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September 8, 2010

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


The cheek kiss. A simple way to greet friends and family - or should I say simple to most - but not to me. For the three years since I've moved to Australia, the cheek kiss has plagued every social encounter I've had. I just can't seem to get it right and end up over thinking the situation and embarrassing myself without fail.  I mean won't a hug suffice? Too much can (and has) gone wrong with the cheek kiss.

For starters the protocol is unclear - do you go in for just the cheek kiss or the hug as well?  If I go in for just a kiss and then pull away, the other person tends to go for the hug and an awkward,'crump' dance routine seems to follow.  I've also had the pleasure of misjudging the velocity of my cheek kiss and have nuzzled necks, kissed lips, broke sunglasses and practically head butted elderly relatives.  Don't even get me started about meeting and greeting large groups of people, as a few glasses of wine are needed just to ease my nerves about how the initial introductions will do down.  Perhaps over time this social disorder will fade but until that happens I can't help but ask -what ever happened to a good old firm handshake?

18 comments:

Shine Little Light* said...

Bahhhhahahaha! SO true. I've head butted so many people and gone for the hug-as-well when it wasnt required... oh man. *s*

Nell said...

Yeah, I can see why you have issues with this! Thank goodness the English are too uptight for random kisses on the cheeks!! (Except family and friends obviously!) Hehe!! xx

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

You made me laugh! Can so identify with this one. I think Australians are in uncharted territory with this one and no one is sure what to do.
I'm loving a firm handshake though.

Caroline said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I visited friends in Sydney in August 2009 in a little part of the city called Glebe ... I fell in love. Have you been to Clipper Cafe by far my favorite place to relax. I am your newest follower ... and hip hip to your adorable blog! xo

Lydia said...

this is hilarious and I can totally relate!! the cheek kiss seems to reside in many places around NYC too :)

kitty said...

Too funny & I can totally relate. After many years of neck nuzzling & accidental lip kissing, I finally got it down pat. I gently put my right hand on their left shoulder & lean across to kiss their right cheek. I find by putting my hand on their shoulder & being very obvious that I'm heading for their right cheek, helps clear up any issues of "oh my god, shit which way is she going!"
I hope this helps.
Sometimes I give nothing but a nice smile & a hello. This is good for the peeps that you're a bit unsure of. They just assume you're not the cheek kissing type & usually they're ok with that.
Wow, don't I sound like the cheek kissing know it all! Hee hee.
Hope you're having a super week.

Anna said...

Yes, accidental neck-nuzzling is always awkward!

Oh, this made me giggle.

(ps-Love your profile comments regarding the non-existent journal. I've always wanted to be a journaler but never lasted more than a week. Perhaps I love blogging because my handwriting is always straight and tidy ...)

kate so said...

Oh, this is funny. I sometimes feel awkward with the "do we hug, do we not hug" greeting. I can't imagine what I would do if my lips were involved. Thanks for popping by. Fun to meet people across the globe.

emma@themarionhousebook said...

I know what you mean! And then there are some who go for the double cheek kiss which if you don't follow through with you end up looking ridiculous. I agree stick with the handshake.

Maria said...

I sometimes go in for the kiss AND the hug and that confuses people that just want a hug! And then there are those awkward moments where only one person goes in for the hug after the kiss on the cheek...awkward and confusing! :)

AnastasiaC said...

oh i do the kiss all the time - both cheeks! its the Greek in me haha... im not so much a hugger though unless im really close and chummy and havnt seen them in ages!

the chirpy bird said...

Hilarious! Just love this! feeling awkward about any intimate encounters is just the worst!
xo tash

katie said...

haha! that's hilarious... crump dance! so true

Jace said...

Haha, thats awesome and so true babe. I have lived here all my life and still can't get it right. I am all for your firm handshake introduction!

PottyMouthMama said...

I can never navigate the awkward kiss. My in-laws always do the double-bunger kiss. A kiss on each cheek. I always forget (despite the fact it's over 6 years!), and only go for one kiss, and then do a lagging second kiss. Or I go to hug people and then they pull away. UGH! I hear and feel your pain. Let's just do one standard greeting. A high five will do the trick.

monaluna said...

HA! I love this post. The "crump" dance is what I always end up with - the worst.

la franglaise said...

This made me laugh because of course, here in France you've just gotta cheek kiss! I remember when I lived in the States the hugging was totally awkward for me so can understand you!

Kat - TeamKitten said...

ohhh geezus! don't get me started on this debarcle of a greeting! It's totally messed up isn't it? I agree with cityhippyfarmgirl and that Aussies are in unchartered waters!!!

It's hard, some people do the kiss+hug, some just the kiss and then they change it up on you next time and just do a hug! grrr what the?
I try to take control of the situation and be firm, like make for an obvious kiss and big hug.. or if i just feel like kissing i think you put both hands on their shoulders and pull them away straight after the kiss. Gosh there needs to be some kind of national code for this!

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