I have a love-hate relationship with the movies, especially romantic comedies. When I was a teenager, the passion-power of chick flicks captivated me into a deep trance of starry-eyed fantasies. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize sappy movies were nothing but a Hollywood-crafted facade. I learned this unfortunate fact first-hand when I experienced my very first kiss. Instead of the tingling, dreamy, fireworks-worthy teenage smooch, I endured a tongue-thrusting, neck-sucking, hand-maneuvering invasion.
Although I had zero experience with girls, I quickly realized I was recruited, enrolled and tutored in an impromptu make-out lesson I didn’t expect: Aggressi-Kissing 101 from Cindy’s School of Seduction.
When I was 16, I wanted nothing more than a girlfriend. To expedite my chances of finding true love, I answered an ad I found in one of my carefully hidden issues of smut: How to Pick Up Girls in Three Easy Steps. It was promising. After all, success was guaranteed! Once I received the handbook, I eagerly memorized each step and patiently waited for the precise moment to test my talents.
Meanwhile, I met Cindy.
During the summer of 1981, I regularly ogled at Cindy from my front porch as she strolled down my street on her way to the neighborhood Handy Way. To entice her, I blasted my favorite tunes and jammed along with my best air-guitar moves. Silently, I recited all the pick-up lines I memorized from the handbook.
A few months later, Cindy showed up at my door, unannounced. Wow, I thought, I finally impressed her! Word on the street was fierce. Allegedly, Cindy threw herself at every guy she met. Nonetheless, I was riveted – even though it was rumored she was two years younger than me. My mom quickly became aware of Cindy’s visits and imposed the Open-Door Policy: “If a girl comes over the house, I must be home to chaperone. Under no circumstances are you permitted to close your bedroom door.”
I wasn’t sure why mom attempted to enforce her ridiculous rules. After all, I was certain she fully understood how shy and inexperienced I was with girls. Her rules were pointless.
To hide our encounters and avoid conflict with mom’s rules, Cindy effortlessly snuck in my room by crawling through an open window. After a few platonic closed-door visits, Cindy boldly made her seductive move on Thanksgiving Day. In broad daylight, while we had company at the house, Cindy secretly slinked through my window one last time for a different kind of rendezvous. This time, my bedroom door was wide open. Mom was clueless of my shameless sham.
I was paralyzed. Without warning and without saying a word, Cindy sauntered up to me, plunged her tongue down my throat, and easily won our unscheduled tonsil hockey match. After reaching first base, she immediately began to suck and bite the tender, virgin skin on my neck. During her excruciating ten-minute quest, I made a courageous attempt to twist the facts of the occasion right on the spot.
I wanted to manipulate her achievements into something a little more sensual – just like those romantic comedies – although I certainly wasn’t laughing. Quoting lyrics from the Huey Lewis and The News song that was playing on the radio, I tenderly asked her Do you believe in love? I swear I heard her mumble yeah as she forced additional injuries on my undefiled skin. Between her aggressive neck sucks and occasional gasps for air, her hands roamed to places I still find ticklish.
After her spontaneous conquest, while I oozed blood, sweat, and tears from my newly-acquired flesh wound, Cindy slinked out my bedroom window. I never saw her again. She certainly earned her Hickey Merit Badge that day. The gory imprint of her suck-fest was tattooed on my neck for weeks. Thankfully, my mom was a loyal Avon representative. There were myriads of makeup options at my disposal to conceal the raw, grisly welt.
My unexpected education from Cindy’s School of Seduction empowered me to test my newly acquired Aggressi-Kissing skills to their full potential. I ran wild and kissed every girl I could find. Like the typical teenage boy, I meticulously ranked each girl on a treasured piece of notebook paper. Although my sacred step-by-step How to Pick Up Girls handbook eventually proved to be useless, I finally found a real girlfriend in my senior year. My advanced kissing ability proved to be quite valuable.
Memories of my first kiss are much different from the Hollywood-crafted façade I admired. In fact, my decades-old hickey pain stings to this very day. While my love-hate relationship with romantic comedies still aches within me, I secretly own Expanded Deluxe Blu-Ray editions of A Walk to Remember, High School Musical and other teenage love stories. I’d never admit it out loud, but I love to retro-live vicariously through the tingling, dreamy, fireworks-worthy teenage smooch that shines from the screen.
Now that I think of it, I never received my report card after completing Aggressi-Kissing 101. Hey, Cindy! What was my final grade?