The Eligibles: Caesandra Seawell, 36

Origin story: Born on a military installation in Germany and lived in Texas, Nevada, Kansas, and North Carolina. She’s been in Buffalo since 2005.
Last occupation: Director of Community Programs at Buffalo ReUse
Hobbies/interests: The art and science of smooching. For Beyond/In Western New York 2008, she set herself up as a kissing moderator and allowed people to smooch her anonymously. Her ratings: “good,” “bad,” and “try again.”

While many know Casaendra Seawell (pronounced “Sool”) best through her energetic presence at Buffalo ReUse over the past four years, her real passion lies in artistically examining the spark between two wanting pairs of lips. Her lusty collection of photos and stories can be seen at Merge restaurant starting February 1.

So what does it mean to you to be “eligible”?
I guess it means I haven’t found that combination of someone who is as equally fascinated by me as I am by them. I’ve been in a lot of unrequited love situations. So you just sort of sublimate. You work a little harder at what you’re doing—if you’re healthy.

What really impresses you in another person? What captures your attention and interest?
I’m attracted to people who have a strong passion or work ethic. If they’re slightly obsessed with whatever it is they do, that’s attractive to me.

What’s one of the most important changes you’ve experienced in your life so far?
In my [traditional] family it was sort of a stretch to think I would go to college, or go into the Air Force. No women in my family have been in the military and very few in college. And I went on to a master’s degree.

What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m hoping I find more personal time. Part of having a kissing collection is needing a building to put it in. The last three years I’ve been trying to learn more about becoming a building owner so I can have a kissing museum.

Would there be a kissing booth at your museum?
Absolutely. And when people come in and out, they’ll get a kiss.

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