I am really bad with physical contact. Really, really bad.
I had cause to reflect upon this recently, you see, for every time I am a wee bit tipsy I lose this inhibition of mine and it’s a right old tactility-fest. I then stagger around enthusiastically patting my friends while exclaiming ‘I have to do this now; it’s the only time I know what human contact is like!’
Of course that’s not strictly true. There are three other times when contact is ok:
1. Hugging my mum. I have no problem with this at all. Also includes: leaning my head on her when she’s next to me on a sofa and occasionally linking arms.
2. Hugging my grandma. Slightly more awkward (with a lot more bending down, she’s a short lady) but still perfectly ok.
3. In… I feel I should put this delicately as it’s sharing a list with family and that’s already weirding me out to an extent where I may delete this if it reads oddly… in a romantic context (and in a romantic context if you know what I mean and I think you do). With someone I’m comfortable with. I mean if we’ve all acknowledged that sex is on the table then all systems go. And we’re not necessarily literally having sex on a table. Wherever it’s happening.
And you see, that entirely does not include things such as first dates or men in clubs or men I’ve just been talking to for a bit. Not that I don’t ever want any contact, just that I am stating the fact: it will be awkward. Just know that.
My first proper kiss was an excruciatingly awkward moment. Let me take you back, back…
Christmas. A few years ago. I was part of a theatre group; we took acting classes together. There was a Theatre Party. Everyone was going. Even me with a fever, a blocked nose and a slightly woozy feeling in my head. I had to go: the guy I liked was going to be there (and there’s a long, long story for another day: The Guy I Liked: AKA My First Boyfriend).
Throughout the evening we talked, we danced, we looked superb. The party ended early (the average age of the theatre crew was definitely hitting the 60s) and the younger people decided to carrying on partying elsewhere. On the way to a local bar one of my friends saved the life of a drunkard (again: another time).
The bar was crap and full of raucous, annoying people. I panicked about the guy and didn’t even know if I actually liked him. I continued to feel ill. My friends told me they were sure he was going to try to kiss me. I wasn’t sure I wanted him to.
Eventually people began to leave. We waited for taxis. And of course, all at once it was just me and him. My taxi arrived. I thrust a Christmas present at him (great timing), he leaned over… and I thought WHY NOT SAY SOME MORE WORDS. So I did. And he got nothing but tooth. ‘Oh! Sorry… I was… I mean you might get my cold anyway!’ I squeaked.
He replied that he didn’t care. He tried again. I managed this time to stop speaking mid-sentence, I believe I attempted to kiss him back but in reality I probably just stood there like a rubber fish. I then went ‘Ahahaaa, ok, hah there’s my taxi – BYE!’