Much to my parents’ amusement, my friends tarted me up (which in those days involved a lot of black eyeliner, ratty clothing and jewelry with spiders on it) and then trotted me off to meet said boy. He was behind a friend’s house, half hidden in the shadows like some kind of pervert. Which, given his age, my age and the circumstances, he kind of was. Before I could even get a good look at him (floppy hair, acne, muscley arms), he growled, “So how you wanna do this?”
I snorted, adjusted my goth jewelry and growled back, “I don’t know. I’m the amateur here, remember?”
And so I got a “cat’s butt kiss” – aptly christened by my high school friend T to describe the similarity between my tightly puckered mouth and and the business end of a feline – for my first kiss.
“What was it like?” my friends all shrieked before The Hired Help was even out of ear shot.
“Like kissing my dad.”
He hung his head. I blushed. Everyone was humiliated. Mission accomplished.
This little episode of Bad Touch 101 was brought to mind the other day when I asked a Yoga Guru a question and she gave me a totally unexpected answer.
My Yoga Question: “My instructor never adjusts me. Is it appropriate to ask her to do so? She seems to be “hands off” in general but otherwise a good teacher.” (Backstory: I love yoga. In every yoga class I’ve ever taken, the teacher has always done little manual adjustments to my form. It helps. I can’t see myself when I’m upside down. And a teeny adjustment can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the pose.)
The Yoga Guru’s Answer: Is very long. But in summary they basically said that I might be a perv. Or the teacher might be a perv. Or perhaps neither one of us are pervs but instead might have been touched by pervs in the past (which, as you all know, I have) and therefore might interpret any touch as pervy. It was all very My Body, My Rules from eighth grade health class.
It was not what I had expected. But it sure did give me a lot to think about because gyms are a unique environment for touching, both good and bad. Most of the girls I know have had some kind of workout experience involving bad touch from a man – usually just a touch or a pat done accidentally-on-purpose. (Another classic is the boob-squishage hug also known as the reason I will only sweaty hug girls now.) My last memorable experience of this type involved a man who, over the course of a five-minute conversation, kept moving closer and closer to me. To which I responded by stepping farther and farther back. Until I was literally up against a wall. I actually had to duck under his arm and push him out of my way to end the conversation. Which thankfully he let me do. I don’t think he meant me any harm. I think he was just oblivious. But it still made my heart pound in a very uncomfortable way.
The opposite may also be true although I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of it. Any of you guys ever been on the receiving end of unwanted attention at the gym?
The thing is, the gym is a great place to practice good touching. A high five, a pat on the shoulder, a form correction or a close spot can all be good, helpful things. I’ve been known to give Gym Buddy Allison a big sweaty hug on occasion. And Gym Buddy Megan smacks my rear when she laps me on the track – a kind of combination giddyap-girl and friendly hello. Although you really have to be careful with the butt-smacking: I once had a boot-camp instructor smack the woman in front of me on the rear. I was so appalled I almost considered quitting the class right then and there. He must have seen my face because when he caught up to me on the next lap he explained the woman was his wife and that he would never, ever touch anyone else’s tushie. And he’s kept good on that promise, thank heavens.
And then there’s weird touch. Gyms are a hot bed of weird touch. Like when a male friend and I were running side-by-side in bootcamp one day and his arm hit my arm and whacked my hand down onto his thigh. Both of us blushed redder than the fire hydrant that he had dodged, which caused the embarrassing accident in the first place. He spent the next solid mile apologizing. And I spent the next mile after that telling him he didn’t need to apologize.
Or just last week in Hip Hop, Turbo Jennie and I were dancing in near proximity to each other when she turned towards me at the exact moment I was doing some variation of the rodeo/who’s-your-daddy move and it was all Girls Gone Wild up in there for about 3 seconds. “Keep it g-rated, Charlotte!” she yelled and I was so embarrassed that I flubbed the next 4 measures. Yeah, I accidentally freaked on my aerobics instructor.
So let this be a lesson to you: don’t be me. Oh, wait. No, the lesson here is that there are rules and the rules are there for a reason. And the rules state that you are never to touch anyone, anywhere, for any reason. And if you decide to thwart rule number one, then you must publicly declare – preferably in writing – your intentions and the expected result. And if you still insist on touching, then at least offer to take me to dinner first.
So, enough of my embarrassing moments! Let’s hear yours!! Good touch, bad touch or weird touch – what’s your story of gym awkwardness? Can anyone top me for the worst first kiss ever??