Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Kiss Isn't Always Just a Kiss

In my previous entry, I promised to tell Ed's version of our first kiss. I'm a little reluctant to do so because it will ruin my reputation as a good girl and an arbiter of morality and... *snort*. Yeah, okay. Who am I kidding? However, keep in mind that at the time, I was very inexperienced and innocent. My dating/kissing experiences before that time consisted of 1) an older boy of 16 who tried to ram his tongue down my throat at a church sleep-over for the youth group when I was 13, 2) the editor of the school newspaper, a senior and, therefore, impressive to a sophomore, who invited me to a movie and attempted to climb on top of me in his car right in front of the theater, and 3) another senior from a nearby school who took me to see The Tamarind Seed and kept trying to stick his tongue in my ear and his hand up my shirt when all I wanted to do was sigh dreamily over Omar Sharif. So I was dubious about this kissing thang and a little wary, especially of Older Men.

Now, I didn't remember this story AT ALL, but one of the things I adore about Ed is that he remembers exactly what I was like as a teenager. Talking to him after all these years has been like getting little pieces of my history back. All right, I've delayed long enough. Our first kiss went like this: We'd skated for a while and were sitting and talking. Ed claims I moved in for a kiss, but he'd recently gotten over mono and was worried about passing it on to me, so he pulled back. Yes, the dreaded Pull-Back. We talked a little more, and I repeated the move, with the same result. (I have to state, for the record, that I'm shocked--shocked, I tell you--that I made not one move, but TWO.) Ed was worried about what I was might be thinking about his avoidance tactics, so he confessed that he'd had mono. Without missing a beat or batting an eyelash, I blurted out, "Oh, it's all right. I've already had mono."

TOTAL LIE. I'm afraid that I was not only a complete and utter hussy, but also a little liar lips. Hey, it worked, though. Ed wasted no time in testing my theory on immunity and repeating the test several times to ensure valid results. Scientific method, you know. I changed my opinion about kissing and decided it was my new favorite activity. That experience also showed me that older men could be a lot of fun, especially when they had a little finesse about the whole thing.

Of course, I was mortified when Ed told me this story. I'm still bewildered by my forwardness. I'd NEVER acted that way before, and I don't think I've ever been that forward with anyone else since. Ed says he loved it, though, and I have to say, he did respond rather favorably to it. Even now, I'm a lot bolder with him than I usually am with men. I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with trust. Well, and people are more likely to repeat behavior when they get a positive reaction, and Ed's downright delighted when I'm forward.

At 15, I thought he was the best kisser in the world, and over the years, other kisses never quite measured up to my memories of him. I kept telling myself that was silly, and I was remembering him through a romantic haze and all that. I tried to be sensible and realistic. When we were making plans to meet in Savannah, I couldn't help thinking about it, however. The entire, seemingly endless day of flying to Charlotte, waiting through a two-hour layover, and finally flying to Savannah, I kept wondering whether I'd feel the same way when he kissed me again. When he finally did, all the wondering was over: I did feel the same way. After thirty-five years, that seems like a miracle to me. I wish I could explain it better, but the best I can do is to say his lips fit mine perfectly, and I'd be happy to never kiss any lips but those for the rest of my life.

I'd planned to write more about Daniel's reaction to all this and what the current situation with Kevin's living arrangements are and try to answer questions some people had in the comments, but clearly I have kissing on the brain tonight, and that's about all I can focus on. I'll get to the practical stuff in the next entry. Oh, and I'm also thinking I should change the name of this blog to reflect the apparent loss of my sarcasm. What can I say? I'm too happy to be cynical! How about "Finding Love at Fifty: All Sentimental Hoo-ha, All the Time"? OK, maybe I haven't completely lost my edge. :)

What I've Been Up To: Part II

Now for the happy part: I'm in love, and I'm moving to Georgia. It's a rather long story, but I'll try to condense it for you. In March, I had a sudden urge to look up my first boyfriend, Ed. I dated him in 1975 and 1976, when I was 15 and 16. For those of you who can do math, that was thirty-five years ago. Yes, I yam old. While we were dating, he went into the Army; we wrote lots of letters because, you know, no e-mail back then (gasp). Eventually, we drifted apart, but there was never a definitive break-up, no bitterness, no hard feelings. As a matter of fact, I thought of him often and fondly. Every time I saw a guy with strawberry-blond hair wearing a plaid flannel shirt, my heart beat a little faster.

