Tag Archives: kiss

Things Men Have Said To Me (#22)

We were in our early thirties and a couple. This day we were at the park. He was chewing gum. After awhile, when we were in a private spot, he leaned in and kissed me, which was very nice. Then I got to thinking…

ME: “What happened to your gum?”

HIM (nonchalantly): “I swallowed it.”

ME (incredulous & concerned): “What?! No, you shouldn’t swallow gum!


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.

Older guys

A post I wrote recently got me to thinking about older men, specifically older ones I encountered when I was still quite young. As a teen, I thought guys out of high school and beyond were intimidating. Why, they looked like grownups. Even factoring in that guys that age back then would likely have been more mature than their present-day counterparts (not a swipe at younger guys today but a reflection on the fact that 20’s then is like thirties now and so on, given increased life span, each stage taking longer, etc.), the idea that they were really so worldly or grownup is laughable.

One summer when I was 15ish, a guy 3 years older, who had a reputation as a flirt decided to bestow his attentions on me one afternoon at the public swimming pool. It amounted to holding me in is arms in the water, tossing me around, and so forth for a long time. Playful, not icky or pushy, if a bit too much considering we had no prior relationship. I was flattered as hell. An older boy focusing on me. I remember he walked me home and that was that (although 3 years later, after I’d graduated high school, the two of us did have a serious, memorable, if fairly brief relationship).

In high school, I rode a bus to and from school. One of our drivers was an attractive, mustachioed guy in his twenties. After school let out, a bunch of buses followed one another down the main drag leading away from the building. One day a girl I didn’t know, sitting at the back of the bus ahead of ours began flirting wildly with our driver, blowing kisses and more. She really went for it, to a degree that pretty much shocked me at the time, particularly because she was so brazen and in full view of everybody on our bus. With the distraction, it’s a wonder our driver didn’t careen his busload of high school kids off the road. In retrospect, maybe this girl felt brave because she was at a safe distance from our driver. I really don’t know. The incident made quite the impression on me, though, because I couldn’t imagine coming on like that with a guy clearly out of high school, clearly older.

I did meet an older guy at a dance but the circumstances were different. Through older siblings, I knew a member of a band that was going to perform at a dance at my high school. I may have even had a small part in the arrangements because beforehand I talked on the phone with another band member who I did not know. We seemed to have a friendly rapport. At any rate, we met in person, if briefly, at the dance. I remember having a good time and enjoying the band.

Apparently though, it was another girl who caught the band guy’s attention that night. One of those high school girls who seems older than high school if you know what I mean (I was not such a girl). She was very pretty, popular, and acted like she was 25 or so. I learned about this after the fact when talking on the phone with band guy. He seemed to want my advice and I liked the attention. I wasn’t used to that from an older guy, being treated as an equal. He hadn’t gotten the girl’s information, however, and needed me as a conduit. His thought was that I should approach the girl at school and get her phone number for him (since he couldn’t go waltzing into the high school looking for her). I wanted to help but no way was I going to walk up to a strange girl and request her phone number. Without telling him first, I found her in a group of friends and instead gave her HIS phone number, saying he wants you to have this. Guess it worked out, because I stopped hearing from band guy and later heard the two married.

I knew I turned a corner, when, after graduating from high school, I and two older sisters went to a party hosted by people one of them knew. My sister was forever scouting about for an eligible man to date and this time was no different. There was one particular guy that was attractive and charming with us all. He commented that I seemed especially young – and in that group, I was – but when there was a lull outside and we momentarily found ourselves alone, it was me he kissed. Maybe I should have kept my yap shut later when we girls rehashed the party and my man-hunting sister claimed this particular guy was interested in her. But I didn’t. I set her straight. I never saw the guy again, but the barrier was crossed; older guys were starting to look different to me now.