Kissing Scott Slater*

March 5, 2011

I love it when I stumble across a blog post that jogs my memory.  Tangent: where did that term come from–jog the memory? It’s weird, right? Memory doesn’t jog. Hell, even my body doesn’t jog.

Anyways. Around Valentine’s Day, the lovely Barbara posted a meme asking three questions: 1) Who was your first kiss? 2) How old were you? 3) Do you remember where you were?

I was all over that shit. I proceeded to leave a very long, rambling comment. Then I scrolled back through the previous comments on Barbara’s post and noticed that almost all of the commenters said things like, “I never kiss and tell,” or “a lady never divulges her secrets.”

Clearly, I ain’t no lady.

I am a card-carrying member of the Over-Sharer’s Society.  I cannot help it, and I know it’s going to come back and bite me in the backside some day. I just cannot shut up; you’ll know I’m dead when this pie-hole stops moving.

But thank you, Barbara, for stirring the memory.  I am so grateful never to have a first kiss again.


An upperclassman named Leslie, a girl so popular that I cannot conceive of her powers, pauses by my locker.  I assume I have food on my cheek or something, because she’s never stopped–or spoken–to me before.

“You’re Dana H______, right?” she says, leaning against the neighboring locker.

I force my gaze away from the mess of notebooks and Men at Work posters.

“Um. Yeah?”

“K. Anyways, I have Mr. Narveson. 4th period. I thought you’d want to know that someone who sits in my desk is doodling your name all over it.”

My heart plunges into my bowels.

“Um. Is it just my name? Is there something else after it?”  The possibilities swirl menacingly in my head: Dana H. is a loser dork with a pig nose. Dana H. has disgusting ankles. Dana H. has a shelf butt.

“Nope. Just your name,” she says, pushing off  the locker and making her getaway. “But it’s everywhere.” And with that, she’s swallowed into a river of Lacoste shirts and Nike swoops.

This is an emergency. An 8th grade, Code Red emergency.

I hustle down the hall and wait for Stephanie, my best and only friend. When she appears, strawberry hair swinging gracefully down her back, I grab her roughly.


Stephanie, who is light-years ahead of me in experience and maturity, gives a small smile.

“That’s news.”


She pats me lightly on the shoulder. “Dane, relax.  I know somebody.”

Plans are formed, terms are negotiated, money passes hands, and by the end of the day, I have photocopies of 7 seating charts, property of Nickels Narveson.

Hey, we didn’t read all of those Nancy Drew books in 4th grade for nothin’.

Stephanie and I riffle through papers,  locate the desk in question.

“I guess we can assume it’s not a girl,” Steph says dryly, casting aside most of the papers. “Ooh!” she says, quickly swiping two sheets and hiding them behind her back.

“Hey! Give ’em over!” I yelp, clawing for the contraband. “Steph!”

She laughs. “I’m just messing with you.”  She hands me the goods and I blink hard, trying to focus.

“Mike Kearney? Aw Jesus. Let it not be him.”

And then I see the name. Everything inside of me goes wobbly.

Scott Slater.

I snap my head up. “No way.”

“Waaaaayyyy,” she drawls.

Scott Slater. Upperclassman. About 4 tiers higher than me on the popularity chain. Handsome. A-little-dim-but-always-has-a-girlfriend Scott Slater.

No way.

**One week later**

“I’m not going,” I say, twisting the phone cord around and around my fingers.

“Scaredy-cat,” Stephanie chides.

“Yeah, I’m scared! Have you seen the girls he dates? Those girls are fast.”

“Well, maybe he’s looking for something a little different. Maybe he’s bored with fast.”

“Bored? He’s bored by Katie Scarpiello and Renee Carpenter. Look at them.”

I twist the cord and think about the boy with the locker 2 down from mine. The short one with the brown eyes who is in my 5th period choir; the boy who says “Hey,”  in the morning. The boy I’ve wanted, for an entire year, to notice me.

“I’m not going.”

“You’re going,” she says. “It’s the Christmas Dance.” I hear a dull thud and know that she’s doing leg-lifts as she talks. “Anyways, you have to go. Your dad’s chaperoning.”


“God, you are so clueless. Yeah. He is. Robin’s on Student Council–she told me.”

***Five Days Later***

Uncomfortably squashed into a pair of Guess?? jeans, I exit the car and wait for my father to lock up.

“Lookin’ great, kid,” he says. “You smell good, too. Been bathing in the Love’s Baby Soft?”

“Dad! God.”

“I’m going in,” he says. “Where’s Steph?”

“She’s always late. I’ll wait out here. Dad–remember. No talking to me, okay? You don’t know me.”

“Righto. Gotcha.”


“Ewww. Why does it smell so weird in here?” I say, wrinkling my nose and scanning the gymnasium.

“Oregano,” Stephanie says, pointing to ribbon-wrapped bundles hanging from the ceiling.  “Robin tried to get mistletoe, but it was really expensive.”

“It smells like Hungry Howie’s pizza.”

“I know. It’s killing me. I haven’t eaten in like, two days. And I still had to suck and lie on the bed to get these on,” Stephanie says, patting the side of her jeans.

I’m barely listening. Where the Hell is Dad? Is he sneaking around or something?

“Hel-lo ladies and gentlemen,” Steph laughs, bumping me hard with her hip. “Scott Slater is in the house.”



“Quit plastering yourself to the wall! You’re missing out! They’re gonna play Come on Eileen!” Stephanie, cheeks pink with exertion, pulls me onto the floor. “Dance with me! Come on!”

