Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

The kiss-hello: a bizarre and perverse ritual

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There is a time and a place for everything, from insane drunkenness to bingo with Nana. Under certain circumstances and with certain people one behaves differently. We try to be as appropriate as possible within the context of our surroundings. However, some people, for what ever reason, feel they need to break the social mode, make people feel uncomfortable and force upon the unwilling their selfish social constructs. The kiss-hello is the prime example of how one set of people purposely attack and invade an innocent person’s inalienable right to not be touched on the face.

I completely understand that kissing, as a greeting, in certain cultures is a perfectly expectable practice. I, myself, through out my whole life have done the double-cheek kiss with all my Italian relatives whether they are male or female. And I am absolutely fine with that. Many of my relatives have lived the better part of their lives within a community of people that are immigrants. Out of respect for what they done for my up bringing and because we are biological related and I am perfectly happy kissing those of Mediterranean birth on both cheeks when we meet. What I think is absurd and ludicrous are when middle-aged white bred Anglo-Saxon Canadians incite the kiss hello on people who are obviously not familiar and/or comfortable with that sort of greeting. These people didn’t grow up in Italy or France or the Middle East or where every these types of costumes are regular; they were raised and live within the same world as their kiss-hello victims – English-speaking suburban Canada. Everyone understands that the kiss-hello is not common among all segments of society. But, with little regard for those on the other end of the kiss-hello, many do it anyways.

I often get the inappropriate kiss-hello from middle-aged women. They are usually distant relatives on my mother’s side or friends of the family. I know they know that I don’t go around kissing my twenty-something and teenage friends when I greet them.  They also must be aware someone like me would feel awkward kissing them but when it comes time to greet them and I put out my hand for the cordial generic handshake they pull me in tightly close to their face and make that galling “mooah” sound. And then, when I think it’s over and try to let go of their hand they grab me back in again for another pointless cheek-touch on the other side! What the fuck? Don’t they get it? Can’t they tell from how my hand is instinctly pulling away, that it is very weird and uncomfortable for me? Of course they probably practice this with their other yuppie middle-aged married friends but I am a young kid, I don’t treat people from different demographics the same way I would my close friends. That’s like if I greeted a middle-aged white woman with props and said “what up nigga?” – I know that wouldn’t go over well so I politely go with the cross-generational handshake. This apparently isn’t good enough for them and they need to pretend like their European and fake kiss my cheeks.

And that’s another thing, your obviously not European – why are you pretending like you’re ethnic and kissing-hello anyway? Are we at a wedding? My mom is just introducing me to someone she bumped into at Shopper’s Drug-Mart and this lady is pulling me into the kiss-hello. Can’t she see that I haven’t shaved in days and that I’m very much hangover? Doesn’t she notice I’m wearing a Jim Morrison t-shirt? A person like me doesn’t kiss-hello people I don’t know. I went with the handshake, what the fuck is wrong with that? Show some courtesy.

Also to what I pointed to earlier – it’s not even a real kiss. My lips don’t touch your cheek and visa-versa. Why do we have to pretend like we’re kissing and make that stupid fake “mooah” sound? And some people do the double kiss, some people don’t…it’s all a fucking mess.

My point is if you’re not from somewhere else in the world and you speak perfect English, when you meet someone not from your age group or social construct and they put out their hand to greet you don’t forcibly pull them into touch your cheek. This is Southern Ontario and I’m in my early twenties – I don’t roll that way with strangers.

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Written by shanedantimo

May 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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