Friday, April 28, 2017

Kiss the Ring of Truth

When you're a teenager, there is this little 'magical, electrical' feeling you get sometimes when you're excited about something that, in my own personal experience, just doesn't happen later in life, or at least not past the 20s. Maybe it's just me. Crushes and fun moments always felt that way though. Originally, I started this post yesterday to recognize "Remember Your First Kiss Day", but I got busy and didn't get to finish. So we'll still say that we are celebrating "First Kisses", and you get a fun story to boot.

You see, during High School, when we got our class rings, there was some sort of ritual about 'turning our class rings', which I believe I misunderstood. I thought it was that you turned your ring when you received your 'first kiss'. How I came to this conclusion, I am still not sure. Because in searching a bit about it on the internet, there is a 'ring turning tradition' but it has nothing to do with first kisses. I sure wish I had known this back then, as the turning of the rings, might have given me some better luck (I say, sounding very superstitious, thanks Mom!). As it is supposed to go, per my research into this tradition, you'd begin by wearing the ring facing yourself (if you have some sort of crest or verbiage on the ring, I guess this makes it easier to determine). With the ring facing yourself, it denotes impending graduation (meaning you have not yet graduated). Then, as we all know on your Graduation Day, it is customary to turn your tassel to the other side once you've officially walked and received your diploma, and as far as your class ring goes, it would then be turned outward, facing away from you, which lets everyone know then that you have graduated.

Now on the subject of "Turning the Ring". This is the truth of the tradition as I have found, and as mentioned above, this is something that goes on once you receive your class ring, but before graduation. I'm not sure about the direction, I believe that depends on what you choose, or a specific school might determine the direction you turn it. Most likely it is more about the social side, doubtful that the institution would make a ruling on this, unless it had to do with specific traditions of the school involved. Once you choose the direction, however, you continue to turn the ring in that same direction. Anyways, your friends or classmates, family and even your teachers can take part in the turning of your ring. There are cases where you set a meaning to the number, like the first person could be a parent, or your BFF, etc... and you might set a specific number for your significant other. In most of the references I have read, however, the most significant is the very last person who turns the ring... for this, it is almost always stated that you would choose someone very special or significant to perform the final turn.

This must be where my confusion came in during high school. I always felt behind in the romance department anyway, always felt like a late-bloomer, left out of the dating game and never really had a boyfriend, and never had anyone 'crushing' on me (to my knowledge). I was painfully shy, and also felt awkward, fat and unpopular... Looking back, I have discovered it wasn't exactly as I saw it. That's the way we all feel I think, and then discover later that we were wrong.

Well, even though nobody ever seemed to have a crush on me, I certainly had my fair share of crushes on others. One of them, in fact turned out to be my very first romantic kiss. I discovered him in the midst of some shenanigans my best friend and I were getting into. She dragged me along to visit this guy that SHE had the hots for, much to his dismay I am sure, as I always felt that we often showed up unannounced, and in a somewhat harassing manner. It is pretty funny looking back, and she and I often laugh about this when we recall our teen adventures over lunches and what have you.

As the story goes, on one particular occasion, as we were busting up into RR's apartment so that she could harass him, we were met at the door by my soon-to-be crush LR. He answered the door, fresh out of the shower in nothing but a towel. Bear in mind that what might not stir us as adults (having "seen it all" if you will) was sensory overload to my then 16 year old brain. He had auburn hair, and lifted weights so he had quite the build at the time, and I was instantly smitten. (Looking back I can't imagine why, as I laugh--seriously, he was not that good looking). Oh how crazy are those teenage hormones, they can make you think you're in love with Shrek. But for the sake of my story, imagine he looks like one of those dudes on the cover of a sexy romance novel.

I'll curb the long, drawn out details for now, but basically you know that Bestie and I, now both having a vested interest in harassing this specific residence, were full force in what we thought happened to be perfect seduction techniques. So we went by every chance we could, and I'm sure we wellllll wore out our welcome. In fact, I am convinced that they packed up and moved to get away from us, as they never told us the plans, but we happened to "pop by" one day when they were in the middle of prepping a waterbed and packing for the move. Reluctantly, they told us they were  moving to Coldwater (which was just a town over), and did not tell us the address, shockingly. Once they were gone, of course our trouble-seeking urges took over, and we were obligated to ride around the town until we figured out exactly where they moved. Keep in mind this was before you could actually "Google" and zero in on the whereabouts of someone with the tiniest piece of information. In defense of the county we grew up in, it's no New York City. So it didn't take long, nor did it take much gas to discover one of their trucks parked in a driveway on a narrow road off one of the main streets in town. So what do you think we did? Stealth around and gather more information just to be on the safe side, as well as not to look like complete stalkers? WRONG. We immediately descended upon their new abode with great fervor, as if we had been invited to a housewarming party. Yes, where did all of that boldness and confidence come from? I would be petrified to do anything of the sort now. Kids will be kids, am I right?

