Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Kiss Test

Today is my mother's birthday.

It is also the birthday of the first boyfriend I ever had in high school.

The third boyfriend I ever had in my whole life.

Who were my other boyfriends?

Boyfriend #1:  Kindergarten with Ms. Stroman.  His name was Ben.  A few months before kindergarten started, my mother took me for my first hair cut.  The hairdresser named Terry had short straight dark brown hair.  She had man's hair and a man's name.  I thought it was confusing.  But at least she was very nice.  She thought that my blonde unruly curls that fell past my chin were very sweet.  She and my mother agreed that they would be even sweeter if they were shorter. A big bowl of curls on top of my head.  So she chopped the hair around my head and soon there was a bowl of curls above my ears and all the way around.

"Oh that's adorable sweetie," said my mother from behind the hairdresser chair.

"Isn't she cute?" said Terry the hairdresser.  I didn't know why Terry called me a she.  Now that my hair was so short, I looked like a boy.  That afternoon we were supposed to go swimming.  My bathing suit was white with red stripes and a blue flipper-the-dolphine jumping just above my bellybutton.  I knew that I couldn't wear this bathing suit anymore.   With my hair so short, everyone would know that something was wrong. 

I made my mother take me to the department store where she bought me ugly green and blue shorts that I would wear every day now that I was a boy.

Then I arrived in Ms. Stotman's junior kindergarten class.  My hair was still short. Terry had trimmed it just before school started.  On my first day of school, I wore my "Party Animal" sweat suit.  Lime green pants and a sweat shirt with lime green sleeves and a white body with some monster type animal and the words "party animal" on it.  Very flattering.  But at least I wasn't pretending to be a girl.  During free time, Ben and I met in the dress-up corner.  He suggested that I put on a tutu.  I decided that this meant that I was a girl again. I put on the tutu right away.  On the playground, Ben and I kissed on the lips.  Our parents let us hang out with each other on the weekends. We traded stickers. 
Once at Ben's house, we took off all of our clothes in the backyard, turned on the hose, and then sprayed each other and the windows of the house. Inside, the couch got wet. Ben's dad got a little bit angry at us and gave us pretend spankings while we were still naked.  The naked spankings felt thrilling.  After junior kindergarten, Ben and his family moved to Australia. 
During senior kindergarten, Ben sent me a postcard:

“Ben says he loves you and misses you and wishes you were here.”  LOVE BEN

That was the last I ever heard of Ben. 

Boyfriend #2:  I got my next boyfriend in grade one in Mrs. VandenBosch's class.  His name was Kevin.  Halfway through grade one, Keven had to wear braces on his legs like Forrest Gump.  So his legs were always in the shape of a triangle.  To walk, he had to swing them to and fro.  Then he had to go to the hospital to get an OPERATION.  I don't think that we became boyfriend and girlfriend until after that.  When Kevin returned to school, he had to use a wheelchair.  I remember waiting on the pavement for the school bell to ring and we kissed on the lips many times.

Then I skipped grade two and lost all my friends and my boyfriend.  When you're in grade three, you're not allowed to kiss boys in grade two.  Absolutely not. 

Boyfriend #3:  This was the one who was born on October 9th. The same day as my mother.  We met in grade nine band class. I played the trombone and he played the saxophone.  We both had braces.  At the school dance, he asked me to slow dance.  In grade nine, I was in love with Michael Brown and Alex Crampton who were both on the swim team.  I saw them every day at practice but they were way out of my league.  So when the saxophone player asked me to dance, I said yes.  I hated dances, but slow dances were the easiest because you didn't need any coordination or rhythm. The guy decided how much space there was between you.  The saxophone player decided there wouldn't be too much space and I could feel his boner between my legs.  I felt mostly neutral about this experience, but a little bit cozy.  The next week, we went out for lunch every day.  There were no boners and no kissing and I felt okay about this.  On Friday, it was his birthday.  I made him a big chocolate cake.  At the end of the day, he asked me out.  Like would I be his girlfriend.  I said I would think about it.  At swim practices, while we were doing our abdominal exercises, I asked everyone what I should do.  Michael Brown said that I might as well go for it.  I thought the world of Michale Brown so I figured I would follow his dating advice.

