Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Kissy kissy

The Wall Street Journal ("American’s Learn the Global Art of the Cheek Kiss" by Christina Binkley) recently elucidated a phenomenon that I’ve been noticing more and more lately—business kissing.

Arguably, my work experience should give me a leg up on my fellow Americans who are just getting used to such a thing—Germans did the double kiss as soon as you got to know them. I’ve noticed the same with the Brits, though sometimes it’s one cheek, other times two.

And yet, I feel that I am a slow learner. There was the time I did a kiss goodbye and it wasn’t returned. There was the time (in the last 3 weeks) that I thought we were both going in for the hand shake/one-armed hug but he went in for the one-cheek kiss which led me to kiss his jaw. Are we air kissing, are we pecking, one cheek or two? It’s all extremely confusing. Heaven help me if I visit a three kiss country. And I should make clear, kissy kissy seems to be happening with work people and at outside meetings.

I am getting better but it’s a slow road.

Anyone else had a similar experience? My friend from Atlanta says it hasn’t (“and will never”) come to the south. Is this just a NYC thing?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend in Atlanta - it will never come to the South - and, it must be said, I don't see Detroiters business kissing, either.


2:58 PM  
Anonymous sjs said...

I can tell you that the closest we come in the upper midwest is the business half-hug/half-pat-on-the-back. Awkward.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous jp said...

Nope, the big 'ol Stetsons would get in the way of all that kissy-kissy in the Lone Star State.

I seriously don't see the point, even if I do participate in it on a pretty regular basis here in Germany.

Are your lips supposed to touch flesh? That seems kind of icky, unless you know (and like) the person *really* well. If no lip-to-flesh is required, what's the point? Can't we just look each other in the eye and say "Smooches!"??

Gimme a good old handshake anyday.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

So this confirms it, New York is strange;-)

Kiss Kiss

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think it's mostly places with lots of europeans.....so NYC and DC - where even I, who don't like touching - have been known to do a two-cheek-air-kiss - are going to be more prone to it :)

10:28 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

i definitely think it should be an air kiss-- otherwise there's a risk of lipstick marks by many women. plus it's a little weird to actually kiss a somewhat-stranger, even if it is just the cheek

3:03 PM  

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