Okay, I’ve got to plunge into the anecdotal archives to retrieve one of the arguably funniest things that has ever happened to me. Funny because of how it happened, but maybe more funny because it was my first kiss. Don’t worry – it’s rated way G, so you can read on if you are wondering.
It all started freshman year of college. I was bright with assuming promise of a new life in a new town with new friends. Newly independent and absolutely basking in my freedom, I quickly made friends with Meghan, who was having a slightly less joyful transition. I realize now that I rushed at the opportunity to feel needed and lavished all of my home-grown Iowa loving onto her hurting spirit. We were late to a few orientation events as I listened to her sad stories, but when I asked what her favorite movie was and she responded tearfully, “The Newsies,” well, let’s just say we become attached. Some of our other friends that year thought it unhealthy, but we were lost in the wonder of a new friendship – I’ll never forget when after about a month Meghan turned to me in her room and said, “I want to know everything about you.” I was a little thrown off by the bold proclamation, but it didn’t stop me from surprising my newfound kindred spirit every chance I got.
Meghan wasn’t one to wake up early, but I was up and moving hours before she’d hit snooze the first time. I was anxious to prove my discipline and dedication, so I would leave crafts, verses, and eventually breakfast on her desk to welcome her into the new day. At first it was just muffins or bagels, but then I started thinking she would benefit from a hot meal, so would you believe I snuck an omelette out of the cafeteria and placed it carefully on a napkin next to her chemistry book?
Well, apparently my antics had not only endeared her poor soul, but also that of her family. They were worried about the mournful child they’d left on Hope College’s doorstep and were apparently grateful that someone had gone to the trouble to make sure she was eating breakfast (It really wasn’t that hard – the cafeteria did most of the work). I grew to love her family from the stories, but because her grandparents lived so close we would also go visit them on occasion.
I fell in love with them the first time I met them. Her grandpa admired my farm heritage (I truly think that is something I’ll end up ‘milking for all it’s worth’ in my life!) and her grandma was a sweet soul that never failed to bring a smile. I instantly knew I was welcome and accepted as part of the fold and spent four years grateful for that connection. But this story is really about the second time I met Ken and Barbi (because, of course those really were their names).
Eager to chat and laugh with the family on a particular afternoon, we walked up the deck and Meghan pulled the slider open. She stepped in first and there were excited (always loud) greetings all around, and I followed her into the dining room area. Before I knew what was happening Barbi was reaching for an embrace that ended all wrong.
I know some families have different ways of showing love and I understand we don’t all have to be the same. What I wasn’t ready for was the crossing-over. See, apparently my family doesn’t share some of the traditions that Meghan’s family has and that’s really okay, but when Mrs. DeWitt went in for a smack right on my lips I was slightly confused. Actually, I didn’t know what to do – so I didn’t do anything. Her love met its mark on my stunned lips and I had officially experienced my first-ever kiss.
If I had just turned my cheek ever so slightly things would have turned out differently. But in my stunned confusion, Barbi DeWitt planted her well-meaning affection right on my face!
I’m sure not many can say that their first kiss was their best friend’s grandma. But, I can and whether that makes me lame or hilarious, it is what it is.