The Kiss Hello: Can We Kiss It Goodbye?

Apr 5th, 2009

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“I’m going on record right now, that was my last kiss hello. I am getting off the kiss program with her.”
“Well, frankly, outside of a sexual relationship, I don’t see the point to it. I’m not thrilled with all the handshaking either, but one step at a time.”
- Jerry and Elaine, in “The Kiss Hello” (Season 6: Episode 103)

What is UP with the kiss hello? Am I waking up a decade or so late on this?

It seems that shaking hands is now the province of the strictly stuffy, and kissing is the new black. Even in professional situations (which I fail to understand.) I have experienced, numerous times, a puzzled look when I extend a hand instead of a cheek at a meeting with colleagues. Colleagues I barely know!

I am no prude (although, officially, in Jewish circles, religiously observant people don’t generally hug / kiss unrelated members of the opposite sex) but I feel like there is something amiss here, unrelated to my affiliations.

We are so careful with our boundaries as far as what we will say or are allowed to ask; how much we will reveal to others about ourselves – real stuff, not tweets / status updates; are so careful with etiquette and rules and phrasing things exactly right…and yet: Everyone in our inbox gets to touch us with their mouths?

Has personal space been replaced by personal distance?

(OK. How Carrie Bradshaw was that sentence?)

Dear reader: I look to you for guidance. Is it just me?

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  1. 3 Responses to “The Kiss Hello: Can We Kiss It Goodbye?”

  2. Good point, although would be less grossed out if it was a McDreamy look-alike….

    By Mreif on Apr 5, 2009

  3. In my profession it’s pretty popular. One on each cheek, too.
    I do it when I mean it.

    By TYR on Apr 7, 2009

  4. It’s not you. It really is kind of weird. I come from a Latin culture where kissing someone of the opposite sex on the cheek is quite de rigeur, sometimes both cheeks. You can imagine the scene: me, 5 or 6 years old, “Benny, this is your thrice removed Aunt Emma, why don’t you go ahead and kiss her?” And then when I didn’t, I was considered “rude.”

    But that was personal, here we’re talking professional. And kissing another person professionally should only be done by professional kissers. Everybody else, let’s stick to a handshake. If you’re really emotive or the situation calls for it, I’ll grant you the occasional two-hands-on-one handshake (a la Clinton), or an embrace, if you just won a big award or something.

    BTW, I used to work in a joint where the wives of my colleagues (all the colleagues were male) wouldn’t shake hands with me. Out of modesty they said. I find that just as weird as the kissing thing.

    By Benja on Feb 9, 2012

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