They might be funny, embarrassing, sad, or sentimental, but everyone has a first kiss story. That was the idea behind Elizabeth Spiridakis and Marisa Meltzer’s new zine, the aptly titled First Kiss (the name was chosen, Spiridakis joked, after they rejected the first title of “Bar Mitzvah Fingerbang”). Spiridakis, who writes Feels Like White Lightning, and Meltzer, the author of Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music, grabbed friends, acquaintances, and people they’d never met to contribute to the zine. Last night, some of the featured writers shared their stories at an event at 92Y – Tribeca in New York. Tavi, the Style Rookie herself, pretaped her segment since she couldn’t appear in person.
Tavi and her friend Spencer – they’re both 14 – made a video that was both absurd and adorable. It opened with the two swinging on a porch swing, pretending to be old people. Tavi covered her teeth with her lips, pretending to be toothless, and the two pretended they were in a nursing home reminiscing about their first kisses way back in the day. (In actuality, in case you weren’t done feeling old yet, Tavi’s kiss was actually about two months ago. And no, it wasn’t with Spencer.) They then segue to a puppet show, where the scene surrounding the kiss (stoner kids, a party, etc) was reenacted using action figures. I’m not totally sure which action figures they were, but I recognized an Arthur and one of those little finger puppets made out of jelly. During the reenactment, somebody’s phone rang.
As for Spencer? His story, which opens the ‘zine, is one of several that takes place at Jewish summer camp. “half the girls at camp are named 1. rebecca 2. sarah 3. rachel…. jewssss” he writes. The girl he kissed was one of those Beccas. An editor’s note helpfully points out that Spencer, who sports hipster glasses and a Justin Beiber haircut that is better than Justin Beiber’s actual haircut, is a “FDOA – Future Dreamboat of America.” Let’s just say that he is not in my “half your age plus seven” zone, so I’m going no further with this.
One of the most interesting points, as Spiridakis pointed out during an introduction of the video, is how Tavi and Spencer both seemed fairly nonchalant about their stories. The other readers, who were slightly older than 14, tended to be nostalgic and sentimental about their stories. As for mine? His name is Mark and I was wearing a Girl Scout T-shirt despite not actually being a Girl Scout.
To get your very own copy of the one-time-only zine (which I highly recommend), go to FirstKissZine. To date Spencer, you should probably be age-appropriate and not a creepy old lady blogger in New York. As for Meltzer and Spiridakis’ next print collaboration, I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the topic, but let’s just say it involves a classic touchstone of ’90s pop culture.