[Continued from “The Frog Who Did Not Turn Into A Prince (Part 1: The Blind Date)”]
Did anyone else ever fantasize about what their first kiss would be like?
I sure as heck did!
Each night, I would fall asleep playing out that future life-changing moment, each time adding tidbits from different love scenes I’d spied on television. By age twelve, I had created a very specific list of things that would need to be in place in order for this kiss to occur.
First of all, the kiss would need to take place in nature near a body of water. Because anything and everything romantic that has ever happened [on TV] has happened in nature next to a body of water. Read: The Blue Lagoon.
Second, it would need to happen at or near sunset. Because a kiss at two o’clock in the afternoon hasn’t near the swooning power of a kiss that takes place at 7 o’clock in the evening.
With that said, I also preferred to kiss somebody in either the spring or summer. Let the rest of the world lock lips in cold, dry, desolate conditions, but me? I required shorts weather and green leaves on trees.
Finally, I would need a super cute boy. Floppy hair, if at all possible. Honor Roll student. Well-dressed. Well-mannered. Taller than I was. Heavier than I was. Popular. Good at math. Good sense of humor. Athletic. Well-spoken. Not cheesy. Interested in everything I was interested in…
And so there I was, five years later, hand in hand with one frog of a boy who was neither floppy-haired nor well-mannered. Instead, he sported an eye patch (thanks to a recent accident involving a spare tire) and had a distinct salty smell. But I was smitten with this frog because he had found me interesting enough to ask to prom AND to hold hands with.
It was the middle of March and prom was still two months away, an eternity for any teenage boy’s attention span, and I dreaded the possibility of Frog growing bored with me. Perhaps it was for this reason that I decided to kiss Frog as soon as I did.
Early one evening, while cruising the town with Matchmaker, Girlfriend and Frog, somebody brought up the recent release of the movie, Never Been Kissed. Dropping a major hint, I murmured that I had never been kissed before, either. Five minutes later, Matchmaker was dropping Frog and I off at my house saying, “You two have fun!” as he and Girlfriend sped away. Frog and I looked helplessly at each other for a minute, and rather than subject us both to the awkwardness of hanging out with my family, I suggested we take a walk down the ditch levy near my house. He agreed.
The sun was making its slow descent into the horizon as Frog and I crested the levy, hand in hand. The roar of the rushing water replaced the need for conversation as Frog led me to a nearby bridge. We sat there for a while, watching twigs and potato chip bags swirl just below our dangling feet before Frog finally broke the ice, “So…you’ve never been kissed before?”
“Nnnooo,” I said slowly, trying to act like I hadn’t already anticipated this conversation.
“Why not?” he pressed.
“Well, I dunno,” I struggled for words that might bolster Frog’s confidence, “I guess I’ve just been waiting for the right moment with the right guy…”
Frog slid closer to me, “What kind of moment?”
“Wellll, okay, this sounds dumb, but…I’d kinda like to be kissed outside…near water…while the sun sets…,” I admitted, giving him a sidelong glance.
Frog paused for a moment. “Well, looks we’re by some water right now,” he remarked, motioning to the fish-smelling river water flowing beneath us.
“Yeah…” I trailed off.
Then Frog leaned in.
Then I leaned in.
And then Frog kissed me.
Actually, “kissed” was not the word for it. Kisses are what fairytale princes share with swan princesses, what Jack shared with Rose, what Ross shared with Rachel. What Frog shared with me was a forceful and distasteful jab to the mouth with a rolled up tongue.
“Ack!” I said, quickly pulling back.
“What is it?” Frog appeared shocked that I wasn’t swooning.
“Nothing, I-I guess I wasn’t ready for that,” I stumbled.
So Frog tried again.
And I said “Ack!” again.
And then, the moment was over. Frog looked pleased enough that he had taken my first kiss, but I sensed his realization that he wouldn’t be getting any further with me. “I think we need to head back to the house,” he said, quickly getting to his feet, “Matchmaker should be here any minute.”
As atrocious as Frog’s kisses were, I still couldn’t help but feel a little dreamy. After all, I had just KISSED someone! Frog, meanwhile, weakly held my hand as we walked back.
“Did you know that I used to date Matchmaker’s Girlfriend?” Frog asked out of nowhere.
“No,” I said, a little taken aback, “I didn’t.”
“Yeah, well…she was pretty obsessed with me and we did a lot of crazy things together,” he continued, “I don’t think I’ll ever get over her.”
I kept a calm face, but internally, my expression wrinkled from the shock and pain of this verbal kick to the stomach. Not really wanting to know the answer I nevertheless asked, “Why don’t you think you’ll ever get over her?”
“I dunno. There’s just something about her…” Frog’s voice trailed off and he dropped my hand.
So this was it. The moment I had been dreading. The moment where Frog grew bored with me.
As if the moment weren’t awkward enough, Matchmaker had not arrived yet which left us both with the unspoken but deafening question of NOW WHAT?
I should have used this time to throw rocks at Frog.
Or to unleash my dogs on him.
Or to tell him to screw prom, his terrible kisses and his eye patch.
But instead I listened to Frog share stories about how drunk he liked to get on rum and Coke (his favorite beverage), and how this one girl at work thought his butt looked really hot. “That’s cool,” was all I could think of to say.
By the time Matchmaker finally pulled up, Frog must have been in a generous mood because as he jumped up to leave, he looked back at me long enough to say, “I’ll call you.”
The next day at school, a boy on the baseball team came up to me and teased in a sing-song voice, “I know who you macked with.”
I was horrified! Frog had kissed and told? He hadn’t even bothered to savor our secret moment for longer than a day?! As if he weren’t enough of a prick, he also never called me. So I called him. He answered once long enough to tell me that he had to go take a shower right then. I guessed he had finally detected his salty smell.
A few weeks later, Matchmaker and Girlfriend invited Frog and I to hang out at the baseball dugout one evening. To do what, I could only guess, but since the big night was only two weeks away, I was desperate to keep the connection between Frog and I intact. While Matchmaker and Girlfriend wandered around the baseball field, Frog and I sat quietly in one of the dugouts. I made sure to position myself far enough away from him in case he wanted to mouth-tackle me again, but judging on his perch at the opposite end of the bench, I don’t think he was planning to. Before leaving the field, Frog asked to sit by Matchmaker in the front seat leaving Girlfriend and I squashed in the back seat yet again. The radio dial was set to the classic country station and we all sat in stone silence and as the speakers blared George Jones.
“He stopped loving her today…,” the song started.
I would have burst out laughing at the ironic timing of the song’s lyrics had it not been for the heaviness in the air or for the fact that I felt totally rejected.
“He stopped loving her today…,” the song repeated.
He sure did, George, I mused. He sure did.
To Be Continued….