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Cause to Kiss the Ground

by Vic Shayne

A teenager of eighteen years goes off to war in 1941 and is sent to the Pacific Theatre. In 1945 he returns a man who had spent years in a dreadful Japanese POW camp, tortured and forced on a death march. He barely comes out alive and loses all of his closest friends. He never thought he’d survive the war. After liberation, he’s put on an army hospital ship and sent home to the United States. After a week at sea, with shaky legs and a broken body, the young man steps off the military ship with legs that can barely carry him and once off the gangplank, he falls to his knees crying and kisses the ground.

In the winter of 1944, a Lieutenant in the Army Air Force flies his P47 fighter plane in formation out across the English Channel over Nazi occupied France. His squadron comes under attack and all his buddies are shot out of the sky. With his own plane riddled with bullets and an engine on fire, somehow the young pilot, only twenty years old, lumbers back to England. With damaged landing gear, he manages to crash near the runway on a British base. With his plane on fire, the pilot pulls himself out of the cockpit and barely scrambles away to safety just as his plane explodes in the field behind him. With British ground crew trying to extinguish the blaze, the pilot lays down on his chest and kisses the ground.

Kissing the ground. Such is the visceral relationship between we humans and terra firma. In moments of high emotion, we are moved to show affection for the earth beneath our feet, recognizing the permanence of earth, holding steady and true as madness reigns on its surface. Home can be anywhere. If you’re in the sky, it can mean no more than the ground below you. Or if you’ve been away, it can mean your own country. Or even more thought-provoking, for many the ground to be worshiped belongs to the land of their ancestors.

Consider the man or woman who has faced death and suffering, found redemption then falls prostrate to kiss the ground.  The sentiment — usually impromptu — seems to be one of embracing life in a way that you never seemed to appreciate it before.

The famous Persian poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, nearly eight hundred years ago, said, “Let the beauty you love be what you do … there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

Eight Reasons to Love Spiders (Or At Least Spare Them)

Crumpet on the prowl
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sappymoosetree

Let me start this article off by admitting how petrified I am of spiders. Every man in my life has been transformed, at some point, into an all-powerful spider warrior.

It goes like this: my fiancé will be working quietly in our home office when, suddenly, he’ll hear a shriek from the kitchen; he’ll fall out of his chair and come running with a penny loafer, our 180-pound mastiff galloping alongside him, fur flying. I’ll be in the kitchen when he gets there, pointing wildly and jumping furiously in place.

So, I’m writing this article to spare both my fiancé and me increased potentiality for cardiac arrest in our mid-twenties (no need to worry about our mastiff – he needs the exercise). From everything I’ve been reading, there’s a bunch of reasons not only to get rid of arachnophobia, but to actually embrace spiders (not literally…dear god, not literally) as a wonderful part of one’s natural –– and sometimes home –– environment.

Here are a few that have impressed me as viable reasons to love/tolerate spiders:

  1. Spiders have been revered in hundreds of really awesome myths and folk stories the world over. Sometimes they’re cast in the role of Creator, sometimes as gods and goddesses. Check out some of the stories, if you ever have time. They’re fun reads. Here’s one about Anansi the West African spider god: http://anansi-web.com/anansi.html
  2. In North America, at least, only two kinds of spiders are truly harmful to humans – the brown recluse and the black widow (and, by all means, get rid of them). The rest actually just eat other insects we usually find pretty scary, including mosquitoes carrying malaria (the world’s #1 fatal disease) and flies carrying cholera.
  3. The presence of spiders in your house is a sign that 2,000 fewer bugs per spider will be there every year.
  4. In your garden, spiders eat those bugs that love to damage your plants! In fact, they’re used in organic cotton farming for exactly this reason.
  5. It’s actually rare for most spiders to bite humans, unless they feel threatened in some way. A spider will probably not find its way into your bed more often than once or twice a year, and on those occasions, will most likely not bite you. It doesn’t want to suck your blood – it just wants to eat insects. Most spiders are unfairly blamed for bites when mites, fleas, and bedbugs are the real perpetrators.
  6. Spiders love to eat mosquitoes. That’s a terrific reason to keep them around. Mosquitoes actually want to eat you; spiders are terrified of you, and only want to run away from you.
  7. Like I said, spiders generally don’t want to bite you. A spider can’t even see you until you’re about a foot away from it, since spiders have horrific eyesight. Thus, it’s not going to aim for you when it falls from the ceiling (it’s probably just lost its grasp) or when it sees your foot on the floor.
  8. Spiders are generally a sign of good luck in many cultures the world over!

