When Andrea and I went on our first date and had our first kiss, I was 21 years, 2 months and 26 days old. When February 11th of this year quietly arrived, so did 21 years, 2 months and 26 days since that first kiss. I have now spent half my life with Andrea.
That day, back in November of 1994 was spent with me making nervous preparations for our date, going to class and working my college job. We had been friends for a few months now and had been growing closer with each day. I don’t remember when or how I had finally asked her to dinner at my place, but it was greeted by our friends with, “Finally!”
Near the end of the day, we met up in front of Campbell Hall at York College of Pennsylvania after I got off work and she finished studying at the library. I was so nervous that when we found each other, I was honestly a little shocked that she seemed happy to see me. I really don’t remember the walk to my campus apartment much, but I do remember making a nervous joke about if she planned on studying at my place because she had her backpack with her. I don’t remember dinner much either, except for me nervously asking her if she liked the ziti dish I had made and not believing her positive response.
However, I do remember that first kiss. I remember it in all it’s wonderful and awkward glory. We made awkward conversation as I think we both sensed it coming. I believe the last thing we talked about were these M&M Christmas string lights I had hanging. In another awkward pause, I just dove in with the kiss that would change everything for both of us and ricochet both or our lives into a completely new direction.
The writer in me wants to elevate this kiss with flowery prose and giant words that make it seem like the world shook as streams of light pulsed out from our heads, causing everything in it’s light to become better and all the problems of the world were instantly solved. The truth is, it was a very sweet, simple and awkward kiss…Teeth may have even bumped. On the timeline of history, it was just a singular moment that changed little. However, we ceased being just friends in that moment and became something so much more important. Our lives changed and, down the road, two other lives would begin. The person I was did not cease to exist in that moment, but that kiss would change the DNA of who we both were.
Now, literally, half my lifetime has passed since then. Prior to meeting Andrea, I felt like it took forever to find her…At that moment, I had spent my lifetime looking for the person that would make me whole, yet, now, I have spent more days with her in my life than I have spent without her.
Sure, we had some bad days in there. Honestly, we had some really bad days in there. There was a one month stretch when we didn’t even talk and there were times where it seemed that kiss would only be a reminder of what could have been. However, that kiss had wired us together and given us the strength to make it through those days.
February 11th passed quietly. I had calculated out the day years ago and had been thinking a lot about it in the days before. Honestly, however, I had the day as February 21 in my head and did not discover my mistake until around February 18. We spent the 11th mostly apart. She would have had class and the boys and I would have had basketball practice after work and school. But even the chaos that our life exist in these days, kisses would be exchanged.
There would have been quick, awkward kisses to the foreheads of the boys as the tried to escape to the school bus and then, again later as they tried to snuggle under their blankets. And there was the quick, gentle kiss between Andrea and I as she headed to bed…and while it was not as awkward (or long) as that first kiss, it was just as sweet and simple. And while nothing would change in that moment, it merely served as monument to that first kiss that happened half a lifetime ago.