There's the very first kiss ever in your life, and then there's the first kiss as you start other relationships. Remember?
Now I'm not talking familial kisses but that very first kiss at the start of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. And more specifically, the very first kiss from your very first boyfriend that you will remember your entire life...for better or for worse.
You are proabably wondering why I started thinking about this. Well, Sunday was Father's Day and my dear Dad has been gone for 27 years. He died on Father's Day in 1986.
Now I use that day every year to think about all the good times and his silly jokes, his singing along with Perry Como and Don Ho records, and how he always called me "Kimberly" most of the time, not just when I was in trouble.
I was also the oldest of his three girls and if you think he wasn't protective as I reached dating age, well, I will tell you, he was.
Now, I had my first date when I was 17 with a boy that I met in a high school play production. Attending an all-girls school, we "imported" boys from St. Ignatius and St. Joseph's and Cathedral Latin for our annual spring musical.
That's when I met that St. Ignatius boy who would ask me out on my very first date. We got to know each other during rehearsals and I was struck by his smile, his laugh and his intelligence.
He also had a beautiful singing voice, something that I do not possess. (I had a non-singing role in the musical, as always).
Now, our first date was to midnight Mass on Easter Saturday at the Carmelite Monastery on Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, then straight back to my house for "breakfast."
I mean, how can you not like a boy who takes your daughter to church for a first date?
My father was wary but willing to approve if we followed the rules, I was in by curfew and they always knew where I was going and who I would be with. (This was long before the days of cell phones.)
Anyway, as he was leaving that morning about 2 a.m., the porch light was shining brightly overhead -- I suspected my father had put a 200-watt bulb in it the day before -- as I stepped outside into the warm April night to say goodbye.
That's when he smiled, gently pulled me towards him and gave me a kiss. Just one kiss and then he walked to his car and drove off.
It was my first kiss and it was perfect.
We dated for sometime after that, and each time we kissed, it was always perfect. Oh course, my Dad took to blinking the front porch light on and off quickly when we lingered too long there saying goodnight.
Now, had I used that "barometer" to judge whom to marry, I would not have married the wrong man. Every man I kissed since him has never quite measured up -- and some have been downright disappointing.
Now, remember the scene in "27 Dresses" where Katherine Heigl's character finally kisses her crush/boss and she says it just doesn't feel right?
That's because kissing, apparently, is the ultimate "mate assessment tool" that allows us to find a partner who we are genetically compatible with.
That's why first kisses can make or break a relationship.
Did you know the average person spends approximately 20,160 minutes of his/her life kissing? Did you know that kissing creates feel-good chemicals in our bodies that help us feel relaxed?
My Dad said in later years that he always liked my first boyfriend, despite the nervousness he felt whenever I was out on a date.
Now here's something I never told my Dad about that boy -- and maybe, if he reads this, that boyfriend will learn something I never told him before.
What I noticed about that boy the very first time I saw him was his smile. It was exactly like my Dad's, and that's a compliment.
Now, all I wonder about is: who will be the last one to kiss me?