The setting could have very well been painted by Sofia Coppola herself. It was dreamy and ethereal and scored to a B-side of my favorite song by The Strokes. I was sprawled out on the grass in Prospect Park, clad in hand-me-down florals, feeling like a manic pixie dream girl when suddenly, the urge to touch my husband’s left butt cheek overcame my right arm. And why not? The sun was setting, the PBR was setting in, and our favorite band had just started strumming the opening verse of our wedding song.
I looked up at the sky and asked if Nicholas Sparks was authoring my life.
But a page was tragically turned when upon noticing my hand inch closer and closer, my husband shifted his stance so as to disconnect half his butt from my palm. Here I was, leaning in and practically begging for a kiss or at the very least some arm chills and my advances were being rejected. Subtly, yes, but rejected nonetheless.
I was momentarily offended before looking to my left, then right, when I realized that there were at least eight couples who decided that this, too, was the right moment to seize the PDA.
The thing about a public display of affection is that there is this glaring double-standard. When you and your partner-in-crime are rough and tumbling in the grass, it’s sexy. When buzzcut Bob and his blonde babe are grinding and groping to Flo Rida, it’s gross. Similarly, when you lip-lock at sunset, it’s romantic and bohemian. But when Timmy and Sarah Beth interrupt their picnic by the Central Park lake for some kisses and cuddles, it’s like, YEAH, call me in two years when the baby is crying all night and your mortgage payment’s due!
Perfecting PDA requires your performing that delicate dance between public and private and I will be the first to attest that it is not easy. As a result of this, and as the woman whose significant other’s left butt cheek is averse to her touch, I have taken it upon myself to compile a short list detailing the do’s and don’ts of summer PDA. Because, yeah, I get it, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you just want to suck face.
1. PDA finds solace in the company of disconnected strangers, not in front of friends.
2. In my experience, shit has gotten weird when hands get involved. Keep those critters in your pocket and save them for a rainy day.
3. Trap me in a sterile pod and call me Bubble Boy, but the idea of swapping spit amidst bites of turkey tea sandwiches gives me the skivvies. If the tonsil-hockey urge strikes during meal time, be it at a restaurant or picnic, eat and then play, or play and then eat. Just remember that the sunset is going somewhere.
4. Know the difference between a peck versus a balls-to-the-walls make out session. The former shouldn’t last more than five seconds while the latter has been known to stand the test of at least a handful of 7 minute rendezvous in
a broom closet heaven. And for Yeezus’ sake, keep your pants on.
Later. Definitely, later.
5. Sorry I’m not sorry that you fell so deep into the abyss of your partner’s blue eyes, the fire hydrant caught your big toe. PDA in motion disrupts the flow of the ocean. Keep it at a stand-still. Your mom may not have been talking about deflowering your tongue but she was right when she said: have fun, be safe.
Oh! And you should know that I grabbed his ass again yesterday. He complied. Success.
Visit Esther’s blog, The Philosophy of Windex here and follow her ass on Instagram here.
Feature image shot by Alfred Eisenstaed for LIFE Magazine, 1945