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  • Writer's pictureTonya Jewel Blessing

Pucker Up

“Emie stood to her feet. ‘Rudy!’ she yelled. ‘I’m sorry.’

He turned back toward her and without thinking, she blew him a kiss.

Rudy ran his fingers through his red tufts of hair, making his cowlick even more pronounced, then he sighed. ‘Emie, I’m frustrated, but it does my heart good to see you jealous.’

When he finally smiled, Emie knew that all would be well.

‘And by the way, Emerald Ashby, next time you kiss me, it won’t be your sweet breath carried to me by the wind. It will be your lips on mine, and not just one little smooth neither.’

She felt her face grow hot, and was glad that Rudy was some distance away. ‘That’s naughty talk, Rudy.’

‘It ain’t naughty talk when two people care for each other like we do…'” (Tonya Jewel Blessing , The Whispering of the Willows)

Kissing is a phenomenon onto its own. In kindergarten, a boy in my class spent the whole year chasing me on the playground wanting a kiss. I was definitely not puckering up. Then in middle school, I shared my first kiss with a boy. It was at a birthday party, and we missed each other’s lips the first time and have to have a “do over.”

Animals kiss as a sign of affection. People kiss in different ways in different cultures. In some cultures noses are rubbed. In other cultures lips are locked and then followed by an air kiss. In some Asian countries kissing is done sparingly and only in private. Some endearing kisses are shared by the touch of one’s lips to another’s cheek. In some European cultures, the etiquette of greeting is to place one’s cheek against another’s cheek, where a smooch is to be heard and not felt.

When I met my husband, his kisses were and still are sweet and lovely, the kind of kisses that made me dream about a life shared with him. “Oh, give me your lips for just a moment, and my imagination will make that moment live. Give me what you alone can give a kiss to build a dream on. When I’m alone with my fantasies, I’ll be with you weaving romances, making believe they’re true.” (Louis Armstrong, A Kiss to Build a Dream On)

I’m not one of those people who take kissing lightly. Maybe it is my Mid-Western upbringing, or the fact that I have been married for almost 35 years and still enjoy my husband’s kisses. They still weave romances and cause me to dream. My kisses are reserved for those who are dear to me.

I believe that kissing and touching should be embraced by us with those we care about. Even medical professionals agree that physical contact keeps us healthy. People who kiss have less stress, better immune systems, lower blood pressure, fewer headaches, and an increased sense of well-being and self-esteem. (8 Amazing Health Benefits of Kissing Your Loved Ones –

1 Peter 5:15 says, “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” So pucker up and kiss someone that you love today and every day.

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