Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Etiquette of Kissing

Mortifying. That is the only way to describe the start of my meeting today. Utterly mortifying. I travelled into London this morning for a 'blue sky' marketing waffle meeting. At the meeting was the agency's bright new thing whom I'd not met before. Tall, well dressed and with a hint of the young Robert Redford, he cut quite a figure. The people I work with are very kissy (no chilly British handshakes for us) so I leant in for the obligatory double kiss. To my horror I realised just a bit too late that he was heading for the left cheek first. Bloody amateur – it’s always the right cheek first! I swerved to change cheeks at the last moment but I was not quite fast enough so somewhere in the middle of my avoidance manoeuvre we almost brushed lips. I certainly felt breath! To cover up my embarrassment I went confidently in for the second kiss only to discover that he'd already moved along and was offering another miserly single kiss to my colleague next to me. So there I am, lipsticked pout at the ready, head forward, my second kiss dangling uselessly in the air. Abort, abort! I smoothly