The chill air had given us an excuse to cozy up next to each other on our late evening star gazing excursion. Both conversation and laughter flowed easily and we strolled slowly back to my apartment. It was like a scene from the movies were everything is perfectly scripted and the audience waits in anticipation for the swell of the music. We paused on my steps to say goodnight and he leaned in for that magical moment and I, 100% oblivious, turned my head and wrapped my arms around him in a tender embrace. Undeterred, he took a step back and said, “Let’s try that again” and I, realizing that my well cultivated kiss-dodge-maneuver had unintentionally kicked in, panicked. The moment was lost and our profuse apologies hung in the air like a storm cloud as we retreated to our separate apartments. He to stew on one side of the wall and me to cry regretfully to my roommates on the other. He called the next day to apologize, the first guy to ever do so after I’d deflected a kiss, and the layers of protective cynicism I’d painstakingly built began to crumble.
When his sister found out that neither of us had ever kissed anyone she said, “Well how will either of you know what to do!?!” and he, in practical Noel fashion, simply said, “We’ll figure it out.” It took over a week for him to work up the courage to try and kiss me again and the setting wasn’t particularly cinematic. I was shivering in a too thin jacket, an overgrown pine tree obscured our view of the valley, and there was a couple arguing within earshot. I don’t even know if anyone else would technically consider it a kiss since our lips barely even brushed, but for me it was magical nonetheless.
In seven years of marriage we’ve tackled a lot of firsts. Our approach is often less than glamorous, but we’re figuring things out together. Big things like parenting and little things like how to patch a hole in the wall. Before we got married I giddily thought everything would be romantic, even mundane household chores like folding laundry. Sometimes I think about that and laugh when I’m staring down the mountain of clean clothes on our bed. Still, there’s no one I’d rather have a heart to heart with while matching socks. Our life is often ordinary, but it’s ours and that’s my favorite part about it.