I never know how to greet women.
How odd does that sound? A simple “hello” would probably suffice. I mean, when they lean in close for a kiss-cheek-greeting, my eyes widen and I panic. When I say “panic” I don’t mean that I run away with my arms in the air, shouting “ARRRGGGH”, that would make it impossible to leave the house ever again. I’m not that bad. But I never know what to do. Do I decide which cheek to go for? Do they present the cheek they want kissing? Do they want both cheeks kissing? If they don’t mention how many cheeks will be involved in this kiss greeting, do I choose? If they only wanted one cheek kissing, and I go for the second cheek, and they pull away before I get there, what do I say? “I liked the taste of the first one so I thought ‘why not’ “? Normally if i’m involved in kissing, my hands are drawn to the breasts, surely that’s not appropriate? What the fuck is wrong with a handshake? They’re easy. They require now strategy beforehand, no tactic. Cheek kissing has no guidelines! It’s chaos!
I see people doing it all the time. Quickly. Well placed. Like they’ve been doing it for years. “I’ve been kissing cheeks for ten years now, i know the theory inside out.” They know which cheek to go for, how long to kiss for, the appropriate level of “mwah” noises to make, and they slowly get into the flow of conversation, and i’m stood in awe. The lack of awkwardness, the control of chaos, is beautiful. Like when children kick a football purposely against the miserable old man’s fence, and he keeps coming out to yell at them, every time, they throw him the stick of childishness, and he chases it, those kids have control of that chaos!!!
You cannot possibly understand the indelible feeling of awkwardness when you kiss one cheek, and then pull away, whilst they (in slow motion) produce the second cheek that you now aren’t kissing. And then you have to go back in, which makes it seem like you didn’t want to kiss the cheek in the first place, which in turn acts not as an intended greeting, but she now feels a sharp sense of rejection.
Similarly, you cannot possibly understand the embarrassment felt when as a male, I go to kiss the second cheek and she pulls away expecting the cheeking kissing fun to have stopped after the first. She was content with one cheek kiss. Any further kissing of cheeks, she has not consented to. You are essentially, a face rapist.
No amount of face raping will ever come close to the most horrendous scenario known to the World of cheek kissing. It involves your partner’s mother, or grandma, or aunty, someone you feel slightly uncomfortable sticking your lips on in the first place. It involves aiming for one cheek, strategically going for that left cheek, you’ve planned it, you’re going in, you’re a cheek kissing Romeo right now………… and then, just as you go to kiss that left cheek, she turns to offer her right cheek, and you’ve managed to miss both, getting her lips. Let’s not mince our words up, let’s say it like it is, you’re now kissing your partner’s mum. You can bet that she will recoil in horror. You start wondering what the best way to end your life would be. And then from nowhere, your partner’s grandma smiles provocatively in your direction…………………….