COLUMN: The first kiss


Since February is officially the month of love, I’ve decided to put this on paper. Just to be safe, I’ve covered my bases by having my wife sign a notarized document giving me permission to write this story. So, if I come up missing, or you drive by my house and see all of my stuff in a pile by the mailbox, you will know that she chose not to abide by our legal agreement.  

I’m going to tell you about my first kiss. This wasn’t a good-night kiss from mommy, or a peck on your cheek from your Aunt Eileen; I’m talking about a real face-to-face, lip-to-lip, kiss from a girl my own age. People may forget their spouse’s birthday, anniversaries or the last four digits of their Social Security number, but they never forget their first kiss.  

Some of the details of mine are a bit fuzzy; that’s what time will do. However, many of the events of that day are still clear in my mind, so it obviously had a big impact on me.  

For a 12-year-old boy, there’s no better place for a first kiss than the woods. That’s where it happened for me.  There was a big rope swing in a forest not too far from my house where kids would gather regularly.  On this particular day, Marcia was there – a cute, sweet girl in my sixth-grade class. Marcia was already 13, and had a couple of boyfriends, so she was several exits past me on the make-out highway.    

I don’t remember how or why we ended up alone in a clearing above the path. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe she planned it, but for whatever reason, Marcia decided it was time to administer a teachable moment to a naive student.  

Once she pulled me toward her, I was: 

  1. surprised 
  1. scared to death 
  1. excited  
  1. all of the above 

The correct answer of course, is d.   

Initially, I had no idea this was going to happen. Marcia was cute, popular, and as I was about to learn, quite worldly. I thought she was out of my league. When I realized what was about to occur, a jolt of fear shot through me. “What if I do it wrong?” I thought.  “What if I turn my head the wrong way? I haven’t brushed my teeth!” From what I’ve heard from some of my friends (both male and female), this is a pretty common reaction.  

I was stunned when the lesson actually began. Our lips met, and it felt like an electric shock went all the way to my toes. Then whoa! She began doing something that was totally unexpected. I wasn’t sure what she was doing, but it was nothing like anyone had ever done to me before.  I hadn’t even talked about this kind of thing with my buddies.  Not surprisingly, Marcia was cool and confident. I went along with her as best I could, not knowing whether to bite, cough or gag.  

Within a couple of seconds, it was over. Maybe I pulled back because I was still scared.  She gave me a warm smile as I stood there trying to process what happened.  It was like Yoda had just taught young Skywalker a valuable life lesson. “Kiss you, I did,” she could have said.   

We returned to the swing, where for the next 30 minutes my heart pounded so hard that I thought my chest might burst. Marcia had forever changed my life.   

I saw Marcia several years ago when she came to see me perform at The Comedy Club. It was a grand reunion. We hugged and laughed, especially when I said, “It’s so good to see the first girl I ever kissed.”   

I don’t think her husband minded.   

I’ll paraphrase Jay Leno, who, when asked how it felt to be on “The Tonight Show” for the first time, said, “It’s like the first time you ever kissed someone. It happened fast, and you weren’t very good at it, but you knew you wanted to do it again.”  

Perfect analogy, Jay. And you never forget it.  

I’ve just had a terrible realization: my oldest granddaughter will be 12 next year.  And just the thought of her first kiss makes my heart pound so hard it feels like my chest is gonna burst – again.    

Joe Hobby is a comedian from Alabama who wrote for Jay Leno for many years. Find more of Joe’s stories on his blog: Follow him on Facebook at Joe Hobby Comedian- Writer.