I Remember My First Kiss: Summer Romance At 15
I was 15, and hung out at the pizza place with a roll of quarter playing Ms. Pac Man. Anyone who knew me could find me there. I wore a bathing suit with shorts and a long t-shirt. I wore flip flops but took them off and stood on them, playing the game.
I am down to my last couple of quarters and a couple of kids walk in, a guy and a girl. The guy walks over and puts his quarter on the machine; I got game when you’re done. I don’t look up, I just nod. (Don’t make me lose concentration on the banana level, Man!) I lose my last guy and motion to the guy that it’s his turn. He steps away from the girl and the pizza on the table and says, “c’mon I’ll play ya.” I told him, “I’m out of quarters” ” I’m buying” he says. (Big spender, I think) I tell him I don’t think his girlfriend will be happy with this, he said “that’s my sister.” Now I am intrigued. I know every kid in this and the three other subdivisions, this is the New Guy.
Six games later, his sister is long gone and we sit down for cold pizza and flat soda. I learn his name is Larry and I watch the black eyelashing flicker over his grey blue eyes. I am pulled into them like a vacuum. He is from Texas and is visiting his grandparents for the summer while his parents finalize their divorce. I feel badly for him, and tell him that I am here if he needs to talk. I give him my number and invite him swimming at our community pool. NO one will mind–he’s the new guy.
Two days later, back at the pizza place, Larry walks in and asks me if he can swim. I am, once again, wearing the bathing suit. I grab my towel from my chair and we walk to the subdivision where I live. We walk slowly, learning about each other, and our own lives and histories; we share our likes and dislikes. We reach the pool and all of my friends are there, guys and girls alike. We start a game of pool tag, then Marco Polo and then we just take turns on the diving board. My mom comes by the pool to get me and she meets him. “nice young man” she remarks. (I agree wholeheartedly, thinking about those blue eyes)
On his way back to his grandparents’ house, he stops by. It’s about 5:30 and mom ordered pizza. She invites him in and he calls to his grandparents. Yes, it’s okay to stay for supper. We go up to my room later, door stays open–mom’s rule–and we play some records and cassettes. He and I share a love of Journey. He opens his wallet and pulls out a guitar pick, a picture and a Journey concert ticket. He says “to remember me by.”
“Wow,” I think. He has to go, but off and on that summer I see him. I meet him behind the shopping center and we talk and walk. We swim and play tennis.
Journey, ‘Wheel In the Sky’
A week before he leaves, we are walking behind the shopping center. “I wish I could stay” he says. “Me too…really me too,” I reply. He leans forward and kisses me, pressing my back gently, but firmly to the brick shopping center wall. I shook all over and my knees shook. I trembled in shock and with feelings I’d never had before. We spent the rest of the summer holding hands and sharing small kisses. I was not ready to go further and he understood. I told him that I wanted to keep in touch and if he came back the next summer, I wanted to see him.
He left that next Monday, just before school started. I was so sorry to see him go. He took with him the knowledge that he was my first kiss. I didn’t think I was his, but he didn’t say either way. It didn’t matter.
His grandfather died halfway into the school year. I never got to see him again. We wrote a few times, and called even fewer, but it was okay. Whenever I wanted to remember, I could pull out the Journey concert ticket and smile.
