The first kiss. So important, yet so unpredictable. In my carefree youth, I firmly believed that the first kiss told all. That the first kiss held all the potential of the relationship. If there weren’t butterflies and unicorns, don’t bother. And I have a few butterflied unicorned first kisses in my past, oh yes. Weak-in-the-knees, throw-all-reason-to-the-wind, heart-thumping, mind-numbing first kisses. But obviously, a first kiss can be misleading. Just because you swoon doesn’t mean he’s “the one”. Or even a nice guy, for that matter.
It stands to reason, then, that a mild first kiss doesn’t portend disaster. Or even a lack of chemistry. I know this in my brain, I know this from talking to my girlfriends, I even know this from experience. But it still kinda sucks, doesn’t it?
Or does it?
Maybe it is just too much pressure to expect fireworks the first time you are close enough to smell a person’s shampoo. Why do we think that if there aren’t instant sparks, there’s nothing there? It doesn’t really make sense. Because basically, the first time, you’re kissing a stranger. Isn’t it more logical that the sparks would intensify as you get to know someone? As you discover their unique-ness, their special-ness, their lovable-ness? As you slowly uncover the hidden treasure, the potential of a long and satisfying relationship? It’s like coffee, or beer (or yes, sex) – at first taste, you just weren’t that impressed and didn’t get what all the fuss was about. But the more you taste it, the more it grows on you. And before long you must have it, can’t imagine life without it.
Or perhaps it is even simpler than that. Perhaps as we have grown older and more mature, we have learned that things aren’t always as they seem. That snakes do hide in sheep’s clothing, that people do lie and cheat, and that instant chemistry does not equal love. Or even like, for that matter. We are not just vessels at the mercy of a temperamental sea; we actually do have some control over how we feel. And isn’t that a relief? By our late 30s, it seems we should understand that there are things more important than instant butterflies. Sure, butterflies are nice and all. But you can’t always trust the butterflies. The butterflies, they are all willy nilly. They tend to flutter around, causing a stir, and then flutter away, to the next bright and shiny object. Or they get caught in a gust of wind and mashed into a windshield. Hey, it happens. And don’t even get me started on unicorns…
I suppose it comes down to this: in the long run, would you rather have a delicate butterfly, or a determined bumblebee? I myself am holding out for an energetic hummingbird.
What do you think?