My First Kiss On The Beach…Highway (Under a Street Light)

Whoever came up with this week’s Monday Listicles is brilliant (I think it was Bridget at Twinisms). I can’t even do the listicles the standard way because when I started writing my list, there was just too much entertainment at my expense coming out on the paper. So, I’m going to make this into a memoir of sorts, in a 10 part mini-series, just like the Thorn Birds, but different. Well, maybe more like Roots. Nah, it’s nothing like Roots. Roots only had eight parts.
I’ll try to post one part of my mini-series every Tuesday. That’s my goal. And goals are made to be broken – no, that’s records. Well, maybe I’ll break a record and actually post these on consecutive Tuesdays.
Anyway, these are My Firsts, in no particular order, other than chronological.
  1. First Movie (That Scared the Crap Out of Me at Age 5)
  2. First Boy That Liked Me – It was in Kindergarten (they start early in Virginia … you know what the state motto is, right.)
  3. First Solo Drive (Around the block)
  4. First Car (I drove to School) – Hint: It wasn’t a Porsche.
  5. First Alcoholic Beverage (It Wasn’t a Fuzzy Navel, and I wasn’t 21, as evidenced by #6)
  6. First Job (at Wild & Wooly)
  7. First Time Away at College (I cried for three weeks)
  8. First Car (I purchased) – a.k.a. The Saturd
  9. First Kiss On The Beach…Highway (Under a Street Light)
We went on a family trip with my dad to Holden Beach, North Carolina, in the summer of 1985. I was 13 years old. The trip included my dad’s family: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma, and a friend for each of the teenagers. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make-out with one of my cousins. This wasn’t my West Virginia side of the family – that’s my mom’s side.)
There was a beach store and arcade a few houses down from us. That’s where I first saw him. Hunched over a game of Ms. Pac-Man. I remember his sun-bleached hair, brown eyes, and red, peeling nose, like it was yesterday. After watching him for a while, and with nudging from my cousin and our friends (and the simple fact that I would be gone from that place in a week, and never to be seen again by anyone there), I walked over, leaned against Ms. Pac-Man and gave my best pick-up line (yes, I picked him up.):
“You’re really good. …You look like this boy I like back home.”
I know what you’re thinking. That is the stupidest pick up line in the history of pick-up lines. I agree. Which is why girls shouldn’t pick-up boys (or at least I shouldn’t – thank goodness I’m married now – and my husband flirted with me first anyway.  Oh, yes you did!!!). And besides, I had a history of saying stupid things to guys I liked. When I was alone with my first boyfriend on our backyard porch swing, I thrust my arm in his face and told him to smell it. I had put on Love’s Baby Soft and wanted him to enjoy it too. (Which just happens to be the same guy that called me once and my sister told him I couldn’t come to the phone because I was “on the commode.” I’m pretty sure I didn’t kill her after that because she’s still alive and has all her body parts.)  This is also evidence for why 13-year olds are too young to date. Because they say stupid things.
But, the beauty of this pick-up line was that that it worked. At 13, if someone of the opposite sex even acknowledges your presence, no matter how stupidly they say it, that leaves you wanting more.
His name was Eddie. Eddie B. We hung out for the week we were at the beach. The only challenging part was that even though he liked me, he also liked my cousin’s best friend (the little fart – she was only 12. And prettier. So, naturally, I hated her…at least when Eddie B was around). So, we did what all 12- and 13-year old girls do when vying for the same boy they met at the beach. We shared him. However reluctantly.
Eddie B went back and forth between us the entire week. And you know one week of beach vacation in teen time is equivalent to something like two years in adult time. So one day he was going with me (months, if I were an adult), and the next day he was going with cuz’s BFF (months without him), then the next day, back to me (more totally awesome no-crying-on-my beach-house-rock-hard-pillow-at-night months), then back to the hussy (they’re-both-complete-jerks-and-I-hate-them months).
The week drew to a close. On our last night, my cousin, our friends, and Eddie B and I walked back from the beach store/arcade to our house. It was time to say good-bye. Cuz’s BFF and I took turns. I went first. Eddie B and I talked for a few minutes and then he asked if he could kiss me. Or maybe I asked if I could kiss him. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter because either way, right there, under the beacon of the street light, cars driving past on the beach highway, 20 feet from my cousin and our friends, I had my first kiss.
It was wonderful and awkward and thrilling. We talked a few more minutes, then my turn was over, as decided for me by the group (my cousin/friends) ahead of us, waving for me to come. I walked the 20 feet ahead to relinquish my turn. My cousin’s friend took her turn. (Muttered Choice word!) We walked ahead. I didn’t turn around. My heart cringed at the thought of them kissing. His heart belonged to me, not her.
Soon, her turn was over. And I decided I wasn’t done and needed another turn.  I needed to take full advantage of the situation.  So, I went back 20 feet to where he was and kissed him again, under another beacon of street light, cars driving past on the beach highway, 20 feet from my cousin and our friends. Looking back,I wonder if my dad ever dreamed his daughter was out on the highway, a few houses down, making out with a boy under a street light. Gosh, I hope not.  That’s embarrassing. (Well, Dad, now you know.)
I wanted to give Eddie B my address and kicked myself for not having paper (because all 13-year olds carry around paper, right?). I told him I would leave it under the mat outside the beach house where we stayed. He promised to pick it up the next day.
Back home, the next few days were exciting and brutal. I ran to the mailbox every day. Nothing. It went on like that for a week, two weeks, then three. I mourned. I knew he hadn’t picked up the envelope with my letter and address. But I tried to convince myself that it must have been the cleaning person who got it (and laughed at it), or maybe his parents whisked him away before he could get to it, or it got wet in the rain, and the words were smeared and he couldn’t read it. Whatever it was, we lost contact. I mourned. I hoped he mourned.
But, then I started liking another boy. And promptly forgot about Eddie B. 
But, may I never forgot my first kiss.
This was taken right after our first kiss.
Is that a hickey on my neck?
This is how 13-year olds pose for a camera when they are in like. My husband saw this picture and said, “who’s the girl with you?”
I rolled my eyes and said, “That’s not a girl, that’s Eddie B.”
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My First Kiss On The Beach…Highway (Under a Street Light) — 44 Comments

