A kiss. All I wanted was a kiss.

The moment we first met, it became clear to me that he was a stone-cold fox. So naturally, I was curious as to his bussing abilities. I had no plan, no scheme to get him into the sack or anything. Really, I was open to anything that might happen. I was just … intrigued. I had to check it and see.

Our dating progressed in the natural way, from coffee shop to dive bar. We met at the HMS Bounty — I believe it was a Tuesday. (Ahh, to be underemployed again!)

He had a greyhound. I had a beer. Our future gender roles were already taking shape, unbeknownst to us. Much like our first date, we sat and talked and nursed our drinks for two hours. Our conversations were always interesting, on the phone and now, for the second time, in person. But my mind kept wandering … to his high cheekbones, his pretty green eyes, his full, shapely lips, his handsome square jawline, his screwed-up eyes and screwed-down hairdo … I was having double vision. I kept having to metaphorically grab myself by my own collar and yank my attention back to the conversation at hand, not the one that I was having in the gutter of my mind. But it was too late. I guess I’m just an American girl.

Eventually, the evening and our conversation were coming to a close. The moment of truth was at hand: was he going to kiss me?

My whole purpose for online dating was to do just that: date. Nothing else, no hopping into the sack with the first cute boy I met, no getting sucked into relationships that I couldn’t get out of. Just dating. Something that I imagined normal people did, and which I never managed to do in the normal way. But I had a feeling about him. It wasn’t obvious, it wasn’t a compulsion, it was just this raging … curiosity. This was a conversation that I was already having with my friends. “He’s so fine. I really want to kiss him — I want to see what it’s like.” Rebekah said, “You’re going to sleep with him.” But really, all I wanted was his extra time and his kiss. I swore to her and myself that I wasn’t going to jump in bed with him, that I was going to really get to know him first. But I’m not a patient person. His kiss was on my list.

We left the bar. It wasn’t terribly late, and I wasn’t terribly drunk. Really, I just had a slight buzz. He offered to walk me to my car. I accepted. We crossed the street. We walked past a homeless guy begging for change. Did he have his arm around my waist? I don’t recall this detail, but the distraction of wondering about the kiss makes it seem like it was. We got to my car. Was my heart pounding? It must’ve been (it is now). We said a few line — again, I don’t recall. And then, he went in for the hug. The hug! I couldn’t take it. Some strange music dragged me in. … He turned to kiss me on the cheek. Instinctively, my head turned toward his, and suddenly we were fully making out. And it stoned me. When we kissed…..oooh, fire. It was almost paradise. In the book of Right On, it was right on.

What do we do now? I mean, jeezus, it was only the second date! But I didn’t want to become second hand news. Somehow, we were going to have to part ways. Finally, we pulled away. I began to turn toward my car. In a split second, it happened. SMACK! The flat of his palm slapped squarely across my ass. Followed by, “You’re cute.”

Cute?! Cute? All that discourse, all that talking, and all I get is “you’re cute”?! My heart dropped into my stomach. The sting of the slap was nothing compared to the stinging demoralization of that phrase.

Listen people: I’m small. Petite. Short. Diminutive. Downright dinky. Whatever. I’ve heard “cute” all my life. Cute is not sexy. Cute is not beautiful, or desirable, or hot. Cute is the kid sister. Cute doesn’t count. Cute sits in the backseat. Cute gets the child’s portion. Cute wears size small, and can’t see above people’s heads, and can’t reach the top shelf. Cute is not a grownup. Cute is sweet child o’ mine, not black magic woman. I mean, it’s fine when friends or strangers call me cute. Really, I’ve even grown to like it — it can be endearing. Cute has its place.

But potential lovers? Oof. That really took the wind out of my sails, not the slap. In one split second, he went from an intelligent, interesting, unique individual to just another dude. Up until that moment, I thought that he saw me as an intelligent human being, and attractive, and worthy of this quality mid-city makeout session for more lofty reasons. For a moment I was gold dust woman, and then ‘Whammo!’ — all in all I was just another brick in the wall.

I drove home, ashamed, head spinning, wondering what it all meant. I went to bed, tossing and turning, and dreamt all night about … sleeping with him. All night, I want the young American. Even the humiliation of the C-word didn’t halt the flow of my inner raging 13-year-old adolescent (fe)male hormones. Despite everything I was still hot-blooded.

But what was it, this slap? Was it an uncontrollable urge? Was it the only way he could think to part ways? Was it even a thought, or simply a reaction? Was his urge really to slap my face, but he missed? Did I embarrass him? It didn’t add up: Ph.D., started his own business, great taste in music — how could he be just a dude? It was a brilliant disguise.

The next day I received an email, all apologies. An eloquently worded acknowledgement of the wrongness of the ass-slap. He said he wouldn’t blame me if I said, “You’re no good, baby, you’re no good.” But I’m a forgiving person, and time washes clean love’s wounds unseen. And really we both wanted it to be all right now. So after a little thought, I agreed to give him another chance.

