I recently told a story at Carapace about my first kiss, which happened on New Year’s Eve when I was sixteen with my then boyfriend. I dated this guy for a few months, but we only kissed that one time. I enjoyed the kiss immensely; however, he later described it as “not really” a kiss.
I enjoyed writing and telling this story because I am intrigued by the two themes that emerged from it: (1) how two people can have very different interpretations of the same experience and (2) how adolescents are generally pretty bad at communicating in relationships.
Reviewing my journals from this period of my life, I came across another detail of our relationship that I will add to the story the next time I tell it. Namely, after we had kissed and after he had described it as “not really” a kiss, this boyfriend gave me a Valentine’s Day card with several frogs on it whose message read, “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”
I’m pretty sure that was his way of communicating that he was sorry that he’d never really liked me in a romantic way and that he hoped I had better luck in the future.