By Jess DePew
The year is 1998 and I’m attending a co-ed birthday party filled with pubescent eleven and twelve-year-olds quarantined to the basement while the parents socialized upstairs. The pizza had been delivered and devoured along with a variety of chips and plenty of 2-liters of Faygo. Boys began using the empty bottles as swords but the girls wanted to move the party vibes away from American Gladiator and more into a Boy Meets World situation. We took an empty bottle and suggested a light-hearted game of Spin the Bottle. The boys with raging hormones flocked to our circle while the ones who could care less tied streamers to their heads and continued Rambo games.
I took a seat across from my elementary crush. His spikey blonde hair and remaining baby fat cheeks gave him the look of a boy band member about to come of age. He was the best kickball player in our class and every girl secretly wanted to be his girlfriend, but he liked me and I liked him. He was the Cory to my Topanga and I knew our love story was about to take the next step with this romantic game. After years of passing notes back and forth confessing our like for each other, we would finally have our first real kiss.
It was his turn, while the bottle spun my heart began to race. As fate would have it, the bottle pointed directly at me and the room fell silent. We sat upon our knees and reached across the circle to find each other's lips. The group began counting to ten while we figured out the dynamics and angles of noses, lips, and tongues. The moment ended and I could hardly believe my perfect reality. After the game, he asked me to be his girlfriend and we had the most beautiful three-week relationship. It was a dream come true for my little sixth-grade heart.
Flash forward to High School; the same co-ed group of friends was together reminiscing about our younger years. The topic of first kisses arose and my Cory told our charming Spin the Bottle story with the unexpected added detail of my terrible breath and how I tasted like Doritos.
My first kiss had in fact not been movie-worthy.
It had been more like a commercial for toothbrushes or mouthwash. I eventually recovered but the older, wiser Topanga never left home without chewing gum or mints. Lesson learned.
Jess DePew is a homeschooling mom of three who writes poetry, cheers for the underdog, and reads at least ten books at a time. She also never updates her phone apps much to her tech-husband’s chagrin.