Do you remember your first kiss? I don't mean those pecks on the cheek you got from aunts and uncles when they visited or fumbles during Postman's Knock at parties. I mean your first 'full on grown up kiss.'
I remember mine as though it were yesterday and was reminded of it when my mobile hairdresser came and she told me that today she was taking her daughter to buy a 'Prom Dress' for the forthcoming Prom at school. Golly, in my day no such thing took place - the dress was to cost £400. How many times would it be worn? More than once? I doubt it.
Out big 'do' when we were kids was the Sunday School Anniversary week-end: going round the village on a cart pulled by the farm horse on the Saturday afternoon, tea in the School Room (potted beef sandwiches, caraway seed cake and 'fancy' cakes) and then - all the tables put away, chairs round the edge of the room and the same old games played - Postman's Knock, Musical Chairs, Spinning the Breadboard, Oats and Beans and Barley Grow.
The couple who ran the whole week end had a daughter M and shortly before the week end she announced her engagement to G (she was in her early twenties. M would help her mother with the washing up and such like but this time G came too (we were all keen to see him) and he joined in the games - doing all the organising of the chairs for musical chairs and suchlike.
When it came to Oats and Beans (you can read the words on Opies site) the boys make a ring and the girls make a ring outside them. Everyone walks round singing and eventually come the words: "open the ring and take one in (a girl you have chosen) and kiss them when you get them in". G chose me and I held my face up to be kissed as I had every year for the previous five years. But the kiss I received was unlike any kiss I had received before. I was shaken by it and unsure what to do, so I just stood there until he took hold of my hand and we all swung round to the last verse:- 'Now you'remarried you must obey. You must be true to all you say. You must be kind and very good and help your wife to chop the wood.'
The next game was Postman's Knock where a boy goes into the dark cupboard in the corner - a girl knocks on the door, goes in, kisses him and the boy comes out leaving the girl in there for when the next boy knocks. Somehow I knew that it would be G who would knock when it was my turn. It was of course - half of me didn't want it to happen but half of me was curious to see if I had imagined it. This time in the dark and in a confined space it was more of the same only moreso. I never told a soul until today and now I am telling you. But I never forgot it.
Did M marry G? Was it a long and happy marriage? Being painfully shy, I had my first date (and kiss) at 19. I stupidly assumed it was love and married him.
Gawd Pat, reading your memoirs is like reading a chapter from those books that we buy to remind us of how life used to be in the countryside many years ago, a life that we all see as something that we would like to have experienced.
My word, how bold... G sounds like a very forward sort of chap!
But how exciting for you.
Forgot to add, my first kiss was with a girl who was 16 like me.We had a few dates afterwards but it quickly became obvious that she was mentally more mature than me, something that I found quite apparent in teenagers then, girls were always more mature than boys.
Your memories are a joy to read.
I feel sorry for M. He sounds like an awful person and did not deserve to be engaged to M. Did you not slap him across the face and push him away?
I feel sorry for M too, he sounds a right one! You were very young and innocent and the lecherous cove took advantage of that. I suspect poor M had a troubled life if the early indications of G's wandering eye are anything to go by!
G sounds a bit of a lad. I hope he didn't lead M a 'merry dance'. I do remember my first sweetheart who gave me my first kiss. I still think of him sometimes and hope he has had a happy life. He left school three years ahead of me and we lived in different towns so it all came to nothing.
Proms are very common today. The attire is gowns and a tux. Often a few students hire a stretch limo for a ride to and from the prom. It is quite the occasion. The boy/girl games you describe encourage friendship between the sexes. We had nothing like this. G sounds like quite the man with an eye for pretty girls. My first kiss was at a Summer party at the beach in the dunes of Cape Cod. It was okay but nothing remarkable.
My first kiss was unremarkable and embarrassing. Early high school years, being taken home in a car from a youth club function, with a young man being taken home also. We were the back seat passengers of a 'long-established' teenage couple.
I've never had a more disinterested, almost obligatory kissing session, obviously before, or since. I didn't know if I was supposed to hold my breath, if he could tell this was my first kiss, and if this was the forerunner to him being my first boyfriend. Never saw or heard from him again... a very blase type of guy, handsome and 'so cool' at 16! Thank goodness it was all pretty tame.- Pam.
Just reading your replies on my way to bed. It didn't occur to me to slap his face - I was far too shy and would have done anything he suggested rather than make a fuss. He probably knew that. They did marry and have a family but they moved away and I neither saw or heard of them again.
We were at the church youth group playing postman's knock. You had to go into the kitchen. I did NOT want to kiss the boy. I ran out of the kitchen door, all round the building and sneaked into the side door. He followed me. We saw everybody hovering round the kitchen door, and the leaders were getting anxious because we had not emerged. Finally one knocked and went in... finding the kitchen empty. Then we said "we are here!" and everyone laughed. My first kiss came later, it was OK I guess. The best kisses came much later, from the man I have loved for almost 45 years 😘
Interesting that a prom is now part of British culture, as this is a very American tradition and unheard of in my day too ( 1970's) LOL my first kiss was under the influence of the drink Kahlua and my then to be first husband was the one. I was sooo shy and had never been kissed before at age 19. It took place in the living room of the house I shared with him and another GI. Listening to a selection of hits on his reel to reel tape circa 1972 ? In Bury St Edmunds, Garland St, Suffolk I have written about it in my memoirs on my blog Diary 6 California.
