To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question.

The awkward moment. You know what I’m talking about – when you greet someone and you instantly feel that you’ve over-stepped the mark somehow.  It’s a vibe, an energy that tells you “hey, no hug please, just a peck on the cheek for me”. But it’s too late, you’ve already gone in for the hug and the kiss. Why is there no set guidelines for this?  A Frenchman once told me that in France when greeting someone, you should always kiss on the cheek twice and three times for close and respected friends or acquaintances. Ok, that’s a pretty clear guideline, right? But then I’ve also read that it’s different all over France, it depends on region and class too. What’s a girl to do?

Karl Largerfeld greets Chinese actress Yao Chen with three kisses.

Some of my friends prefer a simple non-committal peck on the cheek greeting. No hug thank you. Other friends like to be greeted with a hug and a kiss and some even like to be held in the hug for a bit of time. Other friends don’t even want to be touched. I now have to go through a mental list when greeting my friends as to how they prefer to be greeted! It’s a social etiquette minefield. My eldest daughter has Aspergers and has very little understanding of social etiquette. She is beginning a course this week that runs for 10 weeks on social skills and tools. I am told that this course instils many wonderful life-skills and will give her new confidence. Maybe then she’ll be able to enlighten me on the do’s and don’ts of meeting and greeting people?

Some times I’m greeted by new acquaintances with a hug and a kiss – usually these are people who have met me through a friends or a relative, so I guess they feel like the know me enough.  I do love to greet my friends with a big hug but I think I tend to give a kiss on the check as I’m already there, right? What do you think, is a kiss and a hug too much? Is it too intimate, even for good friends? Argh, it’s all too confusing.

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