First published on MySpace, April 30, 2007
OK, let me just lay out my opinion and experiences on kissing as a form of family affection….and I want to emphasize that there’s no right or wrong in this…just my feelings and yours.
I have never been all that into kissing, except with a date. (Rob Quan, wherever you are….I still remember your kiss on the cheek after all these years. Mmm.).
I’m more of a hug person, and there are even people whom I don’t really want hugging me. I am not crazy about it when some grandmother type kisses me on the cheek, though out of respect for the person I submit to it. I made my mom really mad one time when I was little…I wiped her kiss off my cheek.
But I’ve always felt that kissing on the mouth is only for lovers. I know in some cultures—Eastern Europe, for example—you kiss everyone. My cultural background is WASP/recently-emigrated German, and we just don’t do that. I know many people who kiss their children on the lips, but I never did—until the other day.
It was my father-in-law’s 60th birthday party. Dave, the guest of honor, was sitting in the middle of the room, opening presents. Our son, 16 months old, was walking around him in circles, and he kept coming back to me. He kept putting his face right up in mine and giggling, trying to kiss me on the mouth. So I let him. It was really cute.
This happening made me suddenly curious about kissing. Who do you kiss? Where? (OK face only please). Under what circumstances? Is it an intimate form of affection, only for the people closest to you? Or is it more casual?
I am especially curious if you’re from a different cultural background than me.