We end up dancing the reel to Dexy’s Midnight Runners and I’m behind Rob B., a stocky 9th grader who’s been boogeying down the entire night. He reeks of B.O. and I can feel damp skin through his velour shirt. I hold on and try not to think about it.

When the song ends, I hiss into Stephanie’s ear about the B.O. and make a beeline for the bathroom.

I’ve taken maybe three steps before I run into something solid. Something warm and tall and solid. I stand, immobilized, staring at a battered pair of leather Nike’s.

The owner of the Nike’s laughs. A low, adult-sounding, really fairly sexy laugh.  A hand lifts my chin, and suddenly I’m gazing into blue.

“You’ve been hiding?” he says.

My eyes roll around in my head a little. I open my mouth, then shut it.

I hear the disc jockey say, “Man, that was fun, wasn’t it? We’re gonna slow things down for a bit so all of you party animals can catch your breath…”

And suddenly there are arms around me, boy arms. My hands flutter, come to rest on his back and we sway. We sway as Steve Perry sends all his love along the wire and I look at Stephanie, who’s been cornered by odiferous Rob, and she’s mouthing, “Look at you!”

I cut my eye to the left and see the boy with the brown eyes dancing with Sharon. Sharon is beautiful.

I shut my eyes, afraid he can feel my rabbity heart through my sweater. I suck in a breath and smell…pizza.

He laughs that laugh. “Well, look what we’ve wandered under.”


“Um. I think I’m getting a cold?”

That laugh. “Guess what? I don’t care.”  His hand is under my chin again and he zeroes in like a predatory animal and suddenly there’s warmth and wet and something crazy happening in my belly. This boy knows what he’s doing, and he’s not stopping, and I know I’ll never get my breath back.


Daddy opens the door to the blue Saab. “Your chariot, m’lady.”

“Dad! God.”

We merge onto the highway and I press my lips against the icy window, but still, they smolder.

“Did you have a nice time tonight?” He turns on the heater, full-blast.


“You know, that’s good. I’m glad you had fun. Damn, it smelled like an Italian whorehouse in there.”


“So Kid?”


“Who was that young man with his tongue down your throat?”

Dear God, kill me now.


First-Kiss Pizza, Oregano Optional

Now that Spring is on it’s way (damn, it had better be) y’all should consider cooking pizza on the grill when weather permits.

Feel free to make your own dough, but I am a yeast-o-phobe. We have a couple of really good pizzerias in town that sell dough to incompetents such as myself. Alternatively, you could also just buy frozen bread dough in the grocery store and thaw according to package directions.

According to my Bible, Weber’s Way to Grill, pizza should be first grilled on direct medium heat. Roll out individual balls of dough (about the size of an orange) to 1/3 of an inch thickness. Let rest while you fire up the grill.

Give flattened dough a good brush with olive oil, place on parchment paper and allow to rest for 10 more minutes.

Place the dough rounds on the grill (4 at a time) and grill until the crust is firm on the bottom and has grill marks, about 3 minutes with the lid closed.

Flip the dough over and, we deck out your pizzas according to personal taste/whimsy.

Popular choices at Chez T:
-tomato sauce (extra oregano?)
-fresh mozzarella, sliced
-grated parmesan
-canadian bacon
-artichoke hearts
-roasted red peppers
-red onion, sliced
-black olives
-diced jalapenos

Once topped, cook the pizzas, lid closed, for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottoms are crisp.

* Most of the names in this story have been changed, to protect the awkward.

** Please be encouraged to over-share about your own first kiss in the comments section. It would make my week. I love to hear you talk.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Futureblackmail March 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

I was 15 – he was 18 and he soooo wasn’t worth my “first kiss.”

Great post and well written!


faemom March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm

OMG, I was laughing so hard over your father’s comment.
First “kiss” was on a dare, on the cheek in fourth grade.
First “real” kiss, college (because I swore off boys in high school because they were a shave above apes. Ugh {I had brothers, can you tell?}) in his dorm room, we’d been flirting for months and I was over because he “needed help on his paper,” and at one point he started tickling me and then we stopped and kissed. Then I learned no one stops at one kiss if you can help it.


Justine March 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

Wow Kitch. I hope to see your name on the cover of a novel someday. You really know how to pull me into your stories. So amazing! I felt I was right there with you. Minus the tongue down my throat. :)


Rocky Mountain Woman March 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

So, I can’t even remember my first kiss it was so long ago…


Winn March 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Girl, you tell the best stories! Your dad’s comment just KILLED me. I needed that laugh! And I’m never going to tell about my first kiss because it’s just embarrassing! I mean, my first kiss at age 20? C’mon!


Kate March 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

First kiss? I was 15 and we were standing outside of my algebra class. …then 10 years later I married him!

This is a great post! I linked this in my Friday Five over at Kate’s Library.


subWOW March 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

You probably don’t need to hear one more person telling you how much they love your writing… But I love to be unnecessarily redundant, so there.

I love your writing.


john alexander August 8, 2011 at 2:15 am

That was his-ter-i-cal!

My really awful, first kiss was with Peggy who had earned her Ph.D in Love. It was one of those snow days when the kids were off from school, but the parents still had to work. Peggy and I were on her best friend’s couch in the den while her best friend had gone upstairs with her boyfriend, doing I can’t imagine what! Anyway, I attempted to kiss her, but it was REALLY weird cause our teeth always ended up knashing against together. I admit it took me a while (like a year!), but I eventually figured out what she already knew. Now, it can’t snow without me thinking of ol’ Peggy.

PS A couple of weeks after that snow day, Peggy left me for the boy who was upstairs.


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