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How To Kiss With Confidence

Last night, as I drove Juliette to her art class she asked me a question that brought back a most paralyzing memory: “When was your first kiss?”

So, I end up telling her this story about how when I was 14-years-old and as pure as the, well – you know – I ordered this book, How To Kiss With Confidence. I saw it advertised in the back of a 1982 issue of ‘Teen Magazine. I still remember putting a $5 bill in the mail with a hand-written note requesting my copy.

A few weeks later, the little book arrived in a plain white envelope. It’s good thing I was a latchkey kid and got the mail before my parents. How To Kiss With Confidence was not something I particularly wanted my dad to know I was reading. Things are much easier, albeit more dangerous, for teens today. All you have to do is use your favorite search engine to search for tips on how to kiss like a pro!

First Kiss

So, I read this book 300 times before I actually had my first kiss, which was during a rehearsal for the musical The Boyfriend. I played the lead, Polly Browne and my pirouette-boyfriend had to kiss me. His real name was “Jeff”, and he was enormously talented. He was the quarterback of the football team, voted best looking of his senior class, and I absolutely dreaded the scene every single time I had to go through it. DR-EEEEEAAAAADED it. But, the worst thing of all was having my first real kiss be a big fakeroo. I wasn’t even being myself – AND the boy didn’t have to buy me dinner or open the door for me.

Back to my conversation with Juliette.

I decided this was a good time to check in with her about the little boy who had a crush on her earlier in the year. You remember – the one whose mom died of cancer last year.

“He wrote a love song for me,” Juliette said. “He sang it in front of the entire choir.”

Now, that is ONE COOL BOY.

So, I tell her to never, ever date, let alone marry a man, who is not willing to publicly declare his affection for her – be it to the school choir, his mother, his best friend or so on. I tell her that anyone deserving of HER affection should be willing to take the risk of looking like a complete and utter fool in the process of pursuing her. Such a man might actually love her.

I always have that stupid movie with Michael Keaton going over in my head. You know, the one where he’s dying and he videotapes himself shaving his beard so his son will know how it’s done? I can’t watch stuff like that. I’ve never seen it, I’ve just heard about it. And, I don’t watch movies with titles like, “Dying Young.” I am impressionable, with a wild imagination. I didn’t even have to SEE that Keaton movie and it’s embedded itself in my head like a YouTube video embedded in a blog post.

So, there is always this shadowy question looming in moments like this. What if I die before I tell her everything she needs to know? I seize the moments as they come and get a pap smear and breast exam once a year. Besides, cancer has kind of been on my mind lately. In fact, two nights ago, as I was making biscuits, I was certain to tell her exactly how to make buttermilk if you don’t have any (1 Tablespoon Vinegar to 1 cup of milk), and also gave her a lesson in how to knead dough.

“I can’t wait to be a mommy,” she said.

“It’s wonderful,” I told her.

Later that night, she packed the little ones’ lunches for Mother’s Day Out. Honestly, women, little and big, rock.

How To Kiss With Confidence

Finally, I tell Juliette – you don’t need that silly How To Kiss With Confidence book. DO-NOT-NEED-IT. Dating can be a disastrous method for finding a mate, and I truly believe a girl should save as many of her kisses as possible. If she freely gives them all away, who will prize them? Having said that, I saved all my kisses and I still got divorced. Sometimes, we pray, and the tumor is benign. Sometimes, we pray, and the saint loses his head. It’s just the way it goes. We pray not to get answers, but to know God. I think. That’s what a Greek scholar told me once and I believed him.

Choosing God’s Best

But, back to kissing. Statistics actually prove arranged marriages are happier and more successful than marriages that begin with a romantic kiss and bla, bla, bla. I’m not saying I advocate for arranged marriages, but I am saying, girls and women have alternatives to dating. All of my ideas about this come from this book, Choosing God’s Best, by Don Raunkiar. You can buy it from Amazon for less than $4 and I highly recommend it if you have a daughter who is coming of age. If you can’t afford a copy, I will loan you mine. Seriously.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Ragamuffin Gal

    I really do love this post. As I was reading I could acturally feels the pangs of what it was like to be anticipating that first end all, time and heart stopping moment of a first kiss. And I remember reading about it in all the teen mags too. (and I cannot believe how far those same magazines have advanced and moved on to so much more than first kisses) You are a very wise mother and your children are so fortunate. Thanks for the peek into your thoughts!

  2. Steph

    Oh my, that book! Hysterical!

    But a lovely post. It sounds like you have a beautiful relationship with your daughter, and I love the way your mind works.

  3. JenX67

    @lisanewton – You have a nice blog. That salad looked yumm-o. I do think friends for a long time is what I have in mind. It builds a foundation!

  4. JenX67

    @Tyler and Re Re – I don’t think I paid enough attention to my mom – if I had, I’d be able to do embroidery and quilt and paint and so on. I never asked ?s as a kid. Mine are making up for it. Ha! xoxo!!!

  5. ReRe

    i’m so glad you told her how to knead dough and make buttermilk. keep that up. make sure she really listens. i kick myself that i didn’t take more time to pay attention when my mom was trying to teach me how to do something — which is why i just googled “how long does a turkey take to cook.” hahaha

  6. LisaNewton

    As the mother of 4 daughters ranging in age from 18-24, I’m proud that if they have boyfriends (one doesn’t), the boyfriends were friends first, then romantic interests. And when I say friends, I mean friends for months or years before any romantic involvement.

    Dating might not work, but friendship does…………:)

  7. Tyler

    Thanks for reminding me that every day things like how to make buttermilk are things that are important for me to stop and teach my girls. For helping me to remember to slow down and treat every question as it’s the most important one in the world.

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