can’t imagine not letting him and panting all sorts of panting just from kissing with soft lips and deft tongues and intensity and jumping energy levels and Hot Man never hurrying and never rushing but always sustaining the moment and building it until I can’t take it anymore and have to walk out of the building which happens to be five or maybe six hours later.

One six-hour moment.

Mom, if you’re still reading?  You can open your other eye now. And unclutch your pearls.

And anyone else, for that matter.

Thank you, Hot Man.

Can anyone else live up to that? Measure up? Would I actually want that again? What is the point of these 900 words? Why would I go on and on and on about something if it weren’t in any way significant or fun or an incredible thrill or a relatively private matter that makes it that much more worth sharing even if it happened over three years ago? Why would I risk minor embarrassment and disclose a few non-specifics even if I felt no one else would benefit from it? Why would I relive that experience this way?

Why wouldn’t I?

I miss it.

Just a Thought

So, three girls at a banana split social. It’s a girls’ social. And they have these bananas. And ice cream – vanilla and chocolate flavors. And walnuts. And caramel. And chocolate syrup. And maraschino cherries. With stems.

After these girls finish their sundaes, they’re found concentrating. Sitting together. On a bench. Away from the crowd. Not talking, but intensely focused. On tying their stems into knots. With their tongues. Of course.

That’s got to be the reason these girls are single, right?


I Didn’t Use It

Today was a busy day:

Woke up at 7, when I meant to wake up at 6.

Went to work, but enjoyed the cool, comfortable morning on my walk to the subway and from the subway to my work building.

Went to a church meeting.

Went back to work.

Hung out with friends for the rest of the afternoon.

Went to a church singles mixer, where I met a lot of Latinos. They were from all over Central and South America. The chatter in the room was so fascinating.

I texted one of my Spanish-speaking girl friends: I’m meeting boys from peru and guatemala and ecuador and colombia and mexico. Of course they’re all 90. Still, you’d rock this room.

She replied: LOL. If you need some sexy latin pick up lines I’m only a text away …

I said: Gimme your best one …

She gave me: Tus labios son las fuentes de la vida y yo tengo sed …

My Spanish speaking and comprehension aren’t that great. I recognized “lips” and “life” and I could only imagine what the rest of it meant, and I was scared if I approached a guy with that line, he might take me seriously.

So I had a guy friend translate for me, and he laughed as he said it out loud, “Your lips are the fountain of life, and I’m thirsty.”

Yeah. NO.

I left by 10PM. The dance had gone on for 45 minutes by then, and the music was insanely loud. I need to preserve my voice.

I’m speaking in church tomorrow, you see.

Well, it’s that time of year that I lose an hour of sleep without even trying or thinking about it. I hope y’all remember to set your clocks forward one hour.