Feb 17, 2011

Falling in Love: First Kiss

 My lab assistant and I spent a lot of our spare time together that week, working and talking, but now everything was different. We weren’t just friends anymore. It was time to take our relationship to a new level. I hate to admit that I had some previous kissing experience and I was pretty sure that he didn’t have any. That said, I tried to make it easy for him to make a move. He just didn’t seem to get the hint.

Exactly one week from our first date, we sat together in my car in the library parking lot.  We'd spent several nights there together until they dimmed the lights and my lab assistant insisted we had to leave.  It was December 10th and cold. We were snuggling and talking about finals and how glad we would be when school was finally out for the Christmas break. Remember this was a small town? At some point my mom showed up. It was way before the days of cell phones and when I didn’t answer the office phone she came looking for me. It didn’t help that we had fogged up the windows. Unfortunately it was from warm breath and cold air, nothing else. We chatted for a few minutes, then I promised to come home soon and she left us alone.

This seemed to be as good a time as any for expecting that first kiss. I knew he was nervous so I moved a little closer to make it easier. The tension was as thick as the ice in the parking lot. It seemed to be taking forever for him to make up his mind. Finally his lips touched mine. It was sweet and gentle and scared, but quickly took on a mind of its own. I’m not even sure why, but to diffuse the moment, I blew a breath of air into his mouth! His eyes popped open and he pulled away. I don’t think this was what he had imagined it would be like. Then to make matters worse, I started laughing! He looked confused for a moment; then he started laughing too.

It was a long cold winter that year in our small town. I told you before that he didn't have a car and I did, but I drove one that belonged to my parents. That meant I didn’t always have open access to transportation. It was only three or four blocks to the college from my home, so sometimes I would have to walk to the library or to class depending on the situation. One night a week or so later, before there were very many more kisses (I don’t know, maybe he was scared to try again after the reception he got the first time), he was walking me home.

There had been a storm earlier in the day and the plows had come through, making huge piles of snow along the sides of the road. At each corner these piles were even bigger, some as high as 10 or 12 feet.  We were laughing and talking and tossing little snowballs at each other. I had on boots, so I was walking in the deeper snow. Suddenly I climbed up one of these higher piles and let my boots sink in. The snow quickly swallowed me up to my knees. "I’m stuck!" I called out playfully.

He hurried over, the concern clearly showing on his face. "What do you want me to do?" he asked, oblivious to my flirting techniques. "Get me out?" I suggested. He carefully stepped over the snow and gallantly reached out a hand to help me. This was not my plan. I wanted big strong arms around me and maybe more, so I played dumb. "I don’t think that’s going to work," I said. He inched closer. "I’m really stuck," I reminded him. Finally he seemed to get the message. He put his arms around me and pulled me to safety.

It was several years later before he understood that I could have gotten out of that snow bank all by myself. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you a little more about our stormy courtship and his declaration of love.