The TGI Fridays mistletoe drone (this is an actual thing: a multirotor helicopter that dangles a hearty heap of mistletoe leaves) was intended "'to help inspire more guests to come together underneath the mistletoe and experience #Togethermas this Christmas."
I have so many questions. Who decided to combine drones and mistletoe? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper and less dangerous to hang up mistletoe on a doorway or in a photo booth? What is #Togethermas? Does it involve other people in my personal space?
The restaurant that brought us endless appetizers (and inspired my favorite Gawker article) has a new gimmick up their greasy sleeves – and in Sheepshead Bay, they weren’t afraid to deploy it. Unfortunately for Brooklyn Daily reporter Georgine Benvenuto, the drone's sharp and uncovered blades got too close to her face and cut her nose and chin. Undeterred by the potential for more injuries, TGI Fridays plans to continue its hilariously misguided mistletoe drone promotion. Because, as we all know, nothing sparks a restaurant romance like "potential lawsuits” and “drones.”
As of press time, there are no reports confirming whether Benvenuto made it to first base with her dining companion.
Still, I think there's something about kissing under the mistletoe during the holidays that leaves many people feeling giddy, playful, perhaps even nostalgic. I like spontaneous displays of affection. I've never been kissed while standing beneath mistletoe, but if the opportunity presented itself and my would-be kisser appeared to be both amiable and attractive, I’d probably go for it.
More than that, this drone business got me thinking about the past kisses I remember most. The partners and locales change. But some of the kisses stay with me.
My first was in the back stairwell of a middle school. We stayed after class and waited until the last bell for the last bus rang and all students had been dismissed. We were terrified of getting caught, but we had a plan. We were alone. I thought about backing out because I was so nervous, but I didn’t. I set my backpack on the stairs. He took a deep breath.
My mom took him back to his mother’s apartment and I didn’t tell her my big secret on the drive home. I wanted it to be mine that night. I rolled the back window down and sang along to the car radio and pretended that it was just another night in September.
A year later, on a school bus from Gettysburg, I kissed a guy who had the same first and last name as a character on "Happy Days." This didn’t embarrass me. It was a dare, and my ex-boyfriend watched us. A good portion of our graduating class watched, too. They seemed genuinely surprised that I had it in me.
There were stolen kisses in the kitchen when I was 14. One of us would get up to make popcorn and the other would follow a few minutes later, making up an excuse about having to go to the bathroom. I was his first kiss and he told me he loved me two days after. I leaned into a shirt that smelled like sharp sweat and laundry detergent. What to say. I kissed him on top of the washing machine and wrapped my legs around his waist, hoping no one would open the pantry door. I kissed him in a swimming pool and on a Ferris wheel and for hours and hours on the couch. We kissed every time we were alone.
I kissed my first love in the back of an ice skating rink when I was 16. He pulled me onto his lap like it was nothing, like I was the kind of girl who regularly climbed into a guy’s lap without any trace of fear. I brought him coffee at work and he kissed me on the sidewalk. He liked to leave the TV on if we were in his basement and kissing.
At prom, my best friend dipped me in the middle of a slow dance and kissed me like we were Johnny Castle and Baby Houseman.
In college, I kissed a guy on the floor of a rental apartment intended for public display because he knew the property manager. We spent the night on blue carpet with no blanket or pillows. I hadn’t thought to bring a toothbrush, but it didn’t matter because there wasn’t any running water.
I kissed a guy who then jumped over my bedroom balcony as soon as my brother unlocked the front door -- not my bedroom door, but the front door. This dude’s paranoia had no parallel. He then called me from his car and asked if I wanted to have dinner. He never got over his fear of a door opening, but he managed to keep from leaping over my balcony again.
In London, a man at a nightclub insisted on buying drinks and I agreed if he would also buy drinks for my friend. He obliged. His accent dazzled me and I worked up the nerve to ask if he was British. “Through and through, love,” he said, kissing me.
There are more kisses and more stories, but I would love to hear from you -- have you kissed anyone while standing beneath the mistletoe? What venues stand out in your mind as the sites of a good kiss? What are some of the kisses you remember fondly?
Ed. note: This piece originally incorrectly identified the photographer who was injured. It has been updated to reflect the correct name.