Thursday, May 24, 2007

First Kisses Part 2

Looking back on these stories, it's hard for me to believe, but my mother actually let me run wild all over Ocean City, Maryland with no supervision whatsoever, going exactly where I pleased when I pleased although I was only 13 years old. It's a miracle I wasn't kidnapped by Hell Angel's and buried on Assateague Island never to be found.

Most of this running wild was courtesy of Ocean City's free bus which ran in a straight line up and down the strip of shore front that made up the mid-atlantic summer playground. It picked us up right by our apartment and dropped us off at the boardwalk or at any shopping plaza, miniature golf course or much older boy's house, in between.

Katrina and I took the bus to the boardwalk to find a boy for me to kiss. On the way Katrina opened her duffle bag, which I had wondered why she even had in the first place, because who carries an entire duffle bag to the boardwalk?) and showed me her contraband - a half empty bottle of Riunite Peach wine. You all remember Riunite right? It's some cheap ass, fruit flavored wine. Honestly, it shouldn't even have been called wine. I don't know what the hell it was, but it came in this whoppingly huge bottle that was way bigger than a normal wine bottle and it was marketed towards women, trashy women of course, which is what Katrina totally aspired to be. The commercial had a song that went "Riunite on Ice, Riunite so nice!" I can still hear it.

Once we got to the boardwalk, Katrina and I went down to the beach to drink our half empty bottle of Riunite not on ice. I took a swig from the bottle trying to be all cool like I took swigs of cheap ass peach wine all the time and it was terrible. Katrina drank what amounted to about a glass. I had another sip.

I never drank anything in my entire life before that. I had no idea what being drunk meant or how much it took to get drunk, but I knew that Katrina wanted me to get drunk with her. The truth was, I was petrified to get drunk. I had full fledged alcoholics in my family; people who drank for breakfast and flew into rages by dinner time, destroying furniture and marriages. I knew people who lived on the street because they drank and people who chose alcohol over any semblance of a happy peaceful life, and they scared the hell out of me. I would rather have been anything than an alcoholic. I must have been an exceptionally brilliant twelve year old because even back then I realized that all of those alcoholics I knew and was related to, at some point took their first drink. It all had to start somewhere. What if that happened to me because of some nasty tasting peach flavored wine? I didn't want to take that risk.

I surmised that the purpose of drinking was to get drunk. Drunk people acted stupid, therefore the purpose of getting drunk was to act stupid. I could definitely act stupid. In fact, acting stupid was what I did better than anything else. I could have won awards for stupid behavior. In order to feign drunkeness and impress Katrina I decided to act extremely stupid. I stumbled and slurred. I laughed and said idiotic things and went up to strangers on the boardwalk and said even more idiotic things until finally, Katrina pulled me into the ticket line for the Haunted House and gave me what for.

"Stop faking like you're drunk!! It's totally annoying and you're doing a really bad job at it, so just stop. You had like two sips. You couldn't possibly be drunk!!"

I was mortified and fake sobered up really quickly. We walked past the rides in silence. Katrina was mad at me. I was really going to have to impress her.

"I'll buy you a frozen banana." I offered.

She kept up the silent treatment.

I was starving. At that very moment my mother, great grandmother and sister were gorging themselves on fried clam strips at the All U (And U) Can Eat Seafood Buffet. I couldn't believe I passed up breaded shellfish dunked in cocktail sauce for another night of this crap, but then I looked up at Katrina, the six foot tall goddess who drank wine coolers and had been fingered. She was so, so beautiful in the flourescent lights of the tee shirt shops. I wanted to be like her and I wanted it so much that I almost wished I could just kiss HER instead of some boy I had yet to meet.

A half hour passed and Katrina forgave me for acting like I was drunk, when two boys approached us. They weren't very old.

"Hey. She's never been kissed before." Katrina told them, pointing to me.

"Roy can kiss her!!" the tallest boy laughed.

Katrina took the tallest boy by the hand.

"I want to kiss YOU." she said.

I stood there looking at the planks in the boardwalk praying to God the chainsaw man wouldn't come flying out of the Haunted House at this very inopportune moment and cause me to pee myself.

We went down to a dark area of the beach where we stood nervously milling around against the pilings that held the boardwalk up. Katrina and the tall boy started making out like experts, while the short freckled boy named Roy and I looked at each other blankly.

I bet Roy probably grew up to be fairly cute. He had pale blue eyes and freckles, with light brown hair, but while he may have grown up cute, he wasn't all that cute then. He also had a mouth full of braces.

"I don't know how to kiss!!" I cried.

"It's ok. Just stand there against that pole and I'll kiss you and you just kiss back."

