I’m so ashamed. I write a blog series on dating and didn’t know that last week { July 6th } was International Kissing Day. According to Wikipedia, the idea behind Kissing Day is “that many people may have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing’s sake, as opposed to kissing as mere social formality or prelude to other activities.” Well, if Wikipedia said it, it must be true. PS, Wikipedia…if you’re gonna throw in the “prelude to other activities,” you should be man enough to list such activities. How accurate can you be, really, if this sentence could read “many people may have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing’s sake, as opposed to kissing as a prelude to eating a banana, checking for lice, or bopping field mice on the head?” I challenge your authority.   

Next year, you can be sure I won’t forget…and will find some completely inappopriate way to celebrate International Kissing Day. And write about it. In the meantime, will you settle for a two-part kissing series?

Kissing for the Jones women has been an institution shrouded in mystery. I don’t think I ever saw my grandmother kiss my grandfather. But that was probably because, by the time I knew them, my grandfather was always in one of three places…sitting at the kitchen table, sitting in front of the TV, or sitting outside drinking scotch. But I’ve seen pictures of them when they were young. And I’m pretty sure you can’t be that good looking and not want to mug down.

Then there’s my mom, who likes to tell the story of the time she and my dad kissed for four hours straight. Normally, the thought of my mom making out makes me want to impale myself with a hot poker. I’ve decided she only had s-e-x that one time and realized what a terrible mistake she’d made. It’s the only way I can live a normal life. But a meaty kissing story is a meaty kissing story. According to legend, they kissed so long my mom’s lips turned inside out. I looked it up. I think she might have had nettle rash. But whatever. I remember hearing that story as a little girl…you know the way children listen to stories…glassy eyed, wheels turning, with an unreadable expression on their faces. I went to my bedroom and thought to myself “Öne day, I’m going to kiss someone for four hours, too.”

And that was how I, Elizabeth Jones, came to fall in love with the kiss, whether it’s the first kiss or the 50th. I suspect every girl has a story like mine…the first moment she glimpsed her lips’ destiny. 

I hate to speak in generalizations. And I’m not going to do that here. Sure, there are women who hate to kiss, and couples who haven’t kissed in 25 years. What are you gonna do? Some people are on the Math Team. Or the Debate Team. I’m on the French Team. And for all of you who have significant others who are also on the team, here are some interesting things to know:

Number 1: The human lips are anywhere from 100-200 times more sensitive than the human fingertips. Think about that, people. If you want to call a truce or convince someone to commit crimes with you, the lips seem a pretty convincing way to go. 

Number 2: On average, a woman will kiss about 80 men before she gets married. Actually, this is a statistic from a Russian-based study. And I don’t know what the Russians been up to, but 80?!? Does this include family members and pets, because I don’t know many American women who have gone to First Base with 80 men. That’s a lot of fluid exchange. 

My point is, if you are the last person your person will ever kiss, don’t you both owe it to each other to be the best damn kisser you can be? Personally, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. I want my guy to be sitting in the break room tomorrow at lunch thinking about that kiss.  

Number 3: Kissing can help women relax and ease the stress of the day. And we all know what that means. Frankie says relax for a reason, people. 

Number 4: Kissing burns calories. Ok, so does vacuuming. But which is more fun, huh?

Number 5: In France, they call the French Kiss a “juncture of souls.” Except they say it in French, whoever “they” is.

Number 6: 66% of people reported kissing with their eyes closed. 34% with their eyes open. Although I still don’t know how that works. Don’t your eyes cross when there’s something that close to your face?

Number 7: Kissing produces endorphines in the body that are 200 times more intense than morphine. 10,000 times more intense than a Flinstone vitamin. 

Number 8: One out of two people reported having their first kiss before the age of 14. 

I was 15. And that is a story for next time. Stay tuned.