Last First Kiss

January 21, 1989.

I woke up feeling kind of glum. I was an eighteen-year-old girl who lost her mom to cancer, broke up with my only real boyfriend (because he had sex with one of my “friends”), the weather was dreary, and I was down.

As a result, I did what any other college freshman in 1989 would have done—I went to the mall, walked into a hair salon, and got a perm.

Getting my first perm, circa 1982.

It was a glorious perm. I bounced out of that salon feeling like a new woman ready for action. The plan for the night was to go to another frat party at the house where my friends and I were little sisters.

This freshly permed girl was up for a night of dancing!

My friend across the hall had the cutest clothes. She lent me my outfit for the night.

Friends, it was everything I dreamed of in an outfit. I donned a pair of kelly green stir-up leggings, which (of course) came with a matching kelly green mock turtleneck top with shoulder pads. I then added the final piece of the coordinating outfit, a matching black sweater with large, primary-colored, polka dots… and more shoulder pads. I finished the look with chunky black socks and black, lace-up granny boots.

I. Was. Ready.

My high school friend, Jill, was visiting for the weekend. The night before, we were at the same house, laughing about the fun we had the previous summer when we toured Europe with our A Capella Choir and specifically discussed piercing our friend’s ear.

This is an important thing to remember as my story progresses.

Jill and I hit the scene. We were dolled up and ready to be dancing in the house basement to Erasure, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, all of our favorites.

I was freshly permed, fully shoulder-padded, and ready to take on the world.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my biggest crush, a now single Mike Brothers, walking towards me. I could not believe it.

The perm must have worked!

Mike Brothers: Hey. Do you know anyone that can pierce my ear?

Me: Um, yeah. I can. I can pierce your ear!

Mike Brothers: Okay great. Meet me in room 13 at 2:00.

Me: I’ll be there.

2 am rolled around and I was ready for some ear piercing. I headed to room 13 with Jill close at hand. There was a line of guys in the hallway. They told us they were all in line because they heard some girl was going to be piercing ears and they wanted in.

What?! Well, it didn’t matter to me.

Mike Brothers was waiting and he talked to me and I had a new perm and I was wearing my favorite color and I was having a great day!

A large safety pin was secured. A quick pass over the open flame of someone’s lighter guaranteed it was sterile, and I told him to take a seat on his desk chair so I could pierce his ear.

I tried. I tried. I tried some more. But you see, I really had a crush on this guy and I didn’t want to hurt him. I’m not kidding you, at one point I was actually squatting on his lap trying so hard to get that pin through his lobe.

I could not do it.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was likely five minutes, another pal took the safety pin, jammed it through his earlobe, and fastened it on the other side.

Thank God for Jill because she somehow cleared the room, hit the lights, and then dissipated the line out in the hallway.

It was at that precise moment that Mike Brothers and I shared our first kiss.

And let me tell you, it was some kiss.

This photo was taken days after that magical kiss. I was using up the rest of the black and white film on my camera that I used to shoot photos of friends for submissions to our sorority’s Men of Bradley calendar.
With friends on spring break, just weeks after that first kiss. I had to share a photo of that amazing hair…



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