Okay, and one incredibly cool fact that I discovered while on my quest for spider awesomeness: Spiders can’t die of natural causes and there are apparently these spiders living in China that were hatched in the Mang-Tsun dynasty 2,800 years ago; they’re known as “holy spiders”!

Now, if you still can’t stand your 8-legged friends, videojug offers a lovely instructional video on how to delicately remove the little monsters from your house:


Random Hilarity:
How To Catch A Spider

A Flower’s Worth a Thousand Words; A Guide to 10 Flowers in Your Grocery Store

Whether they’re for your mother, girlfriend, secret admirer, sister, professor, manly man-friend, or someone else altogether, you’ll want to take care when selecting which type of flower to send to him or her so that you don’t give off a wrong impression or freak someone out or something. Didn’t think that flowers would be this complicated? Well, think again. 

Most varieties of flowers have specific meanings ascribed to them, so that in giving them as a gift, you’re also sending a pretty clear message. Ah, the power of a flower!

Now before you just throw in the towel on this whole flower idea and reluctantly opt to give something that’s utterly vacuous, like a Hallmark card featuring a happily-colored sky and topped off with a neat little truism dressed up as a poem, I’ve taken care of the research and made the process of flower picking a cinch.

Here’s a quick guide to the most common flowers found in grocery stores:

Eine rote Rose

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photo credit: MrOmega
1. Roses

Colors: Tons of different colors

Associated Meanings: Each color has a unique meaning.

Your Color Breakdown: Red: Passionate Love (but if you’re giving only one of them, the message is clear: Sex); White: Humility and Innocence; Yellow: Friendship; Pink: Gratitude; Orange: Enthusiasm and Desire; Purple: Love at First Sight.

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Obviously, give Reds and Oranges to your Lover, Purple to someone you’re infatuated with; Whites are given at wedding and baby showers; give Yellows to Friends if you’d like to wish them well; Give Pinks to say thank you to Professors or someone who helped you out.

Smile to the world...

Creative Commons License photo credit: Parvin ♣( OFF for a while )
2. Lilies (Stargazer)

Colors: There’s a range, but you’ll most commonly see White and Pink

Associated Meanings: Each color tends to have a unique meaning

Your Color Breakdown: White: Sympathy; Pink: Wealth and Prosperity

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Give the White variety to someone who has suffered a loss, and the Pink one to newlyweds, a business partner, or adult to whom you want to wish a happy future, like a college graduate.

Cream White Carnation

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photo credit: David Blackwell (back to black)
3. Carnations

Colors: Wide Range, with every color being unique in meaning.

Associated Meanings: Every color tends to be unique in meaning, with the overall theme being Love, Luck and Fascination. The striped ones are exceptions, though, standing for Regret and Refusal.

Your Color Breakdown: White: Pure Love and Good Luck; Light Red: Admiration; Dark Red: Deep Love and Affection; Purple: Capriciousness; Pink: the Undying Love of a Mother; Green: Luck of the Irish; Yellow: Disappointment and Dejection

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: You can obviously give the White ones to anyone you want to wish luck and the Dark Red ones to your lover; it’s probably a good idea not to gift the Purple ones; Light Red is good for professors;  Pink works for Mother’s Day or if you want to earn some brownie points with your mother-in-law; Green is all the rage on St. Patrick’s Day; Yellow is good to give in situations akin to the following: you’re a stockbroker, the market just crashed, and you have several meetings that day – buy some Yellow Carnations for each of your clients.

Wild Abandon

Creative Commons License photo credit: dandy_fsj
4. Daisies

Colors: There’s a Wide Variety

Associated Meanings: Joy, Happiness, Innocence, and New Beginnings

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Great gift for people embarking on new business ventures, Newlyweds, new parents, etc. Also good to just give anyone for a happy occasion

Purple Iris

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photo credit: nickwheeleroz
5. Irises

Colors: A few different colors, but you’ll mostly find them in Purple

Associated Meanings: Communication, Messages, Wisdom

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Because this flower can convey so many emotions, it’s seen as appropriate to give to just about anyone.

white snapdragon

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photo credit: jmtimages[waka waka…]
6. Snapdragons

