I have noticed lately that Facebook has been asking me a lot of questions. They say they wanted to help people get to know me. I find that humorous because I totally overshare on Facebook.
Most of the questions are benign.
In case anyone was wondering-
1) Too many to quote but anything from Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You and Mean Girls will do the job.
2) Hoodies and mugs from places I travel, especially Starbucks You Are Here mugs
And then Facebook thinks I should tell people about my first kiss.
Excuse me, Facebook? That’s kind of personal, eh?
My first kiss was not exciting but this question felt like it crosses so many boundaries.
After I was done being put off by the nosiness of Facebook, I decided to share my first kiss on my WordPress blog. Because WordPress didn’t press me for the information. (See what I did there? The pun was intended).
But yeah, my first kiss.
I was a late bloomer. I was a shy teenager, at least when it came to boys. I had very little confidence. I did not have a boyfriend in high school or most of college. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and give my younger self a pep talk to increase her confidence. But she will eventually get some confidence, though it will take years.
Anyway, it was a Saturday night during my sophomore year in college, meaning it was 1998 or 1999. I was wearing overalls that I bought at Wal-Mart and my hair was in a ponytail as I let a friend do a box perm (also bought at Wal-Mart) on my hair in the dorm bathroom and all it did was create a frizzy mess. So my hair was in a ponytail that whole year.
I wish I had a picture.
You may be reading this and cringing. Or laughing. Trust me, I am cringing and laughing as I write this. I wish I could back in time and along with the pep talk, I wish I could give my younger self a lesson in style. Because 20 year old Kerry has her assets at their best, she just didn’t know how to accentuate that. And that there are more options of places to shop at than Wal-Mart.
Where was I?
Saturday night, sophomore year, 1998-1999ish, overalls and bad perm. I was chatting with a guy named Dave in my friends dorm room. I don’t remember his last name (or maybe I never knew it) but it began with an “S”. He was a friend of a friend and he didn’t attend college.
We were alone. Maybe it was 1999 and everyone else was just partying like it was 1999. It was one of the few nights that someone did not pull the fire alarm which usually happened at least four times a week in my dorm. I spent many Maine winter nights outside freezing while waiting for the fire department to let us back in. Eventually we learned to just go to Dunkin Donuts when this happened.
The caffeine never bothered me anyway.
This Dave guy and I were talking.
I remembered we had identical cars. We both drove green 1998 Saturns.
(I miss Mean Green. Drove that car for 10 years and 240,000 miles. Even took it out to Indiana at around 219,000 miles when it was leaking some sort of fluid. Probably not the best idea but the car got me back to Maine before she was retired.)
Where was I? I keep getting distracted.
Saturday night, sophomore year, 1998-1999ish, overalls and bad perm, etc.
So this Dave guy that drives an identical Saturn as me and doesn’t go to my school kissed me.
It was not exciting. Actually it was very anti-climatic.
I saw where this was going. I did not wait a long time to just be some hookup on campus.
A voice inside me told me that I at least deserved dinner. Heck, I probably would have settled for one of those stir-fry sandwiches made by Scary Gary from the Crack Shack. (Okay, it was called the Snack Shack and there was a guy named Gary and everyone, and I mean everyone, called him Scary Gary. I may have called him that to his face when I was drunk one night. I am sure I wasn’t the first. Or the last.)
I wish I had a picture. I wish smartphones and Facebook existed back then.
But maybe 20 year old Kerry was more of a bad-ass than I give her credit for. She was not desperate for male attention. After all these years of thinking she had low self esteem, maybe she knew her worth all along.
I told this Dave guy that we needed to get to know each other better. Dave verbalized his understanding.
He had nowhere to sleep that night. I made him sleep on the floor on the flip and f*ck. (Which is now in my old bedroom at my parents house).
He snored. Loudly.
Dave and I never went on a date. I continued to wear those overalls and I never got another perm. I didn’t kiss another guy until my senior year in college. And that guy did think I deserved dinner. And I liked Pizza Hut Pan Pizza. And then we saw 101 Dalmations.
Okay, I still do like Pizza Hut Pan Pizza…occasionally. But now I would not be impressed if I was taken there on a first date.
Eventually that relationship ran it’s course. It was evident that this guy did not ever want to get married.
Looking back, I can see a lot of red flags and problems but my younger self had to learn for herself.
A little over two and a half years into that relationship, 24 year old Kerry listened to a voice that told her that she deserved to be happy.
So she broke it off.
Oh and if you are wondering, their first kiss was not exciting either. No fireworks in that relationship.
I began to get involved in politics and met many new friends. One friend was like an older brother to me. One time we were driving to a political event and this friend was trying to give me dating pointers. One thing he said to me was that if a guy took me to a chain restaurant on the first date, then there shouldn’t be a second date.
At first my friend’s advice seemed harsh but then it made sense to 27ish-year old Kerry. I mean, her college boyfriend took her to Pizza Hut and there was zero passion in this relationship.
It took several years and several frogs but I did eventually meet a special man. A man who thought I was worth steak dinner. And fancy Italian dinner. And quality dinner of many different cuisines.
The relationship with that man had so much passion. No anti-climatic kisses.
For eight years, that man loved me. We were married for four of those years.
For eight years, that man worked so hard to give me, and later our daughter, the world.
It took awhile to find him and I had to kiss some frogs but I am thankful for the love he showed me. For thinking I was worth it. For setting the bar high on any man that might come after him.
I don’t know what the future holds but at least, thanks to Bryon, I can go into it knowing what love is and not to settle for anything less than what I deserve.