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The First Kiss Is The Weirdest

Jana: Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Congratulations on Valentine’s Day!

I’m sorry, I don’t know why I congratulated you. It was an awkward way to fill a sentiment about this holiday that people have such varied feelings about. Like, I’m sorry if today is sad for you but happy if it’s happy for you! I don’t know. Today is weird.

Catherine: TODAY IS AWFUL. Today is the day where I go out with my lady pal and we  get drunk but not so drunk that we can’t drive safely to work the next morning. It’s a bad day, guys. A BAD DAY.

Jana: Regardless of where you are romantically today, at least you’ve all at this point been kissed at least once. Right? Well, most of you I guess. Or I’m gonna say it: if I have, I bet all of you have. And I have, guys. For lots of obvious reasons (social anxiety, recurring nose warts) the first kiss didn’t come until 2002, but it came. This is the story of my Very First Kiss.

Like so many of my tales, this one takes place on a high school chorus/band trip. Let me explain a little bit about the chorus/band trip. These trips were simply weird excuses to take hordes of eager, hormonal students on a bus and let them stay in a hotel. As cover, we always did one “concert” for some poor unassuming middle school audience, but the concerts were never the point. The point was the bus ride and the hotel. They were the entire reason for anything. They were EXCITING AS FUCK.

This particular story occurs during my second chorus/band trip, in April of my sophomore year of high school. Having somehow survived the tumultuous ending of my first, kiss-less relationship the previous year, I decided to hop back on the bus and give it another whirl. Things had changed since last year: I’d started wearing eyeliner, for example, and I had a few more t-shirts from the Gap. Despite these leaps forward, I remained, as my friends lovingly put it, a lip virgin. And so I was. My lips were untouched by man or anyone but my mom, really. And I didn’t have any plans to change that – I really think that I felt pretty content with my fate, which I assumed to be no kissing until at least college and possibly age 40. I was cool with it.

So, that’s how I started the trip.

The journey was long: for some reason, we were going to Quebec. On the bus ride there, we watched Goodfellas, and when we finally arrived we went to a Hard Rock Cafe. It was all very exciting and new, and even though I didn’t drink yet, I felt something similar to an alcohol-induced thrill – there were so many cute upperclassmen and we were all staying in a hotel! My sober delirium continued when, on the first night, a bunch of the cute upperclassmen guys came to HANG OUT IN MY ROOM. See, I was rooming with a girl who was – while still a band geek like me – just cool. She’s just somebody who has it together, and isn’t scared to talk to people, and knows what’s up. I shall call her Stella. So Stella just like, invited the dudes to come hang out, and they DID. It was, in my eyes, miraculous.

During that first night, I spent some time flirting with one of these cool upperclassmen (truth: he was younger than me, because I’m so old for my grade. THE BOYS ARE ALWAYS YOUNGER THAN ME. But in this case, he appeared entirely older because he was a junior). I didn’t dare to imagine that anything would come of the flirtation, but I did sort of admit to myself that it was happening, and I went to bed elated.

Here I am on the boat cruise! I'm pretty sure I felt GREAT about my belly shirt, long jean skirt, french braids, flip-flops combo.

Here I am in Quebec! I’m pretty sure I felt GREAT about my belly shirt, long jean skirt, french braids, flip-flops combo.

Stella had also noticed the flirting, and the next day she knew what she had to do. I think we went on a boat cruise of some kind, during which she hatched her plan. Afterward, back in the hotel, she made the arrangements. It was like this:

She cleared our room.

She talked to the guy in question (we will call him MICHAEL).

She ordered me into the room. “Michael is waiting. Get in there,” she said.

I went to the bathroom in the hallway and almost puked from anxiety.

I entered the room, where Michael was, indeed, waiting for me.

The rest is a little blurry, but I know that we began by sitting side-by-side on the bed, and that he made a joke which I believe referenced Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh, although I really can’t imagine how he worked that in or why it was relevant. But whatever, I laughed – or, more likely, I choked on nervous sounds. And then it happened: he reached for my head. WE WERE KISSING.

That’s mostly what I remember. I think at one point we like, laid back, and kept kissing, but that was it. I wasn’t at ALL focused on the sensations of the kiss, because all I could think was HOLY FUCK I HAVE TO CALL MY BEST FRIEND AND TELL HER ABOUT THIS. My best friend, see, had also not yet been kissed. She and I were the last holdouts, like nervous, adolescent WWII buddies. All that mattered about the experience was sharing it with her.