Colors: There’s a range, but you’ll most commonly see White and Pink

Associated Meanings: Graciousness and Strength (though it does have a flipside, in which it can stand for deception – but we’ll choose to ignore this since it would be kind of creepy, crappy, and weird of you to buy someone a flower because you intend to stab them in the back somehow)

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: This flower’s appropriate for just about anyone, particularly those who find enjoyment in life’s little things and would like popping a flower’s mouth open and seeing it snap shut.

bronze chrysanthemums

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photo credit: Martin LaBar
7. Chrysanthemums

Colors: Wide Range; From Reds to Yellows to Purples to White

Associated Meanings: Love, Optimism, and Joy (Really Cool Tidbit: the Japanese have an annual “Festival of Happiness” to celebrate them)

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Basically give them to whoever you’d like to wish that person a happy, long, and healthy life.

Gladiolus with texture

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photo credit: tanakawho
8. Gladioli

Colors: Wide Range; From Reds to Yellows to Purples to White

Associated Meanings: Strength, Moral Integrity, Infatuation, and Remembrance

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: “Gladius” is Latin for “sword.” So in one regard, think of this flower as something appropriate to give to someone you’re proud, find honorable, or want to encourage. In another regard, give it to someone you admire to “pierce” his/her heart – in much the same was as an arrow from Cupid would – and make him/her yearn for you.

sun shining through

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photo credit: gorgeoux
9. Astroemerias

Colors: Wide Range; From Pinks to Reds to Oranges to Yellows to Purples to White

Associated Meanings: Devotion and Friendship

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Give them to a friend, a professor, someone you care about in a friendly-kind of way to say that you appreciate him or her. Not quite the flower that says “I love you” to your mother or date/lover, or “thanks for all the hard work” to your postal worker.



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photo credit: sinkdd
10. Hydrangeas

Colors: Wide Range; From Reds to Yellows to Purples to White

Associated Meanings: Enduring Grace and Beauty

Give Them to Who? Give Them When?: Your Female Lover

There you have it: a decent knowledge of grocery store flowers. So next time you go to buy your love (or anyone else) a bouquet, pick prudently; give her (or him) a flower that means something!

The Art of Kissing Comes Naturally

Photo from Creativecommons.org: TimothyJ

I’d like to know who it was that first thought, “hey, wouldn’t it be a fabulous if, at the same time as I kiss what’s her face on the mouth, I just stick my tongue out?”

I mean, it doesn’t really sound like a brilliant idea on paper. Is that one of those romantic things that were blamed on the all too convenient excuse: “it just…happened”?

I was introduced to the concept of the French kiss in second grade by one of my classmates who had just engaged her teenage babysitter in a rapid-fire Q&A session.

Classmate: It’s when you and your boyfriend stick your tongues in each other’s mouths at the same time.

Me: Ew!… And then what do you do?

Classmate: Well, you both move yours around.

Me: Really? Why?

Classmate: You’ll understand what it means when you’re older.

Now that I’m officially “older, ” I have to admit that I still don’t get it; sharing my tongue with my significant other still seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to do, regardless of whether I do it or not. Not to mention that for a long time after that informative discussion in third grade, I remained pretty repulsed by the idea – probably because I thought about it much too vividly, picturing the act countless times from the vantage point of my uvula.

But then again, I’ve always had a sort of phobia about other people’s saliva; the idea of sharing a drinking glass with anyone used to nauseate me – that is, up until I became acquainted with the college party scene (which, coincidentally, was when I stopped trying to visualize things from my uvula’s perspective).

Anyway, back to my original query: Who was this kissing innovator? For obvious reasons, I first looked to France for an answer; it appears, though, that the French don’t have any claim to the so-called “French” kiss, just as that which Americans call “french fries” did not originate in France.

And, after combing through different internet resources, it appears as though there’s no well-documented history of the French kiss evolution.

So I’ve settled upon my own theory: Primitive man made it up.

According to Thierry Lodé, a French biologist and professor of evolutionary biology, humans “tongue kiss” (the technical name for a French Kiss) to test a potential mate’s immune defenses. Therefore, I’d guess humans took up the activity prior to sophisticated communication, or else they’d probably just ask one another something like, “Hey hot stuff. How’s your health?” Plus, as far as I know, humans don’t really tend to criticize someone’s kissing style based on how healthy they perceive their make out partners to be.