I met him at a roller-skating rink in February, 1975, when he asked me out for a moonlight skate. He was one of the cool guys who could actually skate backward, and my little 15-year-old self was thrilled. Hard as it might be to believe, I was rather shy back then, but I had no trouble talking to him. Later, we wound up making out in his car in the parking lot, until my mommy came to pick me up. Talk about humiliating! I was sure I'd never hear from him again because he was cool and 19, but I did. I'd kissed a few boys before that, and had a few dates with guys who did an excellent impression of an octopus, but I'd never felt like that before. The minute he put his arms around me, I felt as though I'd come home, after being away for a long, long time. As new-agey as it sounds, I even felt as though I recognized him. (Ed has a slightly different memory of our first kiss that I'll write about in my next entry; I'm a little embarrassed because it shows what a complete hussy I was with him.)

Memories can be deceiving, I know, but I never did find anyone who had all the qualities I loved in Ed. Some had his intelligence, some had his wit, some had his initiative, some had his playfulness, but none were Ed. Quite simply, I never fell out of love with him. Near the end of my marriage, when things got so bad, thinking about him gave me the guts I needed to tell The Ex "I'm done." So one night back in March, I tried to look him up on Google. The only link that had possibilities was at Classmates.com, and I left a message with my e-mail address for him there. I wasn't sure he'd remember me, however.

He did. Two days later, I got an e-mail, starting with "Lisa, Lisa, Lisa," which is the way he used to start so many of his letters to me. Even better, there were no misspellings, no mistakes in grammar or punctuation. Most of you will realize how much that meant to me. I tell you, my heart fluttered with joy. Hey, I have my priorities! We started e-mailing regularly, once a day at first, but soon two or three times a day. I think we made an honest attempt at keeping things friendly, but it was clear pretty fast that we both still had feelings for each other. After a few weeks, we talked on the phone, and although I was so nervous I could hardly breathe, I calmed down right away when I heard his voice. It was a little deeper than I remembered, but in so many ways, he still sounded like the Ed I remembered. My Ed. I don't normally like chatting on the phone very much, but with him, I could talk easily and, apparently, forever. Two hours on the phone with him seemed like only minutes.

Before I make you all hurl by waxing eloquent about how wonderful he is (see how considerate I am? but he is wonderful and sweet and sexy), I'll fast-forward to June 18, when I met him in Savannah for a four-day weekend. I was taking a chance because I'm not immune to the allure of all the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil atmosphere; Savannah's a beautiful city and one of the most romantic places I've ever seen. I could have been in Peoria and still been as happy, however.

A few years ago, I read that when you see people you knew many years ago, after the initial surprise of realizing they've gotten older, you stop seeing the changes and see the people you used to know. Whoever wrote that was describing a high school reunion, but I had the same reaction. Of course Ed's older. I do know that, and hell, I'VE certainly gotten older. None of it mattered. I still saw my Ed: my first love, the man I never got over. In all the important ways, he's the same, and the ways in which he's changed are for the better. He still makes me feel loved and cherished in a way no one else has ever come close to.

I considered writing about how Ed is an improvement over Kevin, but that's not the real (or only) reason I love him. It's enough to say that they're so different they could be entirely separate species. Making occasional comparisons is inevitable and natural, but I'd rather not focus on them. Yes, I believe Ed's a better person, but more important, he's better for me.

To make a long story short (or as short as I'm capable of, being a long-winded girl), I'm moving to Georgia soon, where he lives now. No, he can't move here because he has a J-O-B, unlike some men who shall rename nameless. Ahem. My job's extremely portable. Yep, I'm going to be rash and impulsive and imprudent and all that, but it feels more right than anything I've ever done. Despite the frustration and annoyance and occasional fear going on while Kevin's here, I'm happier and more hopeful than I've been in what seems like forever. About damn time, huh?