I was caught up as much as any 12-year-old female in the Beatlemania craze. Every girl I knew had to declare who her favorite Beatle was. John appealed to those drawn to bad boys. Paul, on the other hand, was irresistibly cute and seemed safer to take home to meet your parents. Ringo was the choice of those big-hearted types who melted over sad-puppy eyes. Girls like me, who were drawn to the quiet brooding type with soulful eyes, went bonkers for George.
Yes, George Harrison was the Beatle for me, until I met my first real boyfriend, Mike M. He looked just like Paul McCartney. Everybody said so. Except for his coloring, sandy-blond hair and blue eyes, he could have been his twin.
I’d been practicing getting the flutters over adorable teen idols, but this was the first time my heart raced over a real guy. He was older, 15 to my 12 years. I was flattered and thrilled to find he had a crush on me too.
It felt disloyal to favor George when my ‘true love’ looked like Paul, so I switched my allegiance. Having a real-life beau was much more fun than fantasizing about a distant superstar. It was Mike, after all, who wrote pages and pages of “I Love You Eve,” not John, Paul, George, or Ringo. God knows how Mike ever got through school. He spent class after class scribbling love notes to me. He was no Shakespeare either. He’d write the same corny line over and over, filling pages of lined notebook paper. His lack of imagination didn’t bother me. I was enchanted by his adolescent attentions.
After weeks of courting me with his romantic but repetitious prose, he asked me to go steady. I said, “Yes” and he took off his silver ID bracelet. Fumbling awkwardly, he fastened it around my wrist. It was official. I was his girl! He asked if he could kiss me.
We were in my backyard. There wasn’t another soul in sight. My heart was racing as visions of great kisses streamed through my mind: Rhett and Scarlet; Captain Von Trapp and Maria; John Wayne and anyone.
I nodded to Mike that it was okay. I closed my eyes, stood on tiptoes, puckered my lips, and waited without breathing to be swept up in a torrent of passion. There was a long pause. Then, I felt a fleeting flicker touch my lips; the type of sweet peck-on-the-cheek-kiss Aunt Bea might give Opie as she sent him off to school.
Still perched on my toes, lips puckered, I opened my eyes to see Mike running across the lawn, half-way to the street. Before I could shout, “Hey, was that it?” he was out of sight. I stood there, dumbfounded. Oh, how I wanted my first kiss to be memorable. It was, but not in the grand great-kisses-of-all-time way that I had imagined.
Mike and I finally did graduate to some longer, mushier smooching. I remember those make-out sessions, dreamlike and vague, set against an endless stream of Beatle tunes. When I hear tunes from that early Meet the Beatles album, like “This Boy” and “Hold Me Tight,” they take me back to those bubbly feelings of puppy love, and to that comical moment in my backyard where I stood, still puckered, waiting for the rest of my first kiss.
– Eve Littlepage