Through The Lens: Kiss Kiss
February has arrived and you know what that means, the Super Bowl game is over and Kansas City won. In western Pennsylvania, a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil has been pulled from his warm home and held up to the world while men in stove top hats proclaim spring is going to be early this year. In Alaska, a marmot, who is a relative of Phil is also expected to predict springs arrival. Do you know the story how marmots end up in Alaska? In the late 1800s, a marmot was caught fooling around with a married woodchuck. The scandal was so great the whole family up and moved north to avoid the social ridicule. Also important, today is President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Oh, one more thing, in two days it will be Valentine’s Day. It is a very important day on the calendar. If you don’t think so, just forget to do something special for the one you love. And I am not speaking of your dog.
For those of you who remembered the day, you have most likely found the right card with just the perfect words to express your love. In all likelihood, you would have said exactly the same words if you had written the card yourself. If you had written them on a blank card you would have saved yourself $10. You also would have joined the cheapskate club for lovers. To accompany the card, you selected a bunch of cut flowers to adorn your dining room table. How about the Forrest Gump approach to love, a box of chocolates. Don’t forget to blank out the calorie count.
Finally, if you are a big spender you will take your loved one out for a romantic dinner. Hamburgers, Chinese, Mexican, buffet or maybe thin crust pizza. Not what the movies portray as romantic, but in our community there is nowhere with soft lights, candles on the table, and soft music playing in the background. Here is a little hint, if you take her out to dinner find the flash light app on your phone and place it in the middle of the table. It will give the table a nice glow. Maybe, it will enhance the mood of love and add a little ambiance to the moment.
There is one more thing that you can do for the one you love on this day, give them a kiss. A spontaneous kiss can be worth a million dollars when you want to convey to your loved one you really do care. Well, maybe not a million dollars, but a lot.
I wanted to be correct when I recommend that you give a kiss as a Valentine gift, so I went to my well-worn dictionary and searched for the word kiss. Definition of a kiss: A caress with the lips. Ranges from a passionate embrace to a friendly peck. ‘I thought a peck was something a chicken did.’ And the final definition was a drop cookie made with meringue or a single bite candy wrapped in foil. I believe most of these definitions apply to a more senior group of people. What if we asked a teenager what a kiss was after their first date and kiss on the lips: Wow, that was great, let’s do it again at least ten times to make sure we did it right.
They have a good point. Did your parents tell you how to kiss? In our social studies class I don’t remember any teacher show us a movie on how to kiss. They were more intent on telling us what not to do. On television in my generation’s day, a kiss was often an Ozzie and Harriet peck lasting no more than a second on our black and white television screen.
I’ll bet the first up close view of a hard kiss you ever saw was on the silver screen in the old Lincoln Theater. Projected above your head in flicking light towards the 30 by 20 screen were the images of two movie stars kissing. I can still remember the close-up of Rhett Butler’s nose pressed against Miss Scarlett’s nose on the big screen. “you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” You could almost hear the theater fill with heavy breathing. If you were taking notes that is a point you should remember. Don’t press to hard, it wrinkles the other person’s nose.
Something else happened as you watched that first on screen kiss filled with passion. You began to feel something you may not have felt before. Let’s call it an invigorated moment. After that moment of passion you knew more than ever, you wanted to kiss a real person. Then on a Friday night in the dark Lincoln it happens, your first kiss. I’ll bet you never even checked your notes to see if you had done it like Rhett did. You never even worried if your nose was wrinkled against the other person’s nose. Maybe, just maybe in the darkened theater filled with the aroma of fresh popcorn you didn’t care. You knew your life would never be the same again.
Do you remember when your friend whispered to you some time after your first kiss? “Did you hear, Billy French kissed Becky last Friday night.” A surprised look came on your face as you said. “Really a French kiss.” You quickly thought to yourself, I didn’t know Billy and Becky had gone to France last Friday.
You may not have realized it, but a kiss is a good thing. It helps to lower your anxiety level, especially after your first kiss. It causes your brain to create an excess of dopamine, that’s the stuff that made you feel “Invigorated!” It also has a list of medical things that it does to promote health, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, and boasts your immune system, that’s so you don’t get the kissing disease. Reduces cavities. But trust me, if you don’t brush your teeth to prevent cavities you won’t have to worry about kissing anyone.
In my extensive research, I found all the things that science says about a kiss. But I also discovered, there was one important thing that it didn’t list when talking about the benefits of a kiss, LOVE. Kissing is typically the third thing we do that begins our emotional journey into life with another person. The second is, holding hands.
The first thing we do is look at the other person and they look back. You realize the look was something special. Do you remember holding hands for the first time and realize they were sweaty. Next you have that first real kiss. Then your whole body is sweating. I’ll bet after your first kiss you looked at each other for a moment before breaking out in a nervous giggle. Then you looked around to see if anyone else had seen your noses squished together for the first time.
Valentine’s Day is promoted as a day for cards, candy, flowers and a romantic dinner. But this year give the one you love something special. Give them a kiss and wrinkle their nose. Maybe even think about a short trip to France. True love cannot be put into a card nor can it be hidden in a box of chocolate, no matter what Forrest Gump says. Love is not staring starry eyed across a table at your loved ones eyes sparking from the glow from your phone’s flash light. But, when you hold them in your arms and kiss them, that’s as close as real love can manifest itself in our daily lives. Well, at least in my PG rated story on the pages of the Wetzel Chronicle/Tyler Star News as I say, I love you to my wife Mary Through the Lens.