That magic moment? Hardly

It happens at some point during our pre-teen lives. Some time beyond the lower-school hallways, beyond the frequent warnings that the opposite sex has cooties and the teasing that any nine-year-old is susceptible to as a repercussion of having a crush most of us are drawn into the hype over the supposedly glorious “first kiss.”

Given the nonexistence of a male population within the Convent of the Sacred Heart community, the mere mention of boys seems to instantly grasp the attention of the average student over the age of 11. Because of that, it’s easy to get secretly, or even not-so-secretly, swept up in anticipation for your first kiss.

Upon entering middle school, the anticipation became suddenly instilled in me. Enlightened perhaps by older friends and relatives or maybe one too many chick-flicks, my sixth-grade friends and I giddily looked forward to and yet equally dreaded, with a sort of childish unease, what is supposed to be a magical moment when, somehow, we would transition from the idea that lips touching lips is gross to the idea that said interaction could actually be potentially enjoyable.

After years of eager build-up, my first kiss finally took place in the eighth grade. The so-called magical moment, however, did not. Although I look back on it fondly, it was the first after all, the peck was far from magical. On the contrary, it was awkwardly planned and the meeting place was the water fountain at my previous co-ed school. No sparks flew, no angels sang.

Frankly, there was nothing glorious about those 1.5 seconds.

Almost all of the first kiss stories I have heard since seem to resemble mine in their disappointment given the level of expectation we brought to the moment. One involved a boy and girl sitting on opposite ends of a couch, meeting in the middle for the brief smooch, and promptly returning to their respective ends afterwards without a word being exchanged.

Thus, despite what we were told beforehand, and despite the fairytale-esque image we conceive in our naïve imaginations, first kisses are not often what they are cracked up to be.

They are generally uncomfortable and unromantic and confusing, due to lack of experience in making contact with another person’s saliva on such a personal level.

So why is the first kiss so highly embellished, magnified to be such a big deal? I am not trying to demean anyone’s first kiss. I’m sure there have been some good ones in the history of osculation (look it up in the dictionary, it means “the act of kissing”).

And no matter how awkward it might have been, it is not easily forgotten. We hold a soft spot for our first kiss in our memories because, to be honest, it is a pretty momentous event in our young social lives. But can we now conclude that the first kiss is a touch overrated? I’m not convinced it deserves such stereotypical promotion as it currently collects.

This is something I’d like to impart to anyone who has yet to have their first kiss: Don’t be discouraged if the magic and the glory seems absent. Lower your expectations and the pressure you may feel over it. Your first kiss, whether your worst or your best kiss, is a kiss nonetheless, and will not likely be your last.

 

Jane Gerstner is a junior at the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

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