I remember those grey blue eyes like it was last summer… —lorithelioness
Posted at The Experience Project, May 18, 2008
I Remember My Summer Romance
My Summer Romance.. the Only One That Still Stays In My Heart..a certain summer, i think i was 17, i worked at the local amusement park…there i started dating a boy named “Sam”..he was soo sweet, tall, cute, absolutely perfect…it wasn’t long before i fell in love…we both did….it also wasn’t long before i met “daniel”..he worked there too…he too was tall and handsome, a little more on the wild side i guess you could say, but he was interested in me and flirted a lot…i got curious and secretly started seeing daniel…yes i know horrible..i was cheating on a great guy…but the first time daniel kissed me, i saw the “fireworks” everyone talks about that seem almost mythical….he saw them too…we stopped and stared and smiled at each other and said “wow” at the same time lol…too funny…needless to say we spent the next two hours lip locked, and yes thats all we did, just kissed and kissed..it was perfect….we started seeing each behind my boyfriend’s back…(before i go further, i will say this now,i never had sex with either, i remained a virgin till the age of 19)…..dangerous territory since we all worked together, but i was totally into daniel now…i still loved sam but daniel made me feel something different…it wasn’t long before daniel said “he was tired of sharing” and he made me decide who i wanted to be with…i chose daniel…i broke sam’s heart and me and daniel were just as inseparable and sam and i had been….we went to the movies together, hung out outside my house….he even took me on a midnight run to an animal emergency clinic and paid the bill when my newly bought puppy began having seizures…he was sooo sweet that night,,,i was crying and he was holding me..i lost my puppy the next day and he comforted me…daniel was wonderful…until the day he cheated on me…WOW what a blow! and with someone who worked there with us too….i can still hear what he said when i asked him why?….he said, “how do you think i felt, watching you with sam all day, hearing you tell him you loved him, and then you spent the last remaining hours of the night with me?”…he said you hurt me, i wanted you to know how it felt for sam and for me!…i was hurt by those words…but i didnt let him see me cry….daniel had started dating this new girl, sam was dating someone else too and so that same day i found a new guy too….it was an amusement park never short of teenage boys…i was out for revenge lol….well sam and that girl ended badly…and we somehow found our way back to each other and finished out the summer…..what makes this story full of lies and secrecy something that still makes my heart beat? well daniel made me see those fireworks..he touched my heart..and through it all i never hated him….weird huh…well i ran into him almost twenty years later this past weekend…not the first time i had seen him, i had actually run into him three weeks before but i wasnt sure it was him…i would catch him looking at me and turn away….and when he approached me at the same location i saw him prior…he said i saw you here awhile back…i told him yes i saw you too,,why did you ignore me?….he said he was shy and wasnt sure i would remember him or even want to talk to him….i smiled and said why is that?….my friend who was with me, said “do you two know each other”..he said, “yes we worked together a loooooong time ago, wow we are old lol” i said “we did more than work together, we have history”….and he said “yes thats true”, “she was my hot summer romance” and my heart skipped a beat…did he just say that?….i said “what?”…he said “you were my summer romance, it was a great one too…even though you cheated on me twice” lol i laughed and said “twice? you cheated on me too”…and he said “you hurt me you know you remember…..” he even said “do you remember my old car, how we steamed up the windows that night, well almost every night” lol..i blushed cause i never would have thought he would remember those memories..cause while they were special to me, a guys and girls version of what love is, well, its rarely recalled the same way…perfect example…sandy and danny in grease when they are singing summer lovin had me a blast lol…quite different..but here was this guy i loved recalling the same memories and the same feelings…”all i could say was “wow you remember that”…he hugged me and said “of course i do, you were my summer love and it was a special to me”…i was 17, im 37 now, i could have cried lol…i hugged him back and said “it was special to me too”….we reminiced a little more then said our goodbyes…i left feeling giddy, feeling like that 17yr old that saw fireworks when we kissed and happy that the summer romance i recall mostly fondly was remember by that great guy in the same way…i was special to him too….it felt great…too bad we didnt kiss again..would be interesting to see if we could still make those fireworks…who knows maybe ill get another chance to find out….gotta love the summer 🙂
Author’s name deleted. Posted at The Experience Project, December 26, 2011
Different and Magical!
Sometimes summer romances can bloom into what feels like the greatest love of your life. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the fact that summer is so short and sweet, or maybe it is just plain true love when you’re not looking, but there’s something about love in the summer that makes it unique.
I remember my first summer romance as if it happened yesterday. I was 15, she was 16, and I was totally smitten. It only lasted three weeks, but it was three weeks I will never forget. We met quite by accident. Her family had rented a cabin next to the cabin my family was staying in for the month of August. I was sitting by myself watching the lake when she literally stumbled over me. She was flying a kite with her sister and they hadn’t even noticed me sitting there. “Story of my life”, I thought as she offered her apologies and told me her name – Sophie. What happened after that is like a dream.
