Sometimes someone is obvious. You take one look at them, and you know just who they are, what they will be to you, how you will handle them. That’s pretty rare, I think. Mostly we misjudge. Or, we are hopeful, so we lean toward an opinion. We make the call on how we respond based on the outcome we want, not really what we expect. And, sometimes, we just don’t get what we expect at all.
Time and again I have met a guy, thought he was amazing, and then discovered through a kiss that there was no real substantial attraction. Conversely, I have met lots of guys that I wasn’t so sure about, and then have been blown away when they just kiss me into oblivion. This is making me sound like I have done a lot of kissing, which I think maybe I have. But, I also think there is a real lesson here. One that I started learning early on, to which I probably should have paid better attention.
One summer, when I was maybe sixteen, I went to a party on Indian Rocks Beach. I didn’t know very many people there. I started talking to these two guys, they were best friends. One was your typical good-looking jock type, the other was your typical cute but dorky band geek type. They were both chatting me up, and I was sixteen, so I was leaning toward the jock. At some point the jock stepped away, band guy and I started to hit it off, and even though I didn’t think I was into him, I let him kiss me. It was a fantastic kiss. Probably the best kiss I had come across at that point. I was floored.
Then his friend walked back up, the jock, and sort of demanded to know what was going on. Apparently they had spoken about me and he was supposed to have some kind of dibs. Band guy backed down, but I said that I was no longer interested in the jock. I said that band guy was a great kisser and I was good hanging with him for the rest of the night. The jock got upset, grabbed me by the waist, and planted one on me. It was not a good kiss, not impressive at all, and I said as much. He demanded that we have some kind of back-to-back rematch. I was to kiss band guy again, then kiss the jock immediately afterward. Of course, I said yes. Again, I was sixteen, and now we had an audience. Good times.
Band guy won out hands down, and I don’t think he was even trying that hard. Looking back now, I’m sure it was just good chemistry. It got band guy to second base that night. It probably also changed the dynamic of his friendship with the jock to a certain degree. What I got out of that night, besides a big ol’ boost to the ego, was a glimpse at how unexpectedly lovely something can turn out to be.
So, now, when I am out on a first date (and there have been a lot of those recently), I almost always give in to the kiss at the end (or in the middle — depending). There is the exception. There is always the possibility that someone is such a jackass that I will avoid the kiss entirely (I mean, if you kiss him and have good chemistry, then you are in trouble. You are liable to start forgiving flaws and making excuses.)
Really, though, the best first date kisses are the kind that just reaffirm what you think you already know. Sometimes, if rarely, the date goes fabulously well. The guy is as great as you thought he might be. You talk for five and a half hours. You can’t believe that you both have the same favorite noodle shop in NYC (it’s like, the biggest city ever). You can’t wait for the kiss, though you feel like you have been waiting an eternity, and then it finally (finally) shows up and melts you into liquid girl. Sometimes, if very rarely, when you are so hopeful, things are actually even better than obvious.