I don’t know how it ended – how do makeout sessions end? I guess we just got tired. I think we joked around a little bit more, and then he left. And I RAN to the payphone booth, located in the hotel hallway, to call my friend.

Michael and I never dated, although we remained friends throughout high school, and I think he knows that he’ll always live in my memory as the first guy who was willing to kiss me. Also, he’s very successful now, whereas I actually have less money than I had in 2002, so I’m sure he doesn’t regret that we never repeated our tigger-fueled makeout sesh.

So there you have it. I owe Stella everything.

Catherine: Just so it’s crystal clear, not having a first kiss till Spring, 2002 would make Jana 16 but VERY NEARLY 17 at the moment of impact. I want like, everyone to be as aware of that fact as possible. That, to me, is very informative information (and yes informative and information mean the same thing, but I think they couple really well together in this instance so shut up about it.)

When I was in eighth grade I also went to Quebec and ALSO went on a weird boat cruise. What is it with schools and Quebec? Weird. I went with the French class, which makes more  sense than your trip, since they speak french there or whatever. But I didn’t take french. So I’m really not sure how or why I was allowed to go. Like, everyone else on the trip spoke french but me and I DON’T KNOW WHY I WAS THERE. One of the main things about that trip that I recall was that a bunch of the girls let the guys write stuff on their stomachs on the back of the bus? And I remember thinking, this is so SEXY. Also that I had a really bad haircut and pants with stripes down the leg were IN.

But besides all that, if you’re happy today – fuck you.

Just kidding.

No, I’m not kidding.

Jana: She’s kidding.

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One Week: The Story of My Second Boyfriend

Jana: Last year, I told you the story of my first boyfriend and our epic relationship in which we never touched each other. I bet you thought that was the last boyfriend I had that I never touched, but YOU WERE WRONG! Today I will tell you about my shorter-lived second boyfriend who I also never touched.

I had a crush on this boy, who I shall call Evan, for a long time. But he was SO COOL, so I never thought I’d ever get to date him. When I started at the public high school and made a few friends, those friends showed me their yearbooks from middle school so that I could get acquainted with the social scene. In each of their yearbooks, there was a heart drawn around Evan’s head. He was a big deal.

Anyway, I didn’t have much hope. But then it turned out that, while he WAS super popular and cool, he was also nerdy enough to take drama as his elective! MY IN! Somehow, we gradually formed a friendship. It was elating.

And then, towards the end of my sophomore year, something big happened. I somehow heard from someone that he was going to ask me out. I do not remember how I heard, but I know that I PANICKED. What! How! Why! What! What do I wear? The usual reactions ran through my head as I trudged up the hill after school. And then, sure enough, the next day after the final bell rang, while I loitered near my locker, he approached me. “Hey Jana, will you go out with me?” he asked. He had this adorable little smile on. I think I somehow managed to be like, “Um, yeah.” And he was like “Cool.” And then he walked away. It was really happening!

The main problem was that I had no idea what to do next. As I mentioned, we were in the same homeroom, but the next morning I was like, do I go over to his desk and talk to him? Do I look over at his desk? OR, should I actively NOT look anywhere in the direction of his desk and pretend to be reading? Yes, I will go with that. And that’s what I did.

It was a very, very stressful week. Finally the weekend arrived, and it was somehow communicated that we would be hanging out at another guy’s house that Saturday night. My friend was dating the other guy, so she and I walked to his house together. I remember that as we walked down the hill to his house, the nice day we’d been having turned dark. There were storm clouds in the direction we were walking. Seriously, I remember that. I was like – something is not right, and also I’m so scared about having to talk to and look at my “boyfriend” that I will probably throw up.

Anyway, we got to the house, and it quickly became evident that Evan was not there. In his place was his friend, looking super uncomfortable. Now listen carefully, because this is slightly confusing: Evan’s friend was actually my first boyfriend, Mark – he of the previous story. Evan and Mark were best friends. So keep in mind that Mark and I already had a VERY awkward past.

So Mark was like, Jana can I talk to you? So we went into the basement, I think, and Mark was like, “Evan wanted me to tell you that he doesn’t think this is going to work with you guys. He just doesn’t think there’s enough chemistry. He’s so so sorry, and I’m really sorry too, and I’m sorry…” The poor kid’s hands were shaking as he spoke. I think I was just like, ok, that’s ok, that’s ok, it’s cool, that’s ok. And then I went home.

Why didn’t he want to date me? Was I not beautiful enough?