Gary Lewis & the Playboys, ‘Save Your Heart for Me’ (1965, #2 pop single), written by Gary Geld and Peter Udell, originally recorded by Brian Hyland (1963).
We spent every waking moment of the next three weeks together. I had always been a little shy around girls, but Sophie was so easy to talk to that I forgot to be tongue tied. I told her about most of the girls back home who rarely gave me a second glance, and she acted as if the girls I went to school with were crazy not to notice me. She put her arm around me and told me she would be honored to be seen with me. My self-confidence went through the roof.
She first kissed me five days before she was scheduled to go home. That kiss was amazing. It was a turning point in my boyhood journey. I suddenly felt special, wanted, like a real guy. I had had girlfriends before, nothing serious, I wasn’t a loner. Yet, there was something very special about what happened between me and Sophie. That summer romance changed the way I expected to feel about the girls in my life. I no longer wanted a girlfriend just so I would look “cool” to other guys, I wanted a girlfriend who meant something special.
I firmly believe that my summer romance with Sophie, as steeped in magic as it seemed, changed everything about the way I wanted relationships to be. I think the fact that being away from home, I was able to break free of the personality I had adopted among my peers at school, made a difference. I no longer had to act a certain way, I could be anyone I wanted to, I could be the real me. I learned that I was a pretty cool guy and that the label I had worn at school was dated.
Lovin’ Spoonful, ‘Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind’ (written by John Sebastian), #2 chart single, June 11, 1966
I learned that kissing wasn’t a sport, that girlfriends weren’t badges of honor, and that being with a girl should feel comfortable and fun.
Would I have learned all this without this summer fling? Probably. Would it have had the same impact in my memory? Doubtful. There’s something about being outside of your normal life that makes you better able to make changes in yourself.
Like Danny with Sandy in “Grease”, I set a side of myself free when I was with Sophie. She didn’t know me the way other people did, she probably would never see me in my everyday life, I had nothing to lose by opening up to her the way I did. And I’m glad I did.
Summers of Love are like mini vacations from yourself and the world you normally live in. Even if you have a summer romance in your own home town, you will learn something new about yourself and the way you think of the opposite sex. Because, by their very definition, summer romances aren’t meant to last very long, because they aren’t “open ended”, there is a sense of urgency in them that there isn’t in regular relationships. It is like rushed intimacy, you have so little time to get to know the other person that you don’t play the usual games.
Not to mention the fact that your entire memory of any summer romance will have taken place in that initial “honeymoon” phase that marks the beginning of all relationships. That time when the other person is totally fascinating and can do no wrong. It makes the summer fling seem magical, even perfect.
It makes the “love” seem ideal.
Donovan, ‘Sunshine Superman’ (1966), #1 single
Should you have a summer love affair? I think it is a must for every teen to have at least one. As long as you handle it responsibly and you aren’t cheating on another person, a summer fling can give you wonderful memories, memories unlike any other. Not better or worse than the memories you will keep of other loves at other times, but different. Different and magical!
What I Learned About Love From My Summer Romance
I have always been married to the idea of L.A as the main love of my life, but sometimes I think about flying the coop. I’ve dreamed of one day claiming a small place abroad for making the occasional quick escape in those times when L.A. begins driving me crazy. I’ve imagined finishing a novel in a cozy garrett in Paris; sipping Cabernet on a vineyard in Provence; and finding a dashing man somewhere in the South of France. The last thing I ever expected was for one to find me, right here.
He stood out immediately, in an all-black suit and a whiff of Armani Black among a sea of leather motor jackets, stylized beards, and tattoo sleeves.
Over a whiskey sour, he explained to me, in what sounded like a Maurice Chevalier impression, that he had always dreamed of leaving his small town two hours north of Cannes for a life as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. We were two counterparts on opposite ends of the same spectrum.
Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold, ‘I Remember It Well,’ from the 1958 film version of Colette’s 1944 novel Gigi, starring Louis Jordan and Leslie Caron, with Chevalier as Honoré Lachaille and Gingold as Madame Alvarez. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner (and an uncredited Niven Busch), music by Frederick Loewe, cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.
