My first New Year’s kiss (or How I ended up in Ireland)

I’m often saddened thinking I’ve done everything when it comes to having exciting new experiences.

Of course I always end up finding a way to make it exciting but it always means going too far, pushing boundaries and moral values just to get a kick.

This New Year’s Eve I was overwhelmed by the simplest of things. It was the first time I spent it with someone I cared deeply about, someone I felt attracted to and who I very much wanted to get that famous midnight kiss from.

I should introduce my Irish friend first: his name is David. I met him in August back in Portugal on Tinder (yes, I do meet a lot of people on Tinder), he was lost, he didn’t know a word of Portuguese and had just taken on a job as a Math’s teacher in a international school. I’d never met an Irish person before, so reckless me decided to take a train, in the middle of packing to go to France, and go meet this person 50 km away. We started drinking, as our cultures demand, very early in the afternoon. I didn’t know a lot about that city but tried to show him around with regular breaks to get a beer or two. Time came to get the last train home: I missed it, a matter of minutes. I had to say at David’s for the night. This exciting human being in front of me kept me up all night, we didn’t get intimate, we smoked cigarettes and listened to Irish folk and talked until the rise of the sun despite our efforts to fall asleep.

The next day I got an early train to Porto because I had a hairdresser’s appointment, I wanted my hair done for my goodbye party, later that day. I invited David to come and he did. He immediately hit it off with my friends and, on no sleep, we got drunk again and had a very fun night. He left the next morning and called me to thank me for my hospitality, he was truly grateful.

Somewhere along all this crazy story he told me he’d lost his passport. I told him not to worry about it, that he’d find it the next day at a police station – it’s the Portuguese we were talking about! He said that if he did find it he’d take me to his brother’s wedding in Ireland. He found it. We left it there.

Needless to say we kept in contact. Almost every day we were calling and texting, telling each other our new adventures, but I never saw David as more than a friend. I’m pretty sure that if I scroll down WhatsApp there are some very detailed descriptions of sexual experiences, just for the fun of it.

A few months passed and he brought it up – the wedding thing. After a lot of thinking and worrying and turning and fighting with my parents, I booked my flights to Ireland. It was happening.

He picked me up from Dublin airport with his dad. We had the greatest time there for 3 days and ended up getting romantically involved. I can’t describe what I felt there. I won’t call it love because I make that mistake too often. I know it was strong, beautiful, true and reciprocate.

For New Year’s, David, his family and I were sharing a little cottage located just next to the castle where the wedding we were attending would take place the next day. His parents wouldn’t stop asking me “Are you sorted?”, meaning “Do you have enough alcohol?” and that’s how the night ended with me singing the Portuguese national anthem to a crowd of very inebriated Irish over-50-year-olds.

At midnight, we hugged tight. We had firmly told everyone there was nothing going on between us and were firmly sticking to that for a good reason – he was moving to Abu Dhabi for a new teaching job.

He did, 3 days later, just after I left to come back to France. I won’t be naive saying we’ll be together but at the same time we’ve both been vocal about not wanting to be apart. Whatever happens, happens. I’m excited to see what’s in store for us.

After everyone had had their champagne and hugged and kissed we met upstairs. David said:
– I’m very happy you’re here. It’s the first time I’m spending New Year’s with someone who means something to me.
– It’s the same for me. Thank you for bringing me here.
We then went downstairs for a cigarette outside. He held me close, kissed me and whispered “Happy New Year.” in my ear – “You’re my first kiss of 2017”. I said:
– Maybe it means something.
– Maybe it does.

Definitely the most magical moment of 2016.

Oh Grace just hold me in your arms ad let this moment linger
They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won’t be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.

Grace – Jim McCan, Irish Popular Folk Song


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