Lose the Ruffles or Lose the Groom! 10 Ghastly Gowns to Pass Up

Let’s face it – when you walk down the aisle, you want your groom with his mouth agape, wondering how he got so lucky. The perfect gown is crucial for delivering that perfect moment, transforming you from a mere mortal into a sort of glowing super-bride.

And the best thing about it is that the groom doesn’t even get to witness this transformation because he’s traditionally not allowed to see the dress before the ceremony. You leave him in jeans and then return to him wearing the incredible super-dress and he’s just standing there like, “wow! I’m going to marry her?!” And you’ll just have a smile on your face as you’re walking down, thinking, “I’m marrying him…” but under that, you’ll be thinking “Yeah…I’m a magical, glowing super-bride…”

And that’s awesome. That’s what’s supposed to happen. In fact, most of the gowns out there are incredible super-dresses. Most. Don’t be the woman who gets carried away with the wrong super-bride fantasy and makes the groom experience a medley of emotions in the twenty seconds between when he sees you in that thing and when he has to vow his eternal devotion to you – it’s not kind. You don’t want to be skanky-bride, silly-bride, six-year-old-bride, or just-plain-scary-bride.

So, with that said, avoid these following (or anything closely resembling these) horrid fashion creations like the plague:

1. Here’s a gown I found that could easily be misconstrued as having a whimsical, sea goddess-type appeal, what with the giant starfish and all. But take it from me: the only preternatural quality you’ll have will be the result of showing up for your wedding with a giant star centered on your stomach, kind of reminding your loved ones of a Care Bear.

starfish wedding dress and tabletop
Creative Commons License photo credit: coco+kelley

2. Wear this gown and not only your love, but also all your guests (many of whom are relatives) will find themselves treated to an IMAX showing of your bosoms. On the other hand, this feature may prove helpful in drawing their attention away from the dress itself, which appears to be made out of a popcorn ceiling.

Video Genitallica

photo credit: molcatron

3. A gown this skimpy will mortify your beloved when you begin your walk down the aisle, leaving him to wait anxiously for the moment he’ll be able to whisper to you that you forgot to put your dress on. Meanwhile, the guests you pass by will be looking nervously at your backside, wondering whose gift you happened to sit on.

Photo Credit: dris

Creative Commons License photo credit: dris

4. If you want your wedding to seem like it’s straight out of a fairytale, don’t forget to model yourself after one of the more attractive fairy tale characters and wear a grotesque dress like this one. The magic will be in your consideration of the details, such as recognizing that since the 1960s never produced any noteworthy fairytale princesses, it’s unlikely that your groom will find anything enchanting or whimsical about such a discordant color combination. I think it’s a fair assessment that no Disney character would even be caught dead wearing this.

Photo credit: locket479

5. It’s very hard to get away with a wedding dress that isn’t some kind of milky tone, much less one in this bubblegum shade. Even if bubblegum pink happens to be your favorite color and makes you feel all giggly and feathery-light inside, it’s not worth your lover likening you to the six year old flower girl.

Photo credit: *lynne*

6. This particular gown illustrates two key criteria that every wedding gown should be measured against before it’s even remotely considered capable of dazzling the groom: i) Just about anything dominated by a giant bow is hideous; one definitely shouldn’t be on your dress. ii) Make sure you don’t blind your beloved by selecting a dress fashioned out of highly reflective material.

Photo credit: Häßliche Kleider

7. A wedding veil is traditionally worn to accentuate a bride’s modesty. Not surprisingly, your groom may fail to detect this virtuous quality in you if your headpiece is borrowed from an old nanny or French maid Halloween costume.

Photo credit: dno1967

8. If you’re looking to artistically express the many feelings your beloved inspires within you, you may wish to choose a medium that will do your work the most justice. Unfortunately, if you decide to wear your emotions on your gown, the paints may appear less like emotions to him and more like the aftermath of crashing into wet wall art.

Photo credit: Emory Co Photo

8. There’s nothing about this bold gown that will transform you into the personification of everlasting love and devotion always envisioned by your groom. Whether or not you look ravishing in it, your wedding may prove an inappropriate time to dress like a dancer from the Moulin Rouge.

dunikowski

9. Your groom is likely to have some fairly strange thoughts when he realizes that you, his life-partner, chose to wear a gown constructed entirely out of toilet paper; he’ll probably not be consumed with the feelings of romance and passion experienced by most grooms.  And just a quick thought: this would be one wedding where rain wouldn’t mean good luck for the bride.

jessica ann mills

10. This Valentino dress may convey a certain dreamy quality to you, if you’re a fashionista, but the odds are against your significant other’s appreciating it. From what I’ve gathered, extreme fashion tends to seem hyperbolic to most men, not attractive. If you were to walk down the aisle wearing this, you’re bound to launch your groom into a state of bewilderment.