That night, I called the saxophone player back and said that yes, I would go out with him.  The next week, whenever we went out for lunch, we held hands.  At the park, sometimes he would put his arm around me.  I tried not to lean over in the opposite direction.  Every once in awhile, he would put his face full of braces close to my face full full of braces and then I couldn't help it.  I would look the other way. 

At night after swim practice, we would talk on the phone. A lot of the time, I would do my homework at the same time.  I was an excellent student. The saxophone player always called me "hon." At the end of our phone calls, he would say, "Bye, I love you."

Sometimes I would say I love you too, and sometimes I wouldn't.  At swim practice, while we were doing our abdominal exercises, when people asked me how it was going with my saxophone player, I would get all red and wish that it was time to jump in the water. 

One day we had walked home to my house for lunch. All the way there, the saxophone player kept leaning over towards my face and I kept lurching away.  His breath didn't smell that great and I felt certain that our two sets of braces would end in catastrophe.  If Michael Brown or Alex Crampton had braces and they'd wanted to kiss me, maybe it would have been different.  We'll never know.

When we got to my house,  my mother was giving a piano lesson.  There were fresh white buns on the counter.  The saxophone player put her arm around me and led me in front of the radiator, which was right next to the counter with the buns.  The saxophone player had a better strategy this time.  With both hands around my waist we stood before each other face to face.  I knew he was going to lean over soon and I knew that lurching away would have been rude and awkward.  Luckily, I had another strategy.  I had the buns.  I grabbed a fluffly white gluten-filled bun and I shoved it in the saxophone player's face. 

He seemed a little taken aback.  We sat down at the table and had lunch.

Eventually, in the backyard, I gave in and we made out briefly.  Our braces didn't get stuck and it  could have been way worse.  Still, throughout the whole 45 seconds of it, I kind of wished it was over. 

I broke up with the saxophone player over the phone the night before my birthday.  In total, our relationship lasted three weeks.  For my birthday, he'd bought me a big expensive basket of vanilla scented soaps and body sprays from the body shop. He gave it to me in band class even though we were broken up.  I thought that was nice of him even though fancy soaps usually give me rashes.

I sprayed the body spray on my neck.  At swim practice during abdominal exercises, Michael Brown made fun of the smell. 

Mike Brown, Perth Ontario's Olympic Star
Since the saxophone player, I have devised something called the KISS TEST.  The KISS TEST means you kiss me and afterwards, if I want to kiss you again, then you pass.  If I don't want to kiss you again, then you fail. Usually once you fail, you cannot take the test again.  Over the years, some people have been allowed to take the kiss test again, and pretty much every time, they kept failing.  It is a very accurate test.  I'm proud of myself for inventing it. 

Although perhaps without our braces, the saxophone player and I would have done better.  We'll never know, just like we'll never know if Michael Brown and Alex Crampton would have passed my kiss test. 

In any case, it doesn't matter anymore, since according to Facebook, Michael Brown, and Alex Crampton and the Saxophone Player are all happily kissing.  I am happily kissing too.  The Boatman passed the Kiss Test with Flying Colours. 

 The Boatman, Kiss Test Winner, 2011-2015

This confirms my belief that there is a successful kiss test out there for everyone.  Thank goodness.
Success in Kissing is available to all who seek it.  Those with braces and those without.  Be persistent, be patient, and in case of catastrophe, be sure to have some buns within reach. 

The End.
Happy Birthday to My Mother and the Saxophone Player.
Here is our friend Gluten. Always there when we need him. Or her. Or them.

Gluten, Always there for us despite everything.
Created by the Boatman at

1 comment:

  1. haha, my hair was cut in a bowl cut right before grade primary too!!!

    and also- i had braces. Not fun for kissing.