I had finished my first quarter of college and was home for Christmas break. At a party of friends and classmates, I danced with and got a great kiss from a guy from my class, had hardly said hello to him in school, we were in different groups. I know he’s married, but he always makes a point to say hello to me at our reunions. 50 years next year!
Bonnie in Minneapolis
"Ah yes, I remember eet well"
I would not be surprised if G went on to have affairs ! How old were you when he targeted you?
My first kiss was at 12 or 13 - he was the same age and I vaguely knew him because our primary schools had met up years before for country dance events. Later I found he worked for County Council Roads and Colin knew him and worked with him sometimes. I never saw him again until Colin's funeral, didn't recognise him and he had to tell me who he was. Funny old world
actually now thinking about it we must have been 11 or 12 - not older
It all sounds very horrible to me given that G was clearly a man in his twenties and you were a very young teenager. Not nice at all. Sorry. I hope better memories of a first kiss followed later. This one was more of an assault than anything else.
Oh yes, I remember - says she, smiling!
Rachel - you are of course quite right. My son was horrified and said I should have said something at the time. I came from a home where things like that were not spoken of and I am sure my mother would haave just brushed it off and told me not to be so silly.
Frances - I must have been about fifteen.
Thanks everyone - we all have long memories!
Like some of the others here have said, I feel sorry for M, and for you - G had no business to do that to you, not only because he was engaged to be married, but also because of the age difference.
Still, the whole episode makes for very good reading and an interesting glimpse of a world long gone.
My first kiss was at a school party with a boy from my class. We got along well enough but neither fancied the other; the kiss was part of a game but felt very nice. When comparing notes with the other girls, we all agreed that J was a great kisser. This was ca. 1982, when I was 14.
Oh dear this seems like it's being turned into something more serious than it probably was. The fact that Pat was probably a shy and naive young girl possibly made her react in the way that she did and remembers it in that same way. Probably other young girls there would of been delighted if they'd of been the one chosen.In 1966 when I was 19 I met and began courting a girl who was 15. Nobody at that time, including her parents, saw any problem with it but I guess looked at through today's wokery eyes that would be looked at as me being some kind of sexual predator.
We went on to get married by the way which kind of debunks that way of thinking.
This was not a story of a first kiss, it was a story of an assault. First kisses are joyous affairs of growing up and fun and good feelings.
Better than my first kiss - when a number of bikers arrived at our local funfair and I got picked out by one of them - a bit of a chat and then he launched himself at me and "snogged" me (as it was called in those days. It was revolting and so was he!
These days Rachel, just looking at somebody the wrong way can be seen as assault.
It would appear that this was a man in his mid twenties who had just become engaged to a girl of roughly the same age. It is certainly not acceptable that he was taking advantage of a young girl at some sort of church event when his wife to be was there and his future mother-in-law and behind curtains in a supposedly innocent game he took advantage of a young, innocent teenager as Pat clearly was, and as Pat says, the second time was "much more" than the first, the mind boggles and I think this man was out of order. It is not as you describe as a 19 year old courting a 15 year old, this incident described by Pat was not as you describe in your dating which was up-front and approved.
Retrospective opinions from a modern viewpoint.
Oh I very much do, I'm just not agreeing with the way that you see it, let's leave it at that.
Nor the way Pat saw it either. I am not the only one.
Think that's called having the last word, enjoy it.
I watched a Netfix film last night centred around Edgar Allen Poe. I looked him up and discovered he married his 13 year-old first cousin. I had a wild game of 'sardines' once. It all ended when a girl walked edge-on into an open door in the dark.
Thank you, Weaver, for telling your story of long ago that you feel safe sharing in this supportive community. I think I understand what you meant about recognizing that the way G kissed you was not the way you had ever been kissed before.
I remember my father and mother kissing me on the lips when I was a child and even when I was older but my first kiss besides that didn't occur until I was 17 years old, away from home, in college, and feeling deep in love with my first boyfriend. I met him in an English class where we studied poetry. We both listened to Bob Dylan's music and read poetry and took walks together. I was naive and innocent. He wanted to make love to me, but I wasn't ready for that. He sensed that and said, "You don't have much experience. I don't want to corrupt you." He found another girlfriend who was no longer a virgin but I know to this day that he retained a fondness for me. I am grateful that he didn't force himself on me. That happened to so many young women of my generation.
In the 1950's we always had foreign students (French, German, Swedish etc.) to stay in the summer hols - they came to Devon, via an organization, to improve their English, and were housed for a fee. It was a way for families to make a little money during those tough post-war years. We always took in girls but my neighbor took boys. Long story short, my first kiss was by a French boy staying next door - I must have been around 14. It was really nice from what I recall all these years later!!! He returned a couple of years later or a visit but I was kissing English boys by then, haha!!!!!
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