09 March 2009

"This kiss, this kiss" --Faith Hill

[The rare back-of-the-ear kiss.]


How do you tell someone you don't wanna kiss?

Before you jump to conclusions, let me say, my marriage is on solid ground and Hubby is a great kisser. (To the relatives who read this: sorry, if that's TMI.) Kissing him is fine, indeed. But this is the man to which I have cleaved my troth*. Even giving the relatives a peck on the cheek and receiving likewise is okay. These are blood relations or blood relations of the cleaved troth. (trothrodyte?) Anyway, there's a very established bond here.

My issue (and let's face it, I have a lot of issues***) is with friends. I am blessed with lots of wonderful friends that I dearly love but don't feel the need to kiss. I'm fine with hugging them but I'm not so much into the kiss-kiss cheeky thing. Fergawdssake, we're not French! But I have yet to come up with a graceful way to say, "Erm, let's skip the kissing part and just hug."

Yes, yes, I am a cold, unfeeling thing. No argument. If you've spent any time here at all, you've already picked up on that.

I hear you saying "What's the big deal?"**** Where this may seem strange to you, avoiding public displays of affection is quite the norm for me. I come from a long line of cold, unfeeling things. We are distant. We are standoffish. We are formal. We are private.

I've tried just refusing to reciprocate but that doesn't always get the message across. And, when you're in the clinch of a hug, it's hard to avoid a kiss. And sometimes avoidance maneuvers become dangerous to try because, sometimes, those avoided kisses land in weird places. Yeah, I've had my ear kissed, my neck kissed, my eye kissed... that's even weirder than just letting them plant one on your cheek.

I feel certain the "knee to the chest" maneuver they recommend for training dogs wouldn't be received well. I don't want to actually offend these lovely, caring people. I know this is my issue. Still...

Does anyone else come from a long line of automatons? Is there a way to bypass the kissing?


* You're eying my troth right now, aren't you?! Cheeky monkey.**

** And when I say "cheeky monkey", unlike the NY post, I say it with true affection and a hat tip to Mike Myers' Simon character.

*** You could simply decide to find the fact that I have so many issues charming. Endearing, even. *cough*

**** Your voice really carries.

18 comments:

Liebchen said...

I used to find the kissing awkward...but the awkwardness of being kissed on the ear won out. Now, I just do the hug and let them get their kiss in.

Could be worse...

f.B said...

I don't have to worry about being cheek-kissed because I have a beard. But my guess is that just as soon as you feel them pull from the hug to get to your cheek, turn your face inward, restricting access to the cheek rather than exposing it. Warning: if not exercised correctly, you could find yourself in some mouth-to-mouth. It's a dangerous play.

singlikesassy said...

Just flinch and give them the EW look. Works for me.

Narm said...

If you can figure this out it would make my Saturday nights a LOT easier.

"Let's skip the kissing, baby"

I like it.

Kate said...

Just tell them you have the plague. Or that certain lipsticks give you horrid rashes and you'll have to avoid them from now on. Either that or just smack them the next time and say, "You hussy!"

Mike said...

Move to the midwest. The kissing crap hasn't reached here yet. At least not that I know of. Or maybe it's me. Maybe it's the cayenne pepper I put on my cheeks.

Wv - pophyd - Pophyd when momma mad.

fiona said...

Awww I LIKE kissing people!
*note to self* - do not kiss LA if you ever meet her in person...
Oh the sorrow,the sorrow...

LBluca77 said...

I am more of a hugger with my friends. Maybe I will try and kiss them next time I hang out with them. HA! I am sure they will be thrilled.

Kristin said...

I don't mind the kissing but going into the thing I'd like some sort of indication as to whether or not it's a one-cheek, two-cheek or three. Then, again, the confusion gets all kinds of awkward, which generally stops kissing for a while.

rs27 said...

What is this? Europe?

Titania said...

Welcome back! I missed your posts... Anyways, this is funny to me. I am from Chile, in my country kissing in the cheek is the norm to greet anyone; however, hugging is a no-no... Hugs are perceived as being waaaay more intimate than kissing. You can imagine some of the looks I got when I moved to the US a few years back when I would start kissing everyone and the pushing them away for the hug.

*Jac* said...

I'm even worse. I hate being touched at all. My friends always try to hug me and I always feel awkward. Finally I just was like "look, I'm sorry, but I don't hug." They still attempt to hug me goodbye but they don't jump all over me all the time.

Gilahi said...

A well-timed sneeze or coughing fit could put people off. Of course, they might wise up after the seventh or eighth time.

wv: latiesse - A female coffee from Starbuck's.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ah, cultural differences. The Brits I know are so offended by our tendency to hug. They greet each other with one kiss on one cheek.

Within Whole Foods Market culture, the proper greeting is a handshake. That takes care of all the different cultural taboos, since the employees of the WFM come from everywhere.

There are west coast hugs (full body contact) and east coast hugs (just the top of the torso connects).

Dodge those kisses, honey! Dodge 'm.

Matt said...

After you knee them in the chest, stomp on their toes.

that will be enough I think.

lacochran said...

Liebchen: True.

f.B: What's wrong with kissing a beard? I'm confused.

SingLikeSassy: I'll bet it does.

Narm: Pretend your Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?

Kate: Or a mix of all three?

Rs27: Hell, no!

Titania: Thanks. Interesting how norms vary.

*Jac*: At least you have the guts to tell them.

Gilahi: *scribbles* "coughing fit"

Reya Mellicker: Handshakes I'm cool with.

Matt: I'll let you know. Would you be willing to bail me out after the assault charges?

Kate said...

I don't really mind the kissing--it's not knowing who's going to try and who's not that gets me. So every time I hug someone I just put my cheek close enough to them so that if they want to kiss it when they go in for the hug, they can and if not, no biggie. But I don't ever kiss cheeks, on faces or otherwise.

Zandria said...

I had to deal with that quite often when I did a semester abroad in Europe, but not very often in normal circumstances. I'm not so big on the friend kiss-kiss either. :)