Kiss

I had worked for him for awhile in a part time job but no longer did. We’d known one another before I was in his employ, and on whole, working for him had well, worked out. He was old enough to be my father but we’d long had what I considered an affectionate, special rapport. He’d once said with a smile, “If I was 25 years younger…” to which I jokingly answered, “If you weren’t married and had grandkids…”

On this day, I met him outside in a commercial area to get a letter of recommendation he’d written for me. (I don’t remember why we hadn’t met at the work site.) He had to go into the bank and I went inside with him. As we waited for the teller, he pulled out a little canister of breath spray and sprayed it into his mouth. It was an odd gesture, one I’d never seen him do before and by this point, I’d known him for years. He was by no means a vain or self-conscious man.

Back outside, standing in the parking lot, he handed me the letter of recommendation and we talked a moment. Then. Then. Then. Then he went in for a kiss. I phrase it that way because that was how the maneuver felt. “Went in for a kiss” is from a different time, as was this man. This man, old enough to be my father, who had a wife, children, grandchildren. As he leaned in, I turned my head just in time so he got a piece of cheek rather than the lips he was going for. The breath spray’s purpose was now all too clear. I was horrified. Appalled that he attempted this and attempted it the way he did (spraying breath spray first in front of me??), assuming it would be okay to kiss me – why? why?? – and really that he cheapened our long relationship with this one move. This one poorly timed, inappropriate, peculiar move.

Nothing was said about it. Not then and not ever.

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13 thoughts on “Kiss

  1. Jim Link

    Yes, his manner seems very awkward and inappropriate, Colette, but I’m gonna try a little amateur mindreading, …….Possibly – no real evidence here, just a wistful hunch – he was feeling his mortality, his waning years and closing window(s) of opportunity to woo , i.e. pounce on young beauties like you. So he was trying to kiss you because he was flushed with the ache of nostalgia and the fear of a rapidly shrinking future……

    I’m being way too charitable to him, i suppose , and yes he didn’t take YOUR feelings into consideration.

    Maybe, just maybe, he was more fearful and desperate than brutely lecherous………

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Sorry Jim, but our relationship had always been above-board so his move was disrespectful to me, his wife, his kids, his grandkids. If, as you suggest, someone wants to chase beauty and youth they need to first disengage from prior commmitments at the very least. And choose their targets wisely. Lastly, maybe he had a history of inappropriate gestures or more. He left me to guess.

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  2. dvaal

    I once brushed horses at the neighbors barn. He was a much older man so I felt safe. When he came to the barn and started talking to me I didn’t think much. Then he said those disgusting words: “Can I give you a hug?” Why?

    I said “no” and never went back again. Yuck!!!!!
    fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Yuck is right. When someone takes advantage of their position – be it age, authority, or merely cornering a potential target alone – my back gets way up. They too often count on the discomfort they create as a means to an end. Smart girl not to go back. And he lost a horse brusher to boot!

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  3. George

    I wonder if his love was thought out or something he did in the moment. I realize it was something he probably wanted to do for some time but something held him back. I wonder why then. What kind of special affectionate rapport did you have with him?
    Jim’s comment above about this guy feeling his mortality is not an excuse but it could be a reason. You’re right, he was totally disrespectful to many people and he may have a pattern of inappropriate behavior with others. Or not. He apparently has a story not many know about.

    Are you still in contact with him or he with you?

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I did not see love in this. I saw a calculated using-breath-spray-in-preparation move of a married man with grandkids on a (unsuspecting) woman 25 years his junior in a public parking lot. This was not a cozy romantic dinner where he declared himself or expressed regret over aging and lost opportunities. When I said we had an affectionate relationship, I did not mean physically but that we liked and appreciated each other, could make each other laugh, and I would say respected each other’s intelligence. Yes, he thought I was attractive but thoughts need only be that when the relationship or situation is not appropriate.

      I see why you and Jim might relate to the man, but there must be better ways to deal with these issues. We all lose opportunities, but visiting that pain or loss on other people who haven’t invited it is misguided. Was losing my full respect and tainting the relationship we DID have worth it? He didn’t even get what he aimed for.

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      1. George

        Sorry… I meant to write move, not love. Auto correct again…).
        I don’t disagree with anything you wrote and I believe he was wrong in what he did and his betrayal of his family and your friendship. My only thought was wondering why he did what did. What his thought process was. I would have had that question of anyone, man or woman. Whenever someone does anything that’s out of character based on what I know of the person, I always wonder what triggered it or if it was always there and did I miss something. This isn’t a gender or age thing for me. It’s more curiosity based on an out of character choice.

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        1. writerinsoul Post author

          I see what you’re saying. I have to go back to the fact that I had been working for him and no longer was; I think he saw this as his moment (it was “okay” to make a move now). That’s all I can figure. He didn’t talk to me, explain himself, or ask for anything. I’m a person who talks things out. He was not that way at all. I was so surprised, my response was simply to avoid his attempt. This happened years ago. Today, I might say “What the hell are you doing??” or “Whoa!” and ask for an explanation. He may have been acting in character and I was only being treated to this side of him for the first time. I simply don’t know.

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