Posts Tagged ‘Halle Berry’

one for the ages

This is one of those pictures I just love every time I see it.  If I remember my history correctly, this was snapped in Times Square when V-J Day was announced.  Now I always assumed that these two were sweethearts celebrating the end of World War II by one of the best expressions of the joys of being alive– The Kiss.  It was just recently however that I learned more about the people in the picture, that these two were strangers, and that they parted ways after sharing this wonderful moment together and never saw each other again.

Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt said about the day he shot the picture:

“[The sailor was] running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make any difference. None of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then, suddenly in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse.”

The woman in the picture, Edith Cullen Shain, had this to say:

“I had left Doctors’ Hospitial and wanted to be part of the celebration but the amorous sailor and a subsequent soldier motivated [me] into the next opening of the subway.  I wish I could have stored that jubulation and amour for use P.R.N.”

[“P.R.N.” is a medical term meaning “as needed”]

The sailor in the picture, George Mendoza, was actually on a date at the time with a woman he would eventually marry, and when they heard the news they rushed into the street.  He saw the nurse passing by, took her in his arms and kissed her.  He said:

“I had quite a few drinks that day and I considered her one of the troops–she was a nurse.”

Now, people can’t usually get away with just sweeping up strangers in an embrace and laying on them a big kiss– much less expect to get reciprocated– but in such unique and powerful emotional moments you can understand both sides of the equation.  That classic picture reminds me of one of the more amusing moments in Oscar history, when Adrien Brody won the Oscar in 2003, stunning everybody including himself.  Overcome with excitement and emotion, he grabbed Halle Berry and layed one on her:

When Adrien Met Halle

From what I understand, this was completely off-the-cuff and unstaged… and while I certainly can’t blame Mr. Brody for both his excitement and desire to kiss a stunner like Ms. Berry, god bless her for rolling with it and making it an awesomely romantic and fun moment to remember instead of something incredibly awkward and weird.

In a not quite so happy personal anecdote, it also recalls to mind a moment after my high-school graduation, as some of us gathered at someone’s home to celebrate with mixed company and some illicit booze.  As luck would have it, the object of my senior year unrequited crush — I’ll call her Kay — showed up and I vowed that somehow, someway, I would actually gather the courage to finally make a move on her.  Considering post-graduation we all scatter to the winds and very likely wouldn’t see each other again, I suppose I couldn’t procrastinate any longer.

In a stunning turn of events, after much drinking and the crowd thinning out a bit, Kay suggested we play “spin the bottle,” and since we were pretty evenly split between the boys and the girls, everyone readily agreed.  My turn came up pretty quickly, and I tried hard not to shake as I took hold of the bottle and sent out a silent prayer as I spun it.  Excitement and dread leaped into my throat as it stopped pointing at Kay!  She scooted around to me and planted a kiss that stopped time, her tongue gently exploring, the mouth warm and tasting of wine.  I may have actually levitated off the ground for several moments, with the heat and rush of emotion lasting well past the end of the kiss.

The joy of the moment was dashed soon afterwards when Kay spun the bottle and it stopped pointing at a friend of mine.  He leaned over to her and they started kissing, and I sipped at my suddenly bitter beer as the kiss seemed to go on and on and on… and on.   This was my friend– who knew my feelings for Kay.  Suddenly his arms reached out, scooped her up, and the two went off into the yard for some privacy.  Seriously?!

To say I was stunned and heartbroken was an understatement.  I probably looked like a total idiot staring after them… but then another gal, Kay’s friend– who also knew about my feelings for her– reached out and turned the bottle around pointing to me.  Smiling, she leaned over and kissed me, and the miracle pleasures of making out swept away the hurt and the embarassment.  It didn’t matter that it was pity and pain that brought us together, while our lips were joined it was just warmth, and softness, and shared breath, and bodies pressed together.  God bless her, but she truly healed me with her kisses and kindness from what could have been a horrible end to graduation night.

I know a lot of people — especially us men — look at kissing as a means to an end, a step in the process of getting two people worked up to the point of taking off their clothes, as in the picture below:

Slow down Romeo!

Slow down Romeo!

But I really think that sells short kissing and making out as a worthy goal all on its own.  If it’s just a gateway to having sex, what happens when a couple spends enough time together where sex is something you know is gonna happen, rather than hope is gonna happen– do you just skip on the making out altogether?  Or just roll through it perfunctory before sliding into the main event?   That’s a true tragedy, both romantically, emotionally and spiritually… but physically too!  Studies have shown that there are some serious health benefits from kissing:

  1. Those who kiss their partner goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t.
  2. Kissing is great for self-esteem. It makes you feel appreciated and helps your state of mind.
  3. Kissing burns calories, 2-3 calories a minute and can double your metabolic rate. Research claims that three passionate kisses a day (at least lasting 20 seconds each) will cause you to loose an entire extra pound! It’s time to start that kissing diet!
  4. Kissing is a known stress-reliever. Passionate kissing relieves tension, reduces negative energy and produces a sense of well being, lowering your cortisol ‘stress’ hormone.
  5. Kissing uses 30 facial muscles and it helps keep the facial muscles tight, preventing baggy cheeks! The tension in the muscles caused by a passionate kiss helps smooth the skin and increases the circulation.
  6. Kissing is good for the heart, as it creates an adrenaline which causes your heart to pump more blood around your body. Frequent kissing has scientifically been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activity, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.
  7. Those who kiss quite frequently are less likely to suffer from stomach, bladder and blood infections.
  8. During a kiss, natural antibiotics are secreted in the saliva. Also, the saliva contains a type of anesthetic that helps relieve pain.
  9. Kissing reduces anxiety and stops the ‘noise’ in your mind. It increases the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace.
  10. The endorphins produced by kissing are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Kissing means so much more than a stepping stone to sex, you know?

Splendor in the grass...

Whoever the next woman is in my life, I hope she’ll love to make out with me no matter what time of day or night, no matter where the place or how long we stay together…

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