Sorry guys, but I need a break from the intensity of the past couple of weeks. My body and mind can’t live in a wash of stress day after day. Because I might not be the only one needing a new thought, I offer this as a humble distraction:

Kissing.

More specifically, kissing before marriage. If you don’t keep up with the reality tv family the Duggars, you might have missed the latest news: they don’t kiss before their wedding day.

When I was a kid, one of my older sisters got married in the temple. She and her fiance decided not to kiss or hug before their wedding day. I don’t think they even held hands – too much temptation from Satan. I don’t remember any other details of their engagement (other than I had to wear a bridesmaid dress I hated, but what’s new with that?)

My parents held a special Family Home Evening with my sister and her fiance just to talk to us 6 younger kids about temple marriage and most importantly – to get us to agree to the same thing when we got engaged someday. I remember taking the oath of No Kissing Before Marriage (because in my family, it wasn’t really an option to say no to a parental request. If you don’t know that already, get a copy of my memoir Ezra and Hadassah: A Portrait of American Royalty
and you will see what I mean) with my fingers crossed behind my back. My internal version of The Kissing Oath went something like, ” I promise as soon as I find a boy willing to kiss me, I will kiss him long and hard and many, many times before I marry him.”
In my 10 year-old brain, I didn’t see a problem with kissing before marriage and when I found a boy willing to do it, I didn’t hesitate to take the kissing option.
Do you know how common this No Kissing Before Marriage is in our Mormon world? Is my crazy sister the only one who managed to pull this off?