Crow's-Feet Chronicles: You may kiss the bride
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Apr 8, 2019
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John Wayne was most likely smiling up there in the Milky Way when Lanny Joe and I got married nearly ten years ago in Ridgway, Colorado.  After all, that's where True Grit was filmed, and John Wayne and Lanny share the eternal Sigma Chi fraternal brotherhood.  The "Duke" no doubt tipped his heavenly hat when we dined on prime rib at The Outlaw, which was his favorite restaurant in nearby Ouray.

Lanny and I may have tied the knot in the autumn of our days, but we've had a thing for each other for about 47 years.  Well . . . except for, oh, 30 of those years.  You see, Lanny and I dated back in 1962.  When I think back to those days when Lanny would drive me down the drag in his black '62 Chevrolet Impala, my mouth waters, my eyes tear up, my heart beats fast, and it's hard to catch my breath.

I remember the night he was “fixing” to kiss me; you can always tell, you know.  He lunged at me, lips puckered, and I responded by quickly turning my head sideways.  He wound up with a beehive hairdo in his mouth and feeling like a world-class dork.  I felt badly for Lanny.  After all, there is no face-saving way for a guy to get out of this situation other than to have an instantaneously fatal seizure.

On our next date (Can you believe he asked me out again?), he said, “May I kiss you?”

I replied quickly, “Yes.”

He then said, “Okay, I'll make sure to do that.”  Huh?  By that time, I was already leaning into him.  So I kissed HIM.  Yowser---It just about melted the fillings in my teeth.  I was like a dog eating peanut butter; I just couldn't qui-i-i-te get through kissing him.  Kissing Lanny was one of those sweet things in my life.  He was, in my considered opinion, the Best Kisser in the History of the Entire World, living or dead.  He just had a magic mouth.

Fast forward to the 21st Century.  Nowadays Lanny Joe is equipped with a shredded wheat bumper under his nose.  I have nothing against mustaches, though.  In fact, I've gotten use to the Springer Spaniel look about him.  He does a pretty good job of keeping it trimmed and sanitized, but I've been known to scramble for excuses and blame the high calorie content of his mustache  for my slight weight gain.

Our pre-wedding brunch featured my brother's spicy ham and jalapeno quiche (Lanny said cowboys can eat frou-frou food as long as it hurts).  Afterward, I told Lanny that when it came time for the groom to kiss his bride, there had better not be a jalapeno-infested mustache.  His comeback was poignant.

“Yours or mine?”