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As Time Goes By and Valentine’s Day Approaches

As Time Goes By and Valentine's Day Approaches

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss,
a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

As Valentine’s Day approaches on February 14, you just might find yourself remembering—or wishing for—a special kiss.


“Kissing is a beautiful way of expressing love. I didn’t kiss my wife until we got married,” says newly-wed Santa Clara resident Praveen Thorlapti, who was born in India.

“Our marriage was arranged by our parents,” says Elizabeth Thorlapti, holding her husband’s hand in the post office.

The couple got married in India in December, and Elizabeth has been in the U.S. less than a month. She explains that whether in India or California, Indian families are affectionate within the home but shy in public.

“In Sierra Leone, you don’t see people kissing on the street or bus or just anywhere like they do in the U.S. It’s against the law. Parents and kids don’t kiss at home either. It would be rude to kiss your parents,” says Adams Kamara, a Wilcox High School graduate originally from Sierra Leone. “[In the U.S.] you don’t kiss on the first date,” he advises.

“My first kiss was fantastic,” says Santa Clara resident Zahra Izadyar from Iran. She was 22 years old and had known her boyfriend for six months before they kissed. In Iran, she says that even in the home, husbands and wives only kiss in private. However, children and parents kiss and hug freely.

At Pacific Gardens Assisted Senior Living Facility in Santa Clara, ninety-one-year-old Helen Wittels remembers her husband’s first kiss even though he passed away 35 years ago.

“There was nothing passionate about it—we were playing spin the bottle at a 12-year-old’s birthday party!” she says.

“I was 13,” recalls Activities Director Elva Reglado. “My first kiss was during a slow dance at junior high school here in California. I was excited and had butterflies in my stomach.”

“I’m still waiting for my special kiss,” says Barbie, another Pacific Gardens resident. “I never married.”

Worth a Visit

Two famous kisses are on view locally. French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s famous bronze “The Kiss” (c. 1881-1882) is on permanent display at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts on the Stanford University campus ( The museum has 200 Rodin sculptures—one of the largest Rodin collections outside of Paris. Admission is free.

“Unconditional Surrender,” is a six-foot-high bronze sculpture by Seward Johnson recreating the famous kiss between a sailor and a nurse that was photographed in New York City’s Times Square on V-J Day August 14, 1945. The statue is on loan to the Spirit of ’45 organization at San Jose’s History Park through August 5. However, the sculpture will be on the road February 14 through 29th.

Kiss Facts

  • The song “As Time Goes By,” written by American Herman Hupfeld in 1931, became well known after it was sung in the 1942 movie “Casablanca.”
  • In the 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind,” Vivien Leigh (as Scarlett O’Hara) didn’t like kissing handsome Clark Gable (as Rhett Butler) because he had bad breath.
  • “A Kiss at City Hall,” a posed photograph of a French couple kissing in Paris, was taken in 1950 by Robert Doisneau and sold at auction for more than $200,000 in 2005.
  • As fairytales go, if you kiss a frog, it turns into your Prince Charming.


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