Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wrong Ways to Do the Kiss

I started a new job on the side last week, which means meeting lots of new people. And meeting lots of people means doing lots of kissing...kissing on the cheek, that is. And with all this practice I'm getting, I'm starting to notice that I'm actually not very good at it. I'm still awkward at the kiss, but yesterday was an obvious "you're doing it all wrong" kind of kissing day.

For the standard hello and good-bye kiss with someone I've met before, I usually go at it with my right cheek. Sometimes I do the semi-hug as well, which really is just my left hand on the individual's right shoulder. Although, I think I do it more for stability purposes, as I can just see myself going in for a kiss and toppling over. The standard hello and good-bye kiss is pretty straight forward, right? Wrong. It CAN go wrong...

Yesterday, in one of my regular greeting kisses, the person and I both moved in for the kiss, but we didn't go in far enough for our cheeks to touch. We ended up giving each other air kisses, and I wondered afterward if I should have reattempted the kiss. In a way, I felt I had disrespected this person by not touching him. I doubt air kisses happen that often, and when they do, I'm sure there's an awkward thought from both sides as to what the hell just happened. It was the worst kissing attempt to-date, and I vowed not to do that again...

Until a few minutes later.... I made another horrible kissing mistake. Not another case of the air kiss but of the handshake and kiss combination. Think of it as the regular handshake but with the added kiss as I've described above. It's usually a combination reserved for two people that have never met. 

And this is how it went: the person came forward with both her cheek and hand, and I kissed the cheek but left the hand hanging. It wasn't meant to be disrespectful; I just didn't expect a handshake. And too, the handshake/kiss combination doesn't always come with meeting someone new so I never really know when to expect it. Perhaps this was a display of professionalism, which I clearly lack and do not respond to :). Hey, it's hard to remember you're a professional sometimes when you're usually around kids with the maturity level of toddlers! 

Yesterday taught me two things: 1) I need to be more observant of how people execute the kiss and 2) I need more kissing practice (aka, get out there and meet more people)


  1. The handshake accompanied with a kiss on the cheek is very common here in Mexico. Family members do it, people you just met and of course friends that you have known for quite some time! My biggest kiss faux pas was bumping cheeks a bit too hard. Ouch!!! But I've gotten much better at it, as I'm sure you will too!

  2. Yeah, the kiss on the cheek takes some perception practice. Too far and you've missed and too much and you've punched their face.

  3. lol, I was laughing so hard through this post. First off thanks for the laugh, its always good to read that someone else gets it...
    I have totally screwed this up so many times. Iv noticed that individuals all have their own way of doing the hello and good bye kiss combos. There are so many and I just kinda try to go with the flow and accept what others do. Thankfully though none of mine have been in a work seating and are usually with friends or family. This was a well written post thanks for sharing.