I would like to begin this Valentine flecked story with a public declaration that my lips are promised to one lady, and one lady alone-my wife Paula, the hardest working lady in show biz.
It’s important for me to stress that so there is absolutely no confusion about how I came to land a really good smooch on the cheek of Val, the Pfister’s daytime lobby lounge bartender.
Val is a looker, purchase no doubt, but my heart belongs to another lady.
The kiss in question had a global purpose. Val and I understood that my lips on her face meant nothing more than the two of us being captured for all time so we could add our images to a constantly growing art project that is a heart lifter of the highest degree. I’m not very good at downplaying things when I find myself kissing women other than my wife in public, sovaldi as you can probably tell.
If you were in the lobby of the Pfister yesterday you would have noticed that pink and red signs were beckoning you to spend a moment or two with a smiley woman named Bonnie helping her with something called The Smooch! Project. She and her charming volunteer Patti were on hand to make you feel comfortable right before Bonnie pushed the shutter button on her camera as you and someone (or something) you have great affection for were drawn together for a sweet lip smacker. I dare you to discover a more dreamy way to spend a moment or two during your day.
The Smooch! Project is Bonnie’s baby, one that she has cared for with tenderness and joy for over a decade. The easiest way to describe it is as an online archive of kissing fools. But it’s better to think of The Smooch! Project as a movement, an artistic expression of love, joy and healing.
“The whole thing came about as an accident,” explained Bonnie. Twelve years ago Bonnie was taking a look at a picture that had been snapped of she and her sister caught in a sweet smooch moment.
“That picture lifted my heart, it just made me so happy looking at it.” Bonnie decided that if this one picture gave her so much joy, other people needed the chance to feel what she was feeling. From there, The Smooch! Project was born.
Bonnie takes a mobile back drop, lights and camera to art fairs, shopping malls and other public places and has captured thousands of photos since the project began ten years ago this coming April. Her goal is to have an archive of 10,000 smooch photos, with the hope being that all 50 United States will ultimately be represented.
“I’ve got a lot of pictures of Minnesotans kissing. They’re my people!”
Bonnie has curated the project through her website The Smooch! Project. Before you start clicking around the site, a warning…you should be prepared to smile, cry and just feel good about being a part of what makes this planet tick. The set up for each Smooch! Project shot is basically the same. The smooch receiver stares straight ahead into the camera while the smoocher is caught in profile landing one on the receiver’s cheek. Though the composition is similar from shot to shot, each image tells a different story of discovery, wonder, love, and great joy. The subjects include gents, ladies, adorable kids, pets, and even some treasured items that people adore.
“Guys like kissing their guitars,” said Bonnie. “It’s a thing. Who knew?”
You can check out The Smooch! Project at thesmoochproject.com and look at a schedule of upcoming events so that you can add your smooch to the archive. I’m proud that Val and I made it in as representatives of the Pfister, but I hope the love of my life Paula and I make it into the archive someday soon. We’re world-class smoochers who know that practice makes perfect, and we’ll keep trying over and over until we get it just right.
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