He was in town for two weeks to get a lay of the land, and said he would love to take me to the beach tomorrow if I’d like to join him. I worried, as I watched his rented silver Mustang pull up to my curb the next morning, if we would have anything more to say to each other. If we would be able to communicate any thoughts more complex than the basic niceties and getting-to-know-you questions; if our conversations would just be one long game of charades. Would it be enough to sustain an entire afternoon?
I had packed us a lunch full of French provisions— a baguette with ham and cheese, a sun-dried tomato tapenade, sparkling wine, and macarons. We ate luxuriously in the sand, and talked for hours over the sound of the waves and screams from the Santa Monica Pier. He told me about growing up in France, about the father he’d barely known who’d shown up one day only to steal money from him, about his concerns for the future of his country and its changing politics. We talked about our dreams, optimistically and fearfully about our careers, what we wanted out of our lives. Something about knowing he was leaving made it easy to speak freely and unencumbered by the nagging fear of judgment. His English, roughly polished from watching American films, was excellent, and the words he didn’t know found a way of filling themselves in.
Yves Montand, ‘C’est Si Bon’ (‘It’s So Good’). Music composed in 1947 by Henri Betti; French lyrics by André Hornez, English lyrics by Jerry Seelen. Recorded with Bob Castella and His Orchestra on May 11, 1948.
On the way home, I played him the French music I always listen to while I read or write—-soothing old melodies by Yves Montand and Tino Rossi—-thrilled that someone else could finally appreciate them.
For the next two weeks we were tourists in my town. We spent playful days at Universal Studios, and elegant nights over dinner and champagne at the Sunset Tower. We tasted vintages at Malibu Wines, speaking in a meld of English and French. My world was suddenly a hybrid of my two favorite places—as if France had come to me, sparing me the pesky twelve-hour plane ride.
I learned the limitations of American vocabulary when he groped for certain phrases. What is the word for a person who is always hungry? I guess, just a person who’s always hungry. Someone who enjoys hugging? A hug enjoyer? What do you call a homeless person who isn’t dangerous, the kind who has a pet? Uhhh…
Tino Rossi, ‘L’Ombre S’Enfuit (Tristesse)’ (Columbia, 1939), based on Chopin’s Étude, Op. 10, No. 3 in E Major
Of all the French phrases I know, my favorite is C’est trop beau. He used it to describe everything, from a cut of steak to the sloping mountainside view from the Pacific Coast Highway. He had a wonderfully European way of seeming content with what was in front of him, instead of always looking around for something better, like most of the Americans I was used to dating.
When the reality of his departure became imminent, I worried again. Was it the expiration date that had made everything so idyllic? If he were to come to L.A. for good, would he fit within the context of my life, I wondered, or would he be like an evening gown in my closet, unfit for my practical everyday life?
On his last night, the mood shifted to melancholy. We listened to Charles Trenet croon the classic, La Mer, and I thought of the English translation as my mind swam with doubts.
Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, my lover stands on golden sands and watches the ships that go sailing…
Charles Trenet, ‘La Mer,’ a Trenet original that became a chanson classic and jazz standard. In its English version, ‘Beyond the Sea,’ it became a signature hit for Bobby Darin. According to Wikipedia, at the time of Trenet’s death in 2001 ‘La Mer’ had been recorded more than 400 times, with more than 70 million copies sold. The original version of ‘La Mer’ was recorded in 1945 by French singer Roland Gerbeau. Trenet recorded his version in 1946. This undated live clip features accompaniment by Raymond LeFevre’s orchestra.
Who was to say what could become of this? Weren’t the endless possibilities, the constant question of What if? the most tantalizing part of this kind of experience? Of never really knowing what could be? The inevitable choosing of one life path ensures that we’ll never really know what we’re missing, and maybe that’s all part of the experience; the lessons we learn and the people we meet.
“I wasn’t expecting to feel like this,” he admitted as we were saying goodbye, promising to keep in touch and meet again soon. “What’s the word in English for when you feel connected to someone right away, but you can’t explain why?” he asked.
“Meant to be,” I said.