We eventually got past the slap, and frankly, I rarely think about it these days. We have more important things to talk about, and we’ve had far more important events in our lives together. Further on down the road, hand in glove, the sun shines out of our behinds, and we’ve made plans that are much bigger and stronger than some little transgression like a slap on the ass. Everything’s hunky dory with my 20th Century Boy.

Now ain’t that close to love?

13 responses to “Slapshot”

  1. Scott Godfrey says:

    Wow, I feel like I’ve heard this story before…

    Poor fella, the “cute” comment I can understand, but the slap – a little cocky
    for the second date. Anyway, great post.

    Reminds me of a true story in which I bummed out a date: I became infatuated with and courted a woman who worked in my local coffee house, but to no avail. After a few months, she finally gave in and asked me if I’d like to get a beer.

    We met after she got off work, and after some laughs and conversation, the time seemed right for me to move in for the kiss. I was about ten inches from her face when I stopped and said, “you have really porous skin.”
    It’s just what shot past my brain and out of my mouth. I still don’t know why I said it; I was usually a relatively smooth talker, but something just happened.

    She, being quite embarrassed, grabbed her things and left in a huff. That was it, my one and only chance, but then again I don’t have “high cheekbones…pretty green eyes…full, shapely lips…[and a] handsome square jawline.”

  2. Jeremy Zitter says:

    I love hearing the ass-slap story from your perspective, Jen, because I remember talking to an extremely distraught Tim afterwards (might’ve been the next day, even). I still marvel at how completely out of character it was for him to do that.

    Scott, on the other hand–I can totally see him telling some poor girl about her “porous” skin…

  3. Lisa Tremain says:

    So many evocative music references in here. I think I like the Foreigner best.

    Scott once told me something like “You have soft eyes and a hard mouth.” Maybe that’s a good thing? The sad/funny part is that Scott’s one of those oracle-like beings who tells you something really truthful about yourself that you don’t want to admit. So, I’m sure, yes, that the chick had porous skin.

    Jen, I love how you dj-ed this post.

    Love, L.

  4. J-man says:

    J-Dog – I wrote this post primarily for you, as both tim and I noticed that it seemed to come up alot in conversation. I felt that I had to finally put this thing to bed (so to speak).
    Lisa – Thanks for the dj-ing props! And that gives me a great idea for the mix cd for music club….
    Scott – You are quite the oracle – now I know never to stand that close to you.

  5. Ruben Mancillas says:

    The slap was bold, I grant you that.

    I see the possible connotations of “cute” being troubling but post-kiss even this seems potentially charming.

    But please help me out with the following combinations and your ranking of most desired to dealbreaking:

    1) No memorable post-kiss follow-up

    2) You’re cute-no slap

    3) Slap-w/out any accompanying commentary

    4) Slap and cute designation


    5) Being told you had noticeably large holes in your face

  6. Lisa Parrish says:

    On the subject of odd=but-ostensibly-meant-well observations, a very nice woman last night told me I looked like Mary Cheney. “Well,” I said, “I hope I’m a little better-looking than Mary Cheney.” There was a pause. “Oh,” she said, “Mary Cheney actually has quite a pretty face. She just has a receding hairline.”
    Er… thanks?

  7. Rachel says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Oh my God, Parrish. It’s lucky for that women that you have social graces.

    And Mary Cheney should be so lacky as to resemble our El-P.

  8. Rachel says:

    umm…”lucky.” sorry, i’m still shaking with laughter.

  9. Ruben Mancillas says:

    Breaking news: that pretty face/receding hairline is scheduled to present Dick and Lynne with their 6th grandchild.

  10. Scott’s one of those oracle-like beings who tells you something really truthful about yourself that you don’t want to admit.

    oh my isn’t that true. i’m glad he’s also effusive toward those he likes or i would have been certain a couple times he was out to get me.

    jen — cute post. er … i mean kick-ass post. welcome aboard.

    tim — i don’t know man. this post has me worried.

  11. Tim Wager says:

    I can’t blame you Bryan. Believe me, I was worried about myself too. For a full week after this incident I would randomly look at my right hand (the culprit) and say out loud, incredulously, “Everything was going fine, and then . . . I slapped her on the ass?!?” I’m not going to deny agency, but it was almost like it had a mind of its own, the little dickens.

    LP, that baby you were in those U-G-L-Y photos is way better looking than Mary Cheney. (That post still makes me laugh, what with the ‘every-baby-is-beautiful-on-account-of-Jesus’ commentary, too.)

  12. J-Man says:

    You boys always claim that “it has a mind of its own”. Jeez.

    Bryan – thanks for the props! I’m glad to be part of any club that has all y’all as members.
    Even one that’s designed and directed by his red right hand.

    (sorry – I had to add one more song…)

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