  1. Excellent pick-up line! How I remember teen beach vacation time – summer camp time ran on the same schedule. After all, you only had 5 days to identify, catch and defend your own true love, right?

  2. I was swaying between “Oh, how cute” and “Muhahahaha, that’s hilarious!” Oh yes, back in the days, love was totally different! But I really like the idea of making this a mini series. Can’t wait to read more about it! =) So I’ll definitely have to follow you =)

    Anja @

  3. Hahahaha! The image of you kissing this boy while girlfriend #2 waited for you to finish, then you waitng for her is just hilarious. And sad. So sad. Looking forward to future installments. Don’t make us track you down on Tuesdays!

  4. Great list and such a cute story! You should look into reading the book, “The Sparkling Eyed Boy” b/c your first kiss episode reminds me of that book, which is a memoir about a first love.

  5. This was such a great feel good story. It made me think back to my first kiss, which was not really so sweet since the boy’s older brother told him who absolutely had to stick tongue in her mouth. eeewwwIt hink we were like 10? It wasn’t until high school that I wanted to try kissing again. So I went big of course: I was the lead in a school play and had to kiss the lead boy – a lot! while his girl friend sat in the front row giving us the stink eye.

    thank goodness the 3rd time was much better. (if you guessed I got the guy “offstage” too…’d be right! ha ha)

  6. Ahahahaha! That would have been awesome. We did have it in our house, along with Love’s Baby Soft – Love’s might have been even funnier than Jean Nate. Lol! I googled what I thought the perfume name was – I found it – Odyssey, by Avon.

  7. This was super cute and I absolutley loved your story and how you described young love. I remember that too. When I was in 4th grade I had the biggest crush on this boy. I used to tell my diary that I was going to marry him. Yep – that isn’t my husband! ha ha – but the heart feels so much when we are young! It is amazing we make it through alive! :)

  8. What a great post, Kate! You’ve got me reminiscing about my own early teenage years, which I haven’t thought about in such a long time.

  9. Life was so long until I graduated college. Then it started to fly. Crazy how that works. Probably the fact that I don’t live in the moment anymore. Always waiting for the weekend, or the next holiday, or the next vacation, or whatever. Makes it go too fast.

  10. Ahhhh, first kisses! SIgh! This was painful and hilarious. Loved it…way to capture the 13 year old first kiss experience! Can’t wait for the next in your series…

  11. How cute is it that you have a picture! And that pick up line is classic, I’d totally use it on my husband if I wasn’t already married to him

  12. Oh my gosh, your husband is funny. I am positive that 13-year-old boys look a LOT different today than back then. What a great story about your first kiss, and other firsts. Congrats on the awards as well – super! :)

  13. Gosh, I don’t know if they’re still a big deal. Good question. I have the kind of skin that if I even gently rub my finger on my neck it immediately turns red. So, I was always getting hickey remarks in the middle of English class and stuff. Just one more thing to make a teen feel awkward.

  14. I love this so much – envisioning you under that street lamp, round two waiting on deck…that’s romance right there.

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