In the days before if you like it, then you should’ve put a ring on it was my mantra, I engaged in an activity that would make any rabbi frown: elementary school kissing. In fact, by age five I had merited the nickname, “Kissing Queen.”
The boys on the playground, still in the cooties stage of their thought processes, would flee from me upon sight. They even had secret codes, such as “The Macker is in the house,” and “Lady Smooches is on the premises,” to indicate my arrival at recess.
I used to take particular pleasure in my ability to repel any and every boy with the subtle movement of my lips. Sadly, my kindergarten teachers did not find it nearly as amusing. They would give me constant lectures on respecting individuals’ personal spaces, as well as warn me of the dangers of transmitting germs should I persist in my hormonally driven ways.
I, being a defiant kindergartener, would rarely heed their warnings. There was something so thrilling about engaging in the chase, especially when I had no particular target. Any boy was fair game; I didn’t discriminate on the basis of pre-pubescent squeakiness levels.
While listening to my grandmother lecture me on the drawbacks of spinsterhood the other day, I was reminded of my five year old antics. I stopped her mid-sentence and said, “Would you prefer I go around kissing every single boy I see? Aside for the fact that I would inevitably contract mono, herpes, and other diseases transmitted via saliva, I would be fulfilling your hope for me– to not be single [or “barren” as she more commonly refers to me].”
There was a pause, and then she said, in her oh so subtle manner, “It is better to have kissed and lost then never to have kissed at all.” Avid readers, I believe I was just given permission to be a kid again. Let the (kosher) games begin!