*Spin the Bottle

Elizabeth Berg’s book of short stories, The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted, is a worthy read if you like light, humorous chick-lit.  The author interview in the end papers prompted today’s essay.

Berg is asked about her first kiss, which came as a result of Spin the Bottle, and she described it as slow electrocution.  When I mentioned this to a friend, her reply was,  “Where would any of us be without Spin the Bottle?”

Which put me in mind of my first kiss.  I was about 12 when I spun my first bottle and got Deanna Kleinbord.  I am certain I didn’t electrocute her.  I am wondering why, if there was nothing memorable about it, why do I remember so clearly that it was Deanna.   I don’t remember anything else—well, I remember she was tall. 

Nor do I remember my second kiss, although I am sure years passed before it came along.  I suppose that makes me a late bloomer, although in my dating history there are many who would say I never bloomed at all.

I don’t remember any other kisses that were high-water marks.  Not my first French kiss, not my first kiss that lasted more than one second, not the first girl that I got a second kiss from.  I don’t know if I ever understood whether a kiss was the equivalent of first base.

During my first year on the road, I collected the answers to such heady questions as what are the changes in politics and religion in the past 50 years, where have all the hippies gone, and when is the last time you had sex in a car. 

I think I need a light question.  What was the occasion of your first kiss?  How old? With whom? Was a spinning bottle involved?

I’d like to test-market the question here among the passengers of the Jolly Swag.

So.  Tell. What is the story of your first kiss?

N.B.  If you don’t know about Spin the Bottle, I suggest Wikipedia. 

If anyone knows where Deanna Kleinbord is, let me know.



18 Responses to *Spin the Bottle

  1. Dave Bauer says:

    Like you, Al, my first kiss was stolen when I was 12 years old. It happened on a misty Friday night in late October behind a community recreation hall that was the location of a dance party held for our sixth grade class. I remember the mystery surrounding that event at that time of my life, and after the fact, I always felt that she knew more about what was going on and about what was supposed to happen than I did.

    Unfortunately, I am no longer able to recall her name, but I do know that she was a member of my sixth grade class. I’ll need to go back to my photo archives to see whether or not I can find her, which speaks volumes about my age and what became of that first kiss. Still, it got me to thinking.

    Spin the bottle came later.

  2. M. Kaplan says:

    Deanna Kleinbord is sitting on my lap, but we haven’t had our first kiss yet. I’m a slow mover. I don’t recall playing spin the bottle until I was in the Air Force.

  3. Sorry, my first kiss is on a need to know basis only. Besides, I forgot. To many miles under my feet.

    First base comes before the kiss. The kiss is second base. Third base … well, I’ll let you use your imagination before sliding into home, which is nirvana. Sigh!

  4. Pat Bean says:

    Yup. Spin the bottle it was. Yuck! I never got the boy I wanted to kiss. Do kids still play spin the bottle these days.

  5. My first kiss was from my mother. I was a day or two old at the time.

  6. They sure do. Watch. And Heinz Tomato Ketchup is helping keep it alive (the last video). The second production (created in association with the University of Texas) is cute and I like the music.
    It is amazing what you can find on You Tube.

  7. Colleen Rae says:

    my first kiss was playing Spin the Bottle. I remember I was very nervous wanting to be kissed by one of the twins, Jerry/Larry in our circle. I got one of the twins and I remember his mouth was wet and slobberly, like my Irish Setter. Didn’t particularly like it. But STB was a passage into a world of wonders. Wasn’t aware of it at the time. As I began kissing the opposite sex more and more, I got the hang of it and so did they.

  8. I came from Larder Lake Ontario population in 1960 when I was 12 was about 4000 people. We played Spin the Bottle every Friday night from Grade 6 until I got to Grade 9. Every non-French (we were 17 miles from the Border of Quebec) girl and boy in those grades with me had their first kiss in this town in the Basement of my home. They played 7 minutes of Hell or Heaven as a result. The “matched Persons” retired to a wood room where the home burned Birch Logs. This was nice and mysteriously lit with it’s large hot blast furnace rouring next to you in the long winters of Northern Ontario Canada. It had to heat our upstairs and two upstairs apartments my father rented. In this room you either had 7 minutes of bliss, and that kiss or you waited and pretended you got the desired result. By Grade 8 it was important to do this because there was attachments between young persons. The basement lights always went out after this time and the 1946 Wurlitzer Juke Box blasted out music. Even though it played 78’s it was rewired to play an attached stack of 45’s. AL, I am in the midst of writing the song called “Teenage Days”. The day before this latest post of yours I discussed with the group this STB period. My first Kiss probably was when I was 6 or 7 and she was the taller. My neck has been sore ever since.

  9. Karen says:

    I don’t think I ever played spin the bottle. I was 12 when I had my first kiss. His name was Dave,and I remember his last name but will leave it out. It was electric and led to a good many more from him in the following couple of weeks. I was instantly addicted to the feeling. Nice memory.

  10. David L says:

    Secretly in love and dreaming of Susan for well over a year and finally to movie one summer night we kissed as we parted, my first at 15, hers I imagined beyond counting. I began the maneuver after awkward minutes at her door – she likely wondering why I was waiting, me not aware of the mechanics but believing there must be some. With each minute of calculating hesitation, my commitment seemed greater and it was either now or turn quickly and run, never to be with her again and worse, abandon my wonder-filled dreaming.

    I took a big emotional breath, gained strength, pulled her toward me with arms around. I closed my eyes tightly, moved in and planted a kiss carrying the year of my love, right smack in the middle of her chin.

  11. MaryAnne says:

    Oh, Gawd…..the memories of STB. My first participation in that activity was in 8th grade so probably age 12 to 13. We played at Friday night parties hosted at various class members homes with the parents somewhere in the background. Our favorite was Diane’s house cuz her parents were in their mid 50’s and could care less what went on in their basement which was also her mother’s beauty salon. I’m sure all of us still smell the “perm odor” lingering in the air when we see a spinning bottle. (we used Coke bottles). I don’t recall but am guessing that probably was my first kissing experience. Unfortunately, the bottle never pointed to the boy I really wanted to kiss so there were no fireworks…..just quick, embarrassed pecks and on to the next spin. The first “real kiss” came a few years later on prom night, in the back seat of a station wagon, as we were being driven home by my dates father. Now that was a kiss to remember and it led to a 3yr. romance that ended when he went off to college. Interestingly, we have kept in touch over the years and still exchange b’day cards and occasional e-mails and phone calls cross- country. He mailed me his “class ring” several years ago as I was the only girl who ever wore it and his wife doesn’t have any interest in it. Out of respect for his 55yr. marriage I’ll pass on mentioning a name. I’ve enjoyed all of the previous first kiss tales……ahhh, the sweetness of youth and innocence.

  12. kristi says:

    Earl Byram at Kathleen Bell’s Friday night party. Boys were 7th graders I believe, and girls, 6th graders. I was hoping for Bob but got Earl, and it was a very sweet first kiss. Such a nice life in small town Southern Idaho where you knew everyone and their parents knew yours.

  13. Bob Morgan says:

    Wow, I hadn’t thought about a first kiss since…well, let’s by-pass that. Anyway, we kissed because a bunch of us (our neighborhood gang) began talking about ‘kissing’, and one thing led to another, and so we all (the boys) started kissing all of them (the girls), and it was a silly game….no bottles, no anything, except the one girl was a ‘newcomer’ to our gang. Her family had just moved here from Italy, and I had never smelled or eaten garlic before that experience. She was a ‘standout’, until that round robin of kisses. Her breath almost knocked me over, and later, some of us boys talked about the experience, and the reaction was pretty much the same as mine. I’m sure today, I wouldn’t even notice.

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