Who caught that recent episode of Friends? You know, the one where the characters ponder how their lives would have been different if they had taken different paths in life. In this counter-Earth, Monica was still grossly overweight. As a consequence of this, she was a 31-year old virgin. So, on the one night that she thought that she and her boyfriend were finally going to do it, she got stood up. In walks he good friend Chandler (in this Elseworld, they weren’t dating). Monica starts talking about how depressing it is to be a 31-year old virgin, and it isn’t long before Chandler proposes that maybe they should sleep together. “This is just one friend helping another friend,” Chandler said as they went off to the bedroom. Of course, the episode ended with Chandler and Monica wanting to become more than friends, and showing us that no matter what happened in their lives, they are meant for each other. But the ending’s not important.
I mention this episode because it induced a dream. In this dream, I was sitting on a couch with a young woman I happen to be friends with (names withheld to protect the innocent). Talk soon turned to how I am 22-years old and have never been kissed (which is no surprise if you’ve read my column The Last You’ll Hear About Me Being A 22-Year Old Virgin). So, she soon proposed that perhaps she should kiss me. And so, we did. Now, I know that this dream was induced by that Friends episode because, as she leaned in close, she said that line: “This is just one friend helping another friend.”
(Before we continue, I feel it necessary to reiterate the moral of The Last You’ll Hear About Me Being A 22-Year Old Virgin. My big hang up isn’t that I’ve never had sex, it’s that I’m a virgin in the strictest sense of the word. I’ve never been kissed, never held hands, never felt love and have it reciprocated. Brought up to speed? Good.)
So once again I find myself obsessing over when and where my first kiss is going to happen. When asked about my first kiss, I’m never going to have some cute memory about doing it with Pam Eisly behind the backstop during track & field day at school. My big fear is that I’ll be 31-years old and it will be “one friend helping another.” I don’t want it to be like that because I have developed this grandiose image in my head that, when it does happen, it will be some huge romantic moment, signaling the beginning of my first love affair. Once again, thanks to pop culture, my mind is so warped as to what it should be like. And of course, there is that ever-present tingling about how to do it.
Like the tongue. What does it do when you kiss? Do you just jam it down her throat? Are you supposed to lick the back of her teeth or something like that? And what about her tongue? If she jams it down my throat, is there anything I’m supposed to do to be more receptive? Get my tongue out of the way, perhaps? If there’s tongue involved, that would mean that my mouth is open. At what point in a relationship do switch from closed-mouth kissing to open-mouth kissing? And what are my eyes doing throughout this? Are they opened, and gazed lovingly into hers, or are they closed, so that the only sensation I am aware of is the kiss itself? How can people be so nonchalant about kissing when there are so many questions involved?
But anyway, this dream coupled with something that recently happened in pop culture has resulted in divine inspiration. It’s time for me to start making my own destiny. I propose that we have a game show: Who Wants To Make Out With Me? I would take applications and from there narrow it down to 50 women. Then, rather than doing some kind of twisted beauty pageant, I would conduct 50 sit-down interviews. Each interview would start with the same simple question: Now that you’ve seen me, why do you want to do this?
That’s the biggest question behind every kiss. Why are you doing this? Are you doing it because it’s some cold, mechanical response? Is it because you are deeply in lust with this person and want to give them a preview of what’s to come? Or is it because you are truly in love with that person and want to express it? What people rarely understand is there is emotion behind every question. No matter how much you try to keep your emotions in check, there will always be some emotional influence in your decision making. And, when it comes to the kiss, the ultimate symbol of love, emotion will always run high.
So that’s why I have to ask the question why do you want to do this? What a lot of people don’t understand is that, having been without love since, ever, is that it has resulted in having very little self-confidence about all matters of the heart. First of all, I wear glasses. When was the last time you saw a truly sexy person wearing glasses? And notice how they are always the first to go in one of those “geek-to-glamourous” make-overs. Secondly, let’s face it people, I’m fat. Ever since I was eight, I have been obsessed with how fat I am. I mean, look at me! I’m a pig! I’m swine! I’m huge! That’s what it boils down to. Why do you want to kiss a fat geek?
The game show, then, is a hugely wrong idea. There is nothing I could do in a sit-down interview that could make a woman want to kiss me. I think, then, that it is right for me to have this hugely romantic image of my first kiss. Think about it. By the time it actually gets around to happening, she will have gotten to know me. She’ll have seen the inner me. She will be able to look past the glasses and the extra pounds and see me. At least that’s what I hope will happen, and it won’t happen on a game show.
I once read in the paper the other day that people who believe in fate and destiny are pessimists who view life as a burden. So, would that mean I’m being pessimistic if I quit worrying about this for now and just leave it up to the fates? I know it will happen someday, and that I should quit obsessing over it and just let it happen in its own time. I should quit listening to those elements of pop culture that tell me this should have happened years ago. It’s hard to do when they are so loud. I’m sure I will survive, with a little help from my friends. But not in that way.