Black Heels to Tractor Wheels…for reals

Posted on May 3, 2008


On her blog, this woman has related the touching tale of how her and her husband, referred to as Marlboro Man, got together. She describes it as “Green Acres meets Harlequin Romance in my crazy, rip-roarin’ real-life tale of true love. Have a cold shower handy!”
I won’t say ah-a! because I never even contemplated for a moment that this sort of romantic business was really going on somewhere in the United States, but apparently it dost. She relates – well, mind you – a whole series of happily-ever-after anecdotes about how they met that occasion more suspension of disbelief than the combined works of Tolkien. But in its entirety the story doesn’t do much for me: she goes on and on about how she was a noisy city girl who didn’t know anything about the country and liked playful, boyish guys until she met this strong, silent, real type. I’ve heard tales of such couplings before, from the most unlikely parties, too, but…meh. It couldn’t happen to me – I don’t do opposites, not for long, although they are entertaining for a while. He sounds kind of dull to me, real and honest though he may be; I’ve had real, honest emotion from lots of guys who nevertheless managed to converse entertainingly. Ahhnold, for example, could not be mushier and more open and yet is a laugh riot. Maybe it’s the locale? I guess men weren’t as open and emotion-spilly when I lived west of the Greenwich Meridian.
It’s this first kiss, however, that I envy. I excerpt:

I’ll remember it ’til my very last breath, so profound and powerful it was. And I’d tell my grandchildren about it someday, if the mere mention of it didn’t cause me to sweat bullets and pant, which wouldn’t necessarily be an appropriate way for a grandma to act. But I remember every last detail: his strong, calloused hands gripping my upper arms, his five o’clock shadow rubbing gently against my chin, the faint smell of boot leather in the air, the feel of his starched denim shirt against my palms, which had slowly but surely found their way around his chiselled waist.

Obviously I cannot forgive the use of “calloused” and “chiselled”, even if she was trying to be ironic. She’s got smells and tactile sensations in there, so I don’t suppose she was. You can’t do a fake tongue-in-cheek to escape ridicule! But regardless, I just don’t get this entire first kiss stuff. I have never had a first kiss that aroused in me anything more than a desire to disengage and clear my airways. I don’t even get how a kiss can DO all that. Subsequent kisses can, with practice, be pretty great and hot, but I fear my knees have always enjoyed their customary ability to support my weight throughout any osculation. Besides, if the kiss is that awesome, why would you be able to simultaneously take in the feel of the shirt, the smell (of BOOT LEATHER, PEOPLE), the stubble, and where everyone’s hands were? Maybe I’m not set up for romance, which I have frankly always suspected (not that I have had to repulse inflictors of romantic gestures at every turn, or anything). Of course I am partial to facets of romance where men tell me how beautiful and alluring I am, however. Natch.
And so I have had to announce, on a large number of occasions, that I just don’t like kissing, particularly not with tongue (my God, how disgusting is that? You go around spending your life trying to filter out grossness from entering your mouth and deriding people who spit on the street and then you’re supposed to accept stuff from other people’s mouths into your own, and be turned on by it? Nay, my friends!). Such announcements have usually been met with disappointment – it appears that men’s reputation for not being into such allegedly romantic acts as kissing is unfounded. They seem to like it. So while I could comfortably never French kiss another human being I feel as though I will have to. In which case, I would like to enjoin more teeth brushing and general mouth care among the public (at least among those desirous of interacting with my face). I also breathe through my mouth a lot – kind of a Cletus thing to do, that – so I find it particularly non-rewarding to gasp for air after a supposedly romantic interlude.
What I find genuinely romantic and tingle-inducing, when done right, is holding hands. I could describe a first hand-holding incident in the same reverent tones as our heroine above. Alas, the act is rarely given the care and attention it deserves, with hands being haphazardly grabbed for the first time to cross streets and at other mundane moments. There’s a method to proper hand-holding, and I’m still waiting for the perfect hand-holding experience. Perhaps the Beatles could advise.