I stood against the pole. He put his hands on my shoulders and started his approach, which was so horrifying that I found myself wishing the Chainsaw Man would come and chase us away. I would have just kept on running. All I could see was this big open mouth full of braces and he had apparently himself just come from the All U (And U) Can Eat Seafood Buffet, because there appeared to be some deep fried scallop bits packed in the wiring. I neglected to mention the fact that I too had braces, so instantly every urban legend I ever heard about braces locking popped into my head in vivid detail. I imagined myself attached to scallop mouth being dragged by my ear to the ER by my angry mother who would surely beat my ever loving ass when it was all over.

"I can't do this!!!" I yelled in 13 year old drama queen fashion. "I'm not ready!!"

"Do you want me to tell you I love you or something?" Roy asked.

I wanted to say "No, I just want you to brush your scallopy teeth" but I didn't.

Love wasn't my issue. I was concerned with my mother bludgeoning me to death for getting my braces locked with a boy I didn't know and then getting caught with the now mostly empty bottle of Peach Riunite.

"You can't love me, you just met me." I said in disgust.

"So, some girls want their first kiss to be really special. I get that." Roy said.

That was kind of a nice and insightful thing for a thirteen year old boy to say and I recognized that.

"I'm scared our braces will get locked." I admitted.

"That doesn't really happen."

"It could. I've heard stories."

Roy and I haggled for a long time over if and how this first kiss thing was going to go down. I give him credit. He was relentless and didn't give up, but every time his faced moved closer to mine, I froze up and freaked out. I just couldn't kiss him.

This went on for, I kid you not, at least two hours. Katrina and the tall boy made out the whole time until she got bored and said we had to leave.

"He wanted me to put it in my mouth!" Katrina told me on the bus back home.


"Why didn't you kiss that guy?" she wondered, getting annoyed with me all over again.

"I don't know. It was just weird. And gross."

"You are such a baby."

We didn't talk for the rest of the summer. I never saw her again because her dad was stationed somewhere else and we went back to New York. I didn't get my first kiss that summer, but I vowed that 8th grade was my year.


Leonesse said...

and was it????

Hello! That just isn't nice. Ohhhh the suspense is gonna kill me. :-)

Thank you for continuing your stories!

Kore said...

I really seriously thought that you were going to kiss Katrina. Guess I was wrong.

JDogg said...

Always great to hear these background stories.

6th Floor blog said...

Wow. you're entire story's a tease! It's even entitled First Kisses and there was none!

It's like the show How I Met Your Mother(that I love) where he's recounting to his kids how he met their mother, and starts the story years before he meets her.

I'm sure you're just building up the suspense, so we'll have a really memorable time reading about your first kiss. hehe.

jennifer said...

Glad you didn't kiss the un-cute scallopy-braced 13-year-old! (Ewwww)
I'm hoping your first kiss was with someone really, really cute... oh, and cool... because that was important back then.

SkippyMom said...

I think you just wrote the summer of my thirteenth year too...Ocean City, MD included...WOW!

Great writing. Thanks for not leaving.

MP said...

You should have practiced on Katrina, that way the boys wouldn't have scared you and you would have known what a good kiss was. I was lucky my first kiss was a boy friend, we both had braces, it was spin the bottle..5th grade. Wasn't great, wasn't horrible but it was a was tough getting those feet wet...

amy said...

Cute story! I'm glad your first kiss wasn't with icky scallop mouth boy. I was kinda thinking it would be with Katrina. My first kiss was with a girl much like Katrina who I am 99% sure is now a practicing lesbian, but was a preteen uber slut back then.

BoB said...

"people who drank for breakfast and flew into rages by dinner time, destroying furniture and marriages"

this is great, you should consider writing lyrics

booda baby said...

What a wonderful story! I really like the care you took to walk through your young (and not all the inaccurate)reasoning -drunk=stupid).

Tere said...

Damn you, now I've got that Reuniti song looping in my head!!!! That commercial played every 10 minutes!

The Dippy Chick Company Blog said...

Ewww. Scallop teeth. My first kiss was with a pizza-toothed boy. It was exciting and disgusting.

SJ said...

I think everyone had that friend that tries to usher them into the "adult" world. I was spending the night at her house and she decided it was time for me to get my first kiss...with her brother!! I was so scared I couldn't think of a could excuse to back out. So I drank about 10 cups of coffee and pretended I was just way too hyper to possibly make out. They either bought it or decided I was insane. Probably the latter LOL.

Architect Critic said...

Scallop teeth. Gross. My first kiss was with a girl who had eaten some Cheetos not too long before. MMMM. Nothing like the neon-orange fake-cheese taste of Cheetos on your first girlfriend's lips.

Thanks for the wonderful story. I'm going to go brush my teeth or chew some gum now. . .

mish said...

i was hoping for a kiss w/ katrina also, but things were way different back then. Cudos for sticking to your guts.

Anonymous said...

Riunite commercial....

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