So here we all are, in the same situation as when they were living in the apartment near campus: Us dropping by whenever we felt like it and most likely them trying desperately to think of escape tactics. You know how men are, though, they will take advantage of a situation or a naive young girl as quickly as they'll order cheese in their grits. While in the midst of one of these unsolicited visits, my crush happened to be out late, and my Bestie was in full seduction mode with RR in the back of the house. According to her story, they had some fun, and some making out happened, but it did not go all the way. I, myself sat patiently on the couch, watching some weird t.v. show, and an hour or so later HE finally arrived home. Some flirtation and conversation was exchanged, he complained about his back, and bold young me somehow worked in a half-joking suggestion of performing a massage to help him feel better. This was, in my mind, a way to finally make physical contact with him, and get him where I wanted him.  Well he beckoned me back into his bedroom, took full advantage of my offer, and for a while the situation was going along as smoothly as a Danielle Steel novel, of course if you know me, you know the story had an awkward moment, or a bumbling sort of ending, and also did not go all the way, but let's just say I got some experience that night, thrilling to me and I wasn't even at Band Camp! Zipping to the magic moment, however and avoiding the most juicy of the details (sorry guys, another time?).

The Kiss!!! (cue climactic music)

LR slowly leaned up, grabbed me with his strong, muscular arms and pressed his lips to mine. Floating on a cloud, I felt like I had to be dreaming. Was this real? My feverish crush, here, holding me, actually kissing me, definitely an adult kiss, just like in the novels and the movies. I was in shock, disbelief and heaven all at the same time. His mouth moved over my tender and inexperienced lips, his confident tongue found my timid one, and for several moments we were locked in an embrace  that for me, at least was the stuff of my teenage dreams. In the midst of my bliss, and due to the misconception about the ring tradition, with my eyes closed and a little 'thank you' silently spoken.

I reached over and I turned my ring... what a lovely, fairy tale ending, I thought.

Just then, I came to my senses and realized that I was tasting something gritty, bitter and disgusting... It was being transferred from under his tongue and inside his lip into my mouth. I was fully back into reality at this point as I sickeningly realized that the boy dipped SNUFF (Skoal, you know that tobacco product people put right inside the lip)!!! I was completely horrified and turned off, and to this day it affects my attraction and/or decision making about who I would date. Yes, oh you read it here, ladies and gentlemen, my first kiss, and part of my innocence, "Snuffed Out" in mere seconds. Ain't it the way life goes?  ;-)

Have a romantic and Skoal-Free weekend y'all!!!

Your favorite Aunt,

Jaxxxxxx

Read the Wiki Article on Class Rings



4 comments:

Chelly said...

Jax, I was reading this like I was watching a movie. Totally elated for you and then damn: that snuff bit. What a guy. What an adventure for you. You're so good at sharing these memories. Seriously, you could write for a magazine or something.

Interesting reading about the high school ring traditions in the States. My high school was so backwards, not sure if we had a ring or if people even wore them. Lol.

Camie Vog said...

Hahahaha! This had me laughing maniacally ! I'm sorry it went down like that, but damn, that's kind of funny.

Aunt Jackie said...

@Chelly - I am so glad you enjoyed it in that way, it makes me feel good that what I write is entertaining enough to speak about it like it was a movie, wow. Just really always enjoy sharing stories, and really want to write something serious and publish it. Thank you, that is interesting the differences in the way our schools operated. Cool!

Aunt Jackie said...

@Camie Vog, So glad you're here to read and so glad to get a comment from you!! I'm happy it made you laugh, I expect it, I wrote it to be dramatic yet to depict how it really happened and made me feel, but getting a laugh out of it is my ultimate goal because that's what we do to most of these types of memories looking back, get a great laugh out of ourselves... Life wouldn't be good if we didn't. =)

Learn our lessons, and laugh about the times when we weren't getting them quite right. Right?