kissing face


Tom and I were not experienced kissers when we began dating.  Our first kiss was slightly off the mark and one of us had tremors, although neither one of us knows who belonged to the tremors.  Lip seizures, I like to call them.  It takes about a minute and a half to learn how to kiss properly.  It takes even less time to learn the other moves, thanks to nature.

So it was a shock to learn years later that we were, in fact, not suitably matched for kissing.  We bought a small book called THE ART OF KISSING at the Frick Museum store when we were vacationing in NYC.  It was written by Hugh Morris and first printed in 1936.  He states boldly in the chapter entitled, “Kisses Are But a Prelude to Love,” that “ . . . it is necessary for the man to be taller than the woman.”

And I think he means more than a half-inch taller.

“The psychological reason for this,” Mr. Morris goes on to say “is that [the man] must always give the impression of being the woman’s superior, both mentally and especially physically.  The physical reason with which we are more concerned is that if he is taller than his woman, he is better able to kiss her.  He must be able to sweep her into his strong arms and tower over her, and look down into her eyes, and cup her chin in his fingers, and then bend over her face and plant his eager, virile lips on her moist, slightly parted, inviting ones.  All of this he must do with the vigor of an assertive male.

And all of these are impossible when the woman is taller to the man.  For when the situation is reversed, the kiss becomes a ludicrous banality.  The physical mastery is gone.  The male prerogative is gone.  Everything is gone but the fact that two lips are touching two other lips.  Nothing can be more disappointing.”

Now Tom stands on a stair when we kiss.  And Mr. Morris is absolutely right.  Kissing is better when he tower over me and plants his eager, virile lips on my moist, slightly parted ones.

“In heaven, you will be six-three,” I tell him.  “You will be perfect.”

“Or, Tom says, “you’ll be five-three.  You’ll be perfect.”