It Started With A Kiss

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.

Sylvia Plath


I was reading a trashy book last night in bed (I have already admitted to my love of trash. Sue me.) Just before said trash crashed to the floor when I did my usual 'just because my eyes are shut doesn't mean I'm not still reading', I noticed a line that could only be in a truly overwhelmingly bad book.

'He said to her "I've changed my mind. There is no possible way that you could be a low woman. The reason being, you are the worst kisser I have ever encountered."'

This made me laugh so hard that I almost woke up enough to keep reading. Almost. (NB: if you are an inveterate sleep-reader, invest in a protective cover for your iPad. You'll thank me. As will your floor and iPad).

When I woke up early this morning because as usual I was having craptacular sleeps, I simply had to keep reading this astonishingly bad book. It did get worse, but it also started me thinking.

Why is kissing so incredibly powerful? It can make or break a relationship; it marks the spot; sometimes (increasingly so) it is socially over-used. And most importantly...

Is it weird to kiss your shoes goodnight?

I am actually joking with that last one. Really. Really.

I am just fascinated by the whole mystery of the smooch. There are poems and poems and poems dedicated to kissing. Songs. Paintings; I have written previously about one of my favourite paintings in the world - Der Kuss (The Kiss) by Gustav Klimt.

Our first serious kiss is something most of us remember for a lifetime - often after more important information fades from our brainboxes. It is either amazing or just amazingly bad. Mine was amazingly bad, which could have been my fault or his, or both of ours. I'd like to think I have improved, but that is something I don't think one can answer for oneself! Most of us kiss a fair number of frogs in our lifetime before we find one that even remotely resembles a prince.

Kissing. It's something that is discussed incessantly by teenage girls and frankly by not so teenage girls. I can't answer for not so teenage boys because I'm not one, but I would imagine it's pretty important to them as well, if they are keen on puckering up, buttercup.

A kiss on the hand used to be an accepted - and expected - form of greeting. We kiss our friends, we kiss our parents, we kiss our children. It is the purest sign of affection possible. To place your lips on a baby's head is one of the most innocent joys on the planet. To hug and kiss a friend - absolute open heart. I am not certain that we need to do the whole air kissing extravaganza that is en vogue at present (5 kisses? Seriously?) but that's because I usually get it wrong and end up smacking someone spectacularly in the nose or jaw, or even more unfortunately giving them a full on mouth effort because I am in the wrong spot.

As for the romantic kiss? Well, there you have me. I am an absolute sucker for a prolonged lip-smacker. Every time I read said trashy books, and they blargh on about her insides melting at the touch of his lips to hers, I roll my eyes - but that's not to do with the actual smooch, it's to do with the writing. I like Rhett Butler's view of it to Scarlett:

"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how."

That's what a kiss should be about.

Being kissed often.

And most definitely by someone who knows how.

Bisou bisou.