Photo found on commons.wikimedia.org

11. Donning this dress may prove overstimulating to your beloved if he looks at it for too long. However, there’s a bright side to this overwrought and puffy garment: if you wear it, you’ll have no need for a purse; anything you might need can be used to fill your humongous sleeves, including two turkey legs, should you and your groom get hungry between vows.

Photo found on commons.wikimedia.org

Laughing at Love: 10 Quotes to Help You See the Silliness

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Romantic love is a mysterious notion that has been contemplated by humankind for thousands of years, making mystified philosophers of us all.

Try as we might, we’ll never make sense of it – at least not for long, and never completely. Perhaps the best thing to do is just sit back, enjoy the ride, and do your utmost to hang on to your sense of humor.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of ten hilarious quotations by some of our favorite people. Each pertains to a different facet of love and relationships, reassuring you that no matter what state your love life is in – be it one of turmoil, passion, confusion, etc. – someone funnier than you has undoubtedly been there before:

  1. I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. – Groucho Marx
  2. All marriages are happy. It’s trying to live together afterwards that causes all the problems. – Shelley Winters
  3. Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery. – Erma Bombeck
  4. To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down. – Woody Allen
  5. Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them. – Bill Maher
  6. My girlfriend always laughs during sex – no matter what she’s reading. – Steve Jobs
  7. Sex at 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope. – George Burns
  8. What is a date really, but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance you’ll wind up naked at the end of it. – Jerry Seinfeld
  9. I have no self-confidence. When girls say yes, I tell them to think it over. – Rodney Dangerfield
  10. Whenever I date a guy, I think, “Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?” – Rita Rudner

Creative Commons License photo credit: Fenix_21

Old-Fashioned Romancing: Know Your Shakespeare!

Yürüyelim Seninle İstanbul'daSo, you want to sweep your Juliet off her feet and show her that behind your tough, virile exterior is a hopeless romantic. Fabulous!

You rummage through some mental notes and finally decide to melt her heart by reciting some tender poetry. Even More Fabulous!

But wait! Just because you can remember a few lines doesn’t mean you’re a regular minstrel. On the contrary, you’ll come across more pathetic than poetic if you rush into the thing without some consideration.

Here are some poetic guidelines to point you in the right direction so you’ll be a charismatic Casanova and not a dud Don Juan:

DO:

  • Put some thought into finding a piece that will send the right message – nothing depressing, or too sappy, clingy, or abstract; find something that fits your theme of classic romance. We recommend Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, which regards eternal and unchanging love.
  • Rehearse in front of the mirror – nothing ruins the mood you’re trying to set like some of the ridiculous hand gestures and facial expressions people often use to help them get the words out.
  • Record yourself reciting the piece and then critique it – you’ll be able to catch and fix anything funky that you may not recognize by just practicing it normally.
  • Make sure it’s well-memorized – this is a given, hopefully.
  • Know your poem – the WORST thing you can do is not know what you’re talking about. Analyze the metaphors in it, read something about it, and for God’s sake, know who wrote it and how to pronounce his/her name!

DON’T:

  • Make it awkward – by this, I mean to refrain from doing any number of  awkward things while you’re reciting your love poem. These include: staring (especially at inappropriate anatomical parts), smiling like you’re drunk and sleepy (it’s not cute, nor does it make you look sensitive or friendly), nodding when you’re reciting lines that you feel to be particularly applicable to either her or your love for her, spitting, clapping for yourself when you’re through, etc.
  • Choose a bad time – you’ll want to make sure she’s not in a bad mood or doing something when you begin. And make sure other people aren’t around; this is just for her.
  • Wear something ugly – if she means something to you, you should show her by actually molding your hair into whatever shape you think looks best (with only a moderate amount of gel), showering, brushing your teeth, and wearing some nicer clothes. Don’t even think about wearing a costume of any sort or, on the other side of the spectrum, touching those Birkenstocks!
  • Use props – just don’t.
  • Say something stupid afterward – give the romantic gesture a second or two to sink in before you say anything. Let her speak first, if you don’t know what to say; don’t let your nerves take over and make you say something ridiculous like, “um…so now what?” in order to break the ice.

