By Ralph Hood
I distinctly remember the first time I was ever kissed by a girl. I was 13 and very ignorant when it came to boy meets girl.
A girl I knew (whose parents were elsewhere at the time) invited several girls and guys over to her house. We were bowled over—we played “spin the bottle” and the girls did indeed kiss us. Amazing!
At another party we also played spin the bottle and—will wonders never cease—the bottle dictated that the most gorgeous girl in the world and I go behind the big tree and kiss!
Y’all, I simply could not imagine that beautiful girl kissing me. It could not be true. We went behind the tree and I—in my nervous stammer—asked her, “What do we do now?” To my absolute amazement, she smiled and said, “We kiss.” We did kiss and I floated a foot above the ground for the rest of the night.
Spin the bottle was very popular at that age. Interestingly, it was always the girls who found the bottle. After that, someone would suggest we could play spin the bottle if we wanted to. Someone else said, “I’ll play if you’ll play.”
And the game was on!
Once, several of us tried to play golf. On a sand trap near the seventh hole somebody—a girl again—found a bottle. How she found a bottle in a sand trap, I’ll never know.
All of these games ceased when we got old enough to drive. We had real dates. It took lots of nerve for the boys. Just asking a girl for a date was tough. That meant we had to admit up front that we wanted to go out with her. We boys had a theory—when the boy called, the girl could say, “Yes, I’d love to go,” then life became wonderful.
If, on the other hand, she said, “I’ll have to check with my mother and call you back,” life became a living hell.
If the girl agreed to the date, we boys waited for the next opportunity to measure her true attitude. The boy picked up the girl at her front door, escorted her to the car and held the door open as she got in.
The boy then walked slowly around the car and opened his door. If the girl was pressed against her door, that told the boy that this would not be an exciting night.
Ah, but if the boy opened his door and found the girl sitting right in the middle of that wide bench seat, smiling up at him—well, life was just wonderful!
Wife Gail suggests that I stop right here. Says she doesn’t want to read another word of my blather. Maybe I better mention that the “most gorgeous girl” in the world turned out to be Gail herself, when I met her in 1966.
Thanks for reading.