The military is one of the few places where couples can have their first kiss many times.
I heard that once when I was still dating Ryan, before his first deployment, and it made me think. Is it a first kiss if you've been married for ten years? What makes the criteria for a first kiss? It is a literal thing or is that rush of emotion that it brings you? You know what I am talking about, the rush of adrenaline that courses through your body, especially when that kiss is really, really good.
Then you may think again, "Do I really want multiple first kisses?" That entails separation and being apart for a long time. What if there is a level of awkwardness? What if it is different? Well... I guess if I have to be apart from my husband (because let's face it, I refuse to back out now!), at least there is that to look forward to, right?
Our first kiss, I mean our real first date first kiss, happened on May 8, 2008. We had met at a Saint Patrick's Day Party through mutual friends and talked on Facebook for a few months before we finally went on a date. We met in Chinatown in DC and went to Ruby Tuesday's and saw Baby Mama (poor guy! I already saw Iron Man and nothing else was out). He was living in South East DC and I was living on the other side of town in Maryland, so he offered to drive me home after so I didn't need to metro for an hour. I tried to refuse but of course he wouldn't hear of it. As we got to the car Ryan got called into work (just the beginning.... I should have known) and had to drop me off at the metro anyway.
I remember sitting and feeling very fidgety in the car, talking with him as we pulled up to the Eastern Market Metro Station. He insisted on getting out and opening the door for me, his Mama would have been so proud, he definitely was a gentleman. We walked around his black Honda Accord (under carriage neons beaming us in blue light) when he leaned in and kissed me goodnight. I swear my heart stopped in my chest. I felt a jolt of electricity from my lips to my toes and back again. It wasn't too long, not too short, but just perfect. I may or may not have swayed as I said goodnight and definitely stumbled walking towards the escalator, praying he didn't notice. As I rode the train home I was light-headed and giddy. Now that was a kiss.
Flash forward a year and a half to October 30, 2009. I was working in Disney World and Ryan had just returned from Iraq. We decided since I could only take off five days from work that we would wait for him to be back for sure so we could have all five days together. No homecoming for me; no buses and traditional craziness. I was disappointed but if I had come up for the original date, which was then pushed back three times, I would have had one day to spend with him... so we definitely made the right choice.
I flew up from Florida super early in the morning and was in DC at 9am. It was FREEZING; Florida was a balmy 80 degrees or so, DC was about 40! My poor body was in shock. Ryan was getting into DC from Quantico so I had to wait a few hours to see him. I checked my bag in the storage place at Union Station and met up with my friend Cat for a few hours. When Ryan arrived he decided to meet me at the Eastern Market Metro Stop.
The same place we had our last first kiss.
This time he was there waiting for me. I was nervous, it had been so long since I had seen him, I felt about as crazy and jittery as I did getting ready for our first date! I practically ran up the escalator when I arrived and there he was. Skinny, absurdly tan, and smiling as he waited for me. I ran to him, dropped my bags, and flung my arms around him and may or may not have jumped on him going in for my first kiss. The tingles and electric bolts were as present and even stronger than before.
A month later in the airport in Orlando I tackled him again as he came through security.
Two months after that he got me as I got out of my fully packed car in freezing Virginia after leaving Florida via the auto train.
For five months he journeyed back and forth from DC to New Jersey, where I lived at home during our engagement, every single weekend. That's a four-hour drive on a good day, with no traffic, and every Friday night I got my first kiss. Every single one was complete with tingles and racing heartbeat. Dizzying, isn't it?
Now, two years later, we have lived apart for almost nine months. I know in the grand scheme of things it is not a lot, but I miss my husband. 29 Palms, CA and Alexandria, VA sadly are not close. The time difference made it more challenging and I am grateful I can talk to him at least once a day every day, but nothing makes up for seeing him or being with him. I have had eight more months of first kisses since he left last July. Every time I see him walk out of security at the airport my heart never fails to skip a beat. Whenever I de-planed on the west coast and searched avidly for him in the massive airport crowds, I felt that same familiar jolt when I finally found him and rushed into his embrace.
In two weeks my husband will land in Washington DC, finished with school, and we will PCS to Camp Lejeune. In two weeks I will be running into my husband's arms for another wonderful, electric, special and amazing first kiss.... and I will not complain if this is the last one I get for a long time!