The Kiss

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During my early teens I was nervous about practically everything, and in hindsight, have no idea why. But when it comes to the subject of kissing, I completely sympathise with my immature anxiety because if someone asked me for advice now, I’d have no idea what to say.

When you actually stop and think about it, what on earth do we actually do when we kiss?!

I’ve been trying to work out what I did with my tongue the first time I ever snogged someone (yes I did just say snog) but I can’t remember. It’s probably down to traumatic memory loss or something. I am however pretty sure I googled “how to kiss a boy” before I’d ever locked lips with a chap. I’m also pretty sure that I got distracted by msn and frantically working out my love percentage with Duncan from Blue, and thus had absolutely no idea what I was doing when it actually came down to it. Shame on me: a hobby I would go on to spend approximately 336 hours of my life practising and I was more concerned with my compatibility with bisexual boy band members. Excellent.

So although I don’t blame myself for my teenage melt down, I’ve realised there’s not much to it. Kissing is pretty much rubbing your lips against someone else’s as you both make accidental (and slightly awkward) slurping noises, right? Wrong. There’s the awkward teeth clash that does in fact happen in real life, there’s the ‘which way are they going to lean’ dilemma, and there are issues of height and even breath. I’m telling you, it’s a minefield of misfortune. In almost any other social situation, putting your face that close to another person’s would result in a head butt. Or a restraining order. So why is it acceptable and why does it feel so good? I’m sure there is some rather boring scientific explanation for why a smooch feels fantastic, but from space, I think it could arguably be perceived as one of our strangest global past times.

Have a look for yourself. Go to any club across the country and you are guaranteed to find hundreds of couples kissing in dark corners, canoodling on the dance floor and people sharing more than a cigarette in the smoking area and I find it hilarious to watch. Let’s not forget though: kissing can most certainly be very unappetising. It’s not always like the movies where one foot lifts off the floor and lipstick (and cold saws) miraculously avoid passing from mouth to mouth. Instead, tongues can wander and saliva can slither, but in the moment, you’re totally unaware until someone publishes a photo of you and Dave from finance snogging outside O’Neil’s on Facebook. Your memory of a romantic rendezvous now looks more like an x-rated episode of Eastenders. But what’s a bit of harmless fun, right?

Wrong.

Although we easily fall for the French who are renowned for being the most skilled of lip lockers and Italians who are known for their passion, whatever you do, avoid pursuing a Glasgow kiss. I’m pretty sure you’ll live to regret it.

The Young Ones

I remember when I first heard someone whisper the words “She’s pregnant”. And I, like the rest of my peers thought ‘Holy shit. Her life is over’. But now, at the ripe old age of 22, I beg to differ with my ignorant teenage self and think that actually, it’s possible that her life had just begun.

People nowadays get too caught up in the career hunt and I feel as though the importance of basic family values has been misplaced. Believe it or not, even well into the twenty first century, some people are still born to be full time parents rather than doctors or barristers, and I think we forget in this fast moving world that parenthood is a commitment and an achievement which arguably exceeds earning a hefty wage.

This is something that I think most people appreciate. But when it comes to teen mums, the first thing that we Brits seem to imagine is a velour tracksuit; lit fag in hand, with practically a chicken nugget being pushed around in a pram. But in my experience, there are lots of young mums out there who can look after their children and are able to cope with the stresses of motherhood. I’m not saying that I would recommend taking the path of a young parent; the road is not smooth sailing, opportunities are limited and many people can’t tie their own shoe laces, let alone look after a little one. But beautiful little accidents do happen and I wholeheartedly admire young parents for what they’re doing, because I certainly couldn’t.

Splashed across facebook I see photos of young mums who have one, maybe more children and I commend them for their hard work and their ability to enjoy their lives whilst everyone around them is carefree and partying with worries reaching as far as getting hold of the latest pair of Topshop heels. These young women raise their children, with integrity I might add, and they each look more than happy and content with their lot in life. This is more than I can say for a lot of people.

Not only am I addressing young mums here, but young fathers too who are very often forgotten about or assumed to be a waste of space. This isn’t fair. Just the other day, I met a young guy who was a father bringing up his daughter alone, and although I could tell that he was knackered and utterly out of his depth in regards to which Barbie to buy her for Christmas; he was doing the best he could. And I admired him for that.

So, whether you’re a fifty or fifteen year old parent, if you can make a baby smile like the one in this picture, then in my opinion, you’ve got to be doing something right.

Kudos.