Friday, November 6, 2009


All right, it's time for True Confessions, Y'all. Get the popcorn ready, I think this is gonna be a good one.

So I feel as if I'm a freak of nature. Why? Because, let's just go ahead and get it right out there: I've never locked lips with a guy.

Ridiculous, right??

Okay, ONCE, I did, but it was barely, and so honestly, I don't even really count it.

Now here's my chance to explain myself and save some face (since I'm not sucking it).

Very little in my life has ever been chronological, or followed any sort of normal life pattern (i.e., having your first kiss between the ages of 11 and 17). My family moved three times before I finished high school, due to my dad's career. Thus I took freshman biology as a junior, freshman computers as a senior. I read The Catcher in the Rye, A Raisin in the Sun, and Macbeth twice each, yet really did not continue history courses after my freshman year. This caused me to take a US history class at my local community college just this past year, in order to feel as if I know what people are talking about when they mention the American Revolution.

I got my driver's license just a few weeks shy of my senior year of high school, not my sophomore or junior year like everyone else. I rode the bus as a junior. While my classmates were jaunting off to homecoming dances, and having movie nights in each others' basements, I was trying to find my new locker and awkwardly asking people if I could sit with them at lunch.

This is beginning to sound a little bit like a sob story, which I don't intend for it to be. My point is that in a lot of ways I had to grow up very quickly, be an adult and take responsibility for my social life rather than let it carry me from where it had always been. In the meantime, certain things fall through the cracks, if for no other reason than there is no time for them to happen. I'm not sure if people think about it very much, if at all, but getting settled takes a Hell of a lot of time and energy. I actually love that my family moved so much (well, most days I love it). It has definitely made me who I am today. High school was not thrilling for me, but the day I landed in a dorm I had to make zero adjustment--being surrounded by strangers, I realized, was my forte. I was a pro. And what quickly ensued was that I was able to make everyone else comfortable in simply being comfortable myself. I came out of my shell in college, really showed my true colors and realized that people loved them. So I reaped the reward late, but I still received it.

This whole business, however, obviously, creates problems for me now. Dating is not exactly the most fun part of being single, although it can be. I have been on some really fun dates. I've laughed really hard, miniature golfed, drank coffee, drank beer, played in parks, gone to movies. Some of the dates were awkward, yes. Some of them were extremely awkward (and the enjoyment of those is clearly sharing the stories with your friends later), some of them were just fun. But I'm sure you can imagine my main dilemma? Yes, it's the end of the date. To kiss or not to kiss?

Of course I want to kiss a boy goodnight if I've had a great time with him and want to see him again, but if I've had no practice and he, like any other normal person our age!, has, then let's be honest, it's like asking a 24+ year old to kiss an 11 year old. And that's, seriously, illegal, friends. I mean am I right or am I right? I declare I'm right. And how freaking awkward is it (picture this with me, I bet you're glad you have that popcorn, right?) for a guy to lean in, me to push him away and explain, "Excuse me, Sir, I've only experienced certain coming-of-age activities and this is just not one of them"?

I was just talking to my brother Kelly and his GF, Jenny, tonight about this. Jenny said, "Well yeah, it would be weird if you walked into a date and said, 'Hey it's great to see you again, please don't kiss me tonight,' but otherwise I think it's okay for you to have the 'let's take it slow' conversation at some point." I replied, "I know, but this is me, Jenny! You know I want that first option!" She laughed. In love.

But I really do want that first option, the one that doesn't fit with social norms. I truly believe that with all the times I was forced to go against the grain, do things in a different manner because I had no other choice, as a result I don't even know how to be normal. I feel myself doing this all the time, being intentionally different. Most of the time I view it as uniqueness and creativity, but sometimes I think I should just be another humble human--it's like admitting that you like cheap pop music. You might as well just tell the world you like Hanson, because you really do. (By the way, I have no trouble in admitting that I love Hanson, especially their Christmas album).

I talked to my sister-in-law, also named Jenny, but a different Jenny entirely, this week and she was telling me about her first kiss with my brother Patrick (not Kelly. Confusing, I know). She said that until she made out with Patrick she had never made out with a boy. She said she was really scared and embarrassed to tell him that, but she told me this week that when she did, "I have never seen a boy more excited!" They are married now and expecting a baby in May, so clearly her lack of experience didn't hinder her life in the end.

I guess I am writing this for a few reasons.

1, it feels good to have it out there, I guess.

2, Boys, if you're reading this, just know that when I become reserved, it is not necessarily that I don't like you. I could be really, really interested in you, I am just scared and nervous, and a little bit of an eleven year old in some ways. Which makes me feel insecure, but also makes me feel I am just the person I am supposed to be, and that I want you to love that girl, not the girl who is in every other way just like me but who you assume, anyway, has kissed other men before.

And 3, I think I forgot what Reason Number 3 was. Oh well. Well since I forgot we'll make up a new reason. Perhaps this True Confession will inspire you to make a True Confession of your own. Get something off your chest. Particularly something in which you feel you are misunderstood. Ready? Go!

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