Happy Spring Easter - Kiss & Rejoice!

daffodillsWhether this week has brought rise to the Judeo-Christian spirit of the Israelites liberation and Christ’s resurrection, or a re-booted sense of energy prompted by the return of gentle sunshine and awareness of longer days, it’s a time of renewal.  For The Kissing Expert, this Happy Spring Easter has found her wondering about her relatively new habit of kissing her father’s headstone, a man who always rejoiced in the meaning of the season.

Kissing at the resting place of a loved one is not a novelty.  Jews will kiss the stones they place at a site in commemoration of those who went ahead.  Others of many denominations demonstrate their affection with a kiss to their fingertips before running them along a gravestone.  People even visit celebrity mausoleums to offer kisses.  Oscar Wilde’s tombstone in Paris had been so littered with a graffiti of lip imprints, it had to be restored.  Having said, “A kiss can ruin a human life.”, little could Wilde suspect the oils from his ardent admirers’ lipstick would erode his monument.

Who knew?

oscar wilde

TKE doubts her kisses will compromise her father’s swanky looking headstone to such an extreme.  It just seemed a natural thing the first time she leaned down and S.W.A.K’ed him, smiling at the visible light glossy mark her heart left behind. She also doubts he would mind.

johnny kiss

Growing up with this man who kissed women and men, young and old, with equal robusto, it was instinctual.  In fact, she knows he’d be rather pleased and amused, just as he had been by his child becoming TKE.  “Of course you wrote a book about kissing!…Of course you are The Kissing Expert!”, he used to exclaim with a foregone concluded pride.  He was always mischievously tickled to tell his friends his daughter was TKE.  “What?”, they would say incredulously, in part being half hard of hearing…“She’s what?”…“She’s The Kissing Expert…She published a book all about kissing…And talks on the radio and things.”  Following these events, my father would ask for signed copy of KISSING to send his peers to tangibly legitimize my profession (and himself!).

At times, TKE was lucky enough to be with her father to witness his enthusiasm in action.  “Tell them…Tell them…”, he would chide with a chuckling chortle, in between puffs of his cigar, almost physically pushing me forward towards these non-believers.  And these septuagenarian gentlemen would suddenly perk up as if prodded in the back with a fork.  Sensing an opening, TKE would prompt them to remember their “first kiss” – the one that ignited their pubescent passion.  Nothing would give TKE more pleasure than seeing the sweet twinkle of dormant memories freshly revived, nothing, that is, except her father’s chest-swelled satisfaction that smiled in his loving eyes.

So as The Kissing Expert kisses her father this Easter, in his peaceful hamlet of a resting place where people are oxymoronically on a waiting list “dying to get in”, her sense of joy outweighs her sorrow.  You see, she knows without a doubt that in his passing he’s been fully restored and renewed, living alive and well in some alternate paradise universe where Positano crisscrosses Quogue and the Caribbean.  Happily, she sees him under the same gentle sunshine she feels, smoking that cigar, laughing, and looking tan and more handsome than any man should be allowed to look.  And in that vision, she rejoices with him in the Easter miracle of the resurrection, and life ever after.


Happy Spring Easter Kissing!


The Kissing Expert