When I was 15, I had my first boyfriend. The first time he kissed me-- the first time anybody kissed me-- we were sitting on the floor in his bedroom. We’d just watched Top Gun, and he’d fast-forwarded through all the sad parts. We spent years making out in that bedroom, with no music or tv so we could hear the house alarm beep or someone starting up the stairs. He wasn’t allowed to close his door when I was over. Later, after he got a car, we’d hook up on new streets where they were building houses but no one lived yet. It was fun. From that first kiss, everything was terrifyingly, excitingly, beautifully new. Every new move was tentative, careful. From that first kiss, it took us 20 months to make our first (awkward, clumsy, emotional) attempts at having actual sex.
When I was a kid, my dad told me I ate like a fat person because I always saved my favorite part for last. It’s maybe not the healthiest thing to tell a 13-year-old girl with plenty of food issues already, but it is true that I’ve always been a savor-er. I eat sandwiches in concentric circles so that my last bite is the perfect, juicy inside piece. I eat muffins from the bottom up, so that I’ll be left with the good part, not the stump. When I read books I really like, I find that I check how many pages are left so I can reassure myself that it’s not almost over. I like anticipation. I like the build-up. I don’t like for things to be over.
So I miss the way things were when I was 15: when my bra didn’t come off at the same time as my shirt. When making out was its own activity. When we saved things for later, for next time. When letting a boy kiss me was not an invitation for him to take off my pants.
I know I can’t have another first kiss. And I know that 20 months is five times longer than I’ve dated anyone since the boy who fast-forwarded Top Gun. But I miss how fun things used to be. I miss all the tiny steps.