When I got home, I ate a bunch of ice cream because I thought: I think in movies I have seen girls who are dumped eat ice cream. Thanks, society!

I do have to say, also, that Evan was a really nice guy. And how could I possibly blame him for dumping me this way after the way I’d dumped Mark just one year prior? It was just a cycle of awkwardness. We were all victims.

In the end, Evan and I were friends again later (SOMEHOW), and then actually weirdly hooked up one time after high school was over and it was SUPER weird, and that was that! There were also some awkward interactions on AIM, I’m pretty sure. And that, my friends, is the story of my second boyfriend whom I never kissed. For anyone calculating, that brings me still un-kissed and well past my 16th birthday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Catherine: I wish that I was more surprised by the arc of this story but… it’s Jana.

Of course her boyfriend #1 would be the one to drop the news that she no longer had boyfriend #2.

Bonus Post: The Versatile Blogger!

Guess what? We know a girl, Jhani, who is wonderful. Jhani and I (Jana) spent our freshman year of college living down the hall from each other, doing a lot of hallway drinking, checking to see who was free to hang out by opening our doors and simply shouting “HEYYYY” and seeing if we got a response, etc. COLLEGE, right? Anyway, Jhani has an amazing collection of earrings, and is beautiful and wonderful. Please read her blog, A Girl Called Jhani, in which she writes beautifully about her life and the people in it. It’s really lovely in every sense of the word.
The rules for this nomination are that we write 7 things about ourselves, and then nominate two more people. So, let’s do this in order! Here are 7 things about US (3.5+3.5 = 7).

1. There is a store in my hometown called “Paper and More.” When I was a kid, I thought this name was absolutely hilarious. Whenever we drove by the store, I’d look at my dad and go: “MORE? You mean they sell MORE than PAPER?”.

2. I was once run over by a dog while attending a college graduation party. I was only about 10. At the same party, someone threw someone else in the pool, and that person’s cell phone was in his pocket. Cell phones were still really new. The wet person swore a LOT and my friend’s parents ushered us past him and out of the party. When I was run over by the dog, I don’t think much happened except that I like, got up and brushed myself off and vowed to hate dogs forever.

3. Once in high school my friends and I ate at our local Friendly’s. A few weeks later, we received word that everyone who had eaten at that Friendly’s within the two week period during which we’d dined there needed to get a shot, because one of the employees had hepatitis. There was a free clinic set up a the local hospital. My friend and I waited in line for an hour on one of our summer vacation days, and then got shots in our asses (HURTS).

3.5. I don’t floss that much and my dental hygienist is Russian and she YELLS at me because that shit BLEEDS. I actually really appreciate her yelling. Once I had 10 cavities at once and……

Catherine:.…… IT’S CATHERINE, TAKING OVER, BOOM. I want you to know that I have never had a cavity in my life and that last night, while drunk, I decided I really should floss. Blood was everywhere.

4. I have the cutest cat in the world, Maggie. I will never write about her on the blog probably, because nothing even remotely bad or depressing happens that has to do with her. Every morning we have ‘morning cuddles,’ where we have sequentially better and better cuddle/cat scratching for anywhere from 1 minute to three hours (yesterday, I’m looking at YOU.)

5. Once, in college, I was drunk and found an open can of beer in the parking lot behind my dorm. I drank it.

6. I just rearranged my room so that my desk faces out a window. I am now realizing that it faces into the bathroom of the apartment across from mine. The class is frosted, sure, but I totally just watched someone take a shower. I feel like a stalker…

7. I went to Poland with my family when I was 19, and there is a magical park there where the peacocks run free. It is truly lovely. What sticks with me most, perhaps from the entire trip, is that in Polish you call a peacock a “puff.” And the word for yes is pronounced “tape.” So, all that afternoon, my brother and I pointed to peacocks say “Puff?” “Tape!” We found it HYSTERICAL.

Those are our facts! Now to the nominations. We nominate some ladies who we know and love:

The Hodgepodge Photographer – This is the website of our incredibly talented friend, Jess Hodge. Jess spent college daily astonishing us with her skills as an actor, and has spent every day SINCE college daily astonishing us with her skills as a photographer. This is what talent is, people. It’s here. Look at these pictures! They’re insanely beautiful!

Chimerically Yours – This is a fashion blog created by another beautiful and talented friend, Molly Sullivan. Molly puts together unique, pretty outfits, and wears them like she was born in ’em. We are huge fans of everything that is Molly. Check her out and marvel.