This kind of romantic gesture takes a lot of commitment. But hey, so does love, if you’re really in it. And, trust me, you don’t really want to forgo all the hard work and do a sloppy job – it would be really counterproductive for the apple of your eye to think back on your recitation and remark, “umm…he tried?”

Creative Commons License photo credit: adsoy

Getting Cheeky: Kiss Like a European

kissmycheek

    You’re about to say goodbye to your good friend, Monique who is visiting from Paris. You go to hug her and she goes to kiss your cheek. Do your noses collide or are you clued-in as to which cheek gets kissed first? And how many kisses will this farewell take?

    In Paris and central France, most people give two kisses – one on each cheek. But a swath of northern France, from Normandy to the Belgian border, opted in general for four. And southeastern France, from Marseilles to the Alps, preferred three. The French upper class seems to go for two kisses. But which cheek first, dammit!!

    The answer? Nobody knows. The Italians kiss all over the place — left, right, it doesn’t matter which is first. In Spain you have to kiss the right cheek first or risk having your toes stomped. The French may prefer that you kiss the left cheek first, but this is heavily influenced if you are dyslexic.

    Photo: moonsoleil on flickr

    Can a Kiss be Stolen?

    by Vic Shayne
    Entertainment Reporter: citylightsguide.com

    It sounds so romantic, stolen kisses in the night. You can see the words in a brilliant but sensitive and heartwarming novel of star-crossed lovers who were reunited at the end of WWII …

    stolen-kiss

    There we stood, alone and breathing hard like two school children full of expectation and hope. The others were laughing gaily as the orchestra played our song. Under our own gazebo of stars, for the first time, we held one another and gazed into each other’s eyes. It was magic, but not the kind involving a rabbit and a hat, or even a girl being sawn in half. No, this was love. No, better than love. Beyond earthly description, like Orion’s Belt. The entire evening swirled around us and we were alone in a sea of people, drunk on foolish romance. Not the people, I mean us. Dorothy and I. Alone for perhaps a minute, but not before sharing those unforgettable stolen kisses in the cool autumn breeze of the inky inky night.

    I wrote these words in a book I entitled “In a Sea of Your Love,” and was told by no fewer than fifty editors that it was sappy, cliché and amateurish, yet in places spotty with an unconscious intent to be altogether droll. Moreover, ten of the editors chastised me specifically for invoking the phrase “stolen kisses.” What do they know? They sit in their offices on piles of manuscripts and critique the works of others. Is that any way to make a living? I’ve had it with them all, especially that creep Lenny Birnbaum from Simon and Shusters in Manhattan. I doubt that’s even the name of a real publisher.

    Anyhow, between you and I, separated now by fifteen years since I wrote that novel, though it’s not easy for me, I have to admit I don’t even know what “stolen kisses” are. I’ve read about them, but the phrase confuses me to no end. How can you steal a kiss? See what I mean? Doesn’t make sense. You can’t even borrow a kiss, let alone steal one. You can give one and maybe take one, but you can’t steal one. There’s no quantitative way to prove that a kiss is missing, proving that it can’t be stolen. Ask any police detective. It’s not even a crime to steal a kiss. Why? Because it’s not possible.

    Nor can you have one out on loan.

    image: julianrod

    Kissing Destinations: Atlanta’s Botanical Garden

    kiss-botanicalHave you ever had the urge to kiss in a bed… of flowers? Our research team has uncovered that if you’re in the deep south and are looking for a great place to plant a big wet one it’s in Atlanta’s Botanical Garden. If you’re looking for your love to flower, or your lover’s flower, or something like that, you may be interested to know that the Garden has been twice chosen as “Atlanta’s Most Popular Place to Kiss.”

    The curator of Atlanta’s Botanical Garden has in past years transformed the institution into a lover’s paradise on Valentine’s Day night, with candlelit paths, misted green foliage and soft music. If that’s not enough to get you in the mood, the Garden serves up rich desserts made of chocolate, specialty coffee drinks, bubbly champagne and martinis.

    While you’re kissing your beloved you can breathe the sweet aroma of orchids and be carried away by a man-eating, rare Amazon fern.

    Okay, everything’s true except for the part about the fern. Sex is strongly discouraged within ten feet of the cactus display.

    image: glitter feet