From out of nowhere, an old friend emailed me an old photo he had from 1955 of the two of us making out together. I easily remembered the drill. A group of us would meet up at a friend’s house, gathering on an early summer’s evening. My friend’s parents were always expecting us and ushered us past their living room, right into their den. There was no need to linger for chit chat. The group of friends shifted regularly and we were never sure who was coming, but somehow enough of us would get together so that the making out always managed to happen. Not immediately, but in due time. The parents didn’t seem concerned that we’d go too far. After all, this was an all Jewish group.
Much was discussed among the girls earlier on in the day, particularly about what to wear. It might have been the occasion to try a new shade of lipstick.The most urgent requirement was that clothing should be sexy. Once the expected guests had arrived, the doors of the den would be closed and the music cranked up. There was always an air of anticipation and mild excitement. The same routine could be counted on at each make out party.
The boy I’m kissing in the photo was considered the”best kisser.”It went downhill from there. The quality of the kissers that is. Things never got very hot and heavy because we were simply too naive and not that into each other on a sexual desire level.We also knew each other too well, so there was absolutely no mystery or hidden desire to learn more. We were just a bunch of friends exploring the landscape. The cutest one of us girls was always the same, admired and courted by each of the young men, and secretly envied by each of the girls. She was a born flirt, had two perfect dimples, and the boys ate it up. That scenario never varied either, no matter what sexy sweater I’d found to wear. The best kisser was shared as partners were rotated occasionally.
Our hostess had all her records picked out and ready to go. She had a state of the art sound system and could be counted on to have a state of the art assortment of new tunes. This era (1955) was the height of great rock n roll, so there was no problem finding music to dance to. The music set the mood, going from rock to inane Eddie Fisher ballads, as couples began to pair off. The lights were dimmed or turned off. This was the venue where I learned to kiss. Spin -the -bottle parties in 6th grade were the take off point. Now, completing junior high, it was about refining the act, and daringly on rare occasions, taking it to the step of light petting (feeling up).
The evening continued until it was time for someone to get home. Nothing of consequence happened at these gatherings, as I remember. No one lost his or her virginity or decided to go steady or to break up. No one even considered going all the way as far as I knew. That experiment was years away. Summer nights in the 1950’s were fun and uncomplicated and left warm coming-of-age memories of a very different era!