kiss kiss

Let’s talk about kisses for a minute. I mean kisses on the cheek, and specifically those given from men to women. There’s something in the air, I think, something going on with men and cheek kissing.

My friends and I have received a number of them in the past six months or so, enough to make me wonder about it. Mind you, these pecks were not from boyfriends, partners or husbands- oh no- but from friends and acquaintances. That is a very serious distinction to make.

Now, if we were living in Europe, this would be common. In fact, if this were Europe, to not kiss both cheeks would probably seem like an insult when greeting or saying goodbye to a friend. But here, in the states, the rules are different. Here, we are germaphobes and place distinct lines between the physical contact of friends and lovers. Here, our culture was developed from prudes. Here we preach about morals and abstinence and ridicule other cultures who are comfortable with sex and sexuality. Here, we try to deny that we’re the same as every other human in this world.

Because of all this, a kiss is not just a kiss- a casual term of endearment, or sign of friendship. Here, kisses are full of meaning, and the meaning behind it can be laboriously analyzed for days and days. Does it mean he’s just flirting? Does it mean he likes me? How much does he like me? What is he thinking??

It can go on and on.

But let’s not dwell on the meaning of these kisses for now. Let us just enjoy them for what they are, because they are (usually) enjoyable. They are as light and sweet as meringue. They are innocent. They recall young puppy love and spring days and a pretty blush on the cheek. They sometimes bring forth a shy, coy, but pleased smile or a knowing look. They are the promise of something more. They are the antithesis to our hyper-sexualized, over-stimulated society. And that, every now and then, is a beautiful thing.

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