We all dream of wanting, at least once in our lifetime, a moment when some good looking person sees you from across a room and they longingly stare at you. But what if that person isn’t so good looking? I was a youth camp counselor in Maine and our camp was treading where no other youth camps had gone before. Our camp joined underprivileged city kids and handicapped children together in the same week. This resulted in some unique challenges.
The highlight of the day for all the campers seemed to be the evening ballgame. They enjoyed seeing the whole staff joining them for a lively game of softball. We staff members would gather around the field; some would play in the game, while others would serve as base coaches and umpires. It was my turn this particular night to be the first base coach. As I took my place near the base, I was concentrating fully on the game. Nearby sat the typical host of girls that seemed to be more interested in the boys then the game. One little girl all of 13 years of age, had a crush each summer on a new boy. This summer was different because this summer it was my turn to be the object of her affections.
Let me describe this girl. She was slow and had some mental limitations. Despite her enthusiasm for life, I hate to say that a mud fence was more attractive than she was. Her spindly little legs looked like they were borrowed from Popeye’s girlfriend Olive Oyl, and she had a propensity to drool all the time. Being the good Christian counselor, I was friendly and nice to her, but I cringed how often I would catch her making doe eyes at me and it was unsettling.
Now as the baseball game commenced, I was oblivious to what was going on behind me. A couple of female staffers were prepping this homely girl to step out of the shadows of her puppy love. Moments later as I intently watched my base, I felt a tap on my left shoulder. Turning around to see who it was, this young girl in a flash jumped into my arms, grabbed my face, and lip locked a kiss on my lips that would have made Bogey and Bacall look like amateurs. It happened so fast, I didn’t know what hit me. Knowing my lips could never betray me, with the strength of Sampson I pried the love struck waif off me like a fly on flypaper. I immediately wiped her drool from my lips and felt nauseated from the realization. While it made me queasy, it had the opposite effect on her.
She walked back to her seat in the grass with all the confidence of a runway model and she was cheered by all the girls. That summer she had finally conquered her fears. We both learned a lot from that moment. I now know a kiss can make a girl smile non-stop for a full week. And me? If I jump and scream when you tap me on the shoulder, you’ll understand why.