If you know what Quality Street chocolates are you will know that everyone has a favourite – toffee pennies, green triangles and what is only ever described as ‘the purple one’. When I was growing up, the greens and purples had rarity value and ownership of the last one in the tin was always hotly disputed.
Like these chocolates, people come in wrappers too. I think all of us have an exterior coating. This can hint at what we are on the inside, or disguise how we appear to others – sometimes what you see is exactly what you get, but not always. Some people are an acquired taste, some are brittle and difficult to digest, some hide a soft centre. Others need careful unwrapping before their real flavour is revealed. And yes, you do find the odd nut!
But do we need our foil coating? Unwrapped, we might melt. Personally, I think that’s preferable to being consigned to the bottom of the tin.
The first boy I ever kissed, was the same age as me, but in the year below at school. I was extremely shy and scared as hell, but he was more experienced (Tick) and very good looking (Tick). He was also a good kisser (Big Tick). He leant across the stable door at the front of our house and kissed me, casually. It was lovely. In fact, it was perfect.
I remember that kiss because it was the first time I had been that close to a boy who really liked me. Well, that’s not strictly true. When I was fourteen a boy who really liked me tried to kiss me and … I ran away – yes, literally! I just wasn’t ready to give my heart. And frankly, trying to kiss me in the middle of a department store (in public…eeuuww!) was never going to work, was it?
Rodin sculpted it, Eisenstadt and Doisneau photographed it. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy princess found her prince by kissing an amphibian. Hell, Heshey’s even turned it into a chocolate! O.K., maybe that last one doesn’t count, but kissing is an intimate act. It’s a way of being close to someone. And maybe a way of keeping out the cold of loneliness by starting a fire.
And yes, some kisses are rash (no, I really didn’t mean to…honest), some are an affirmation of life (it was a funeral and I was sad) and some are just what they are (in the moment for the moment…I was curious). Some kisses herald the beginning of great happiness (a.k.a. lust – or love – at first sight) and some mean unwelcome obligation (a.k.a. I kissed you and you were so rubbish I need therapy!) A kiss can give you power, or enslave you. (Just think of Judas! )
For me, kisses are a form of divination. You can tell from a kiss if its meant to be, or meant to fizzle. Some are fun, but the ones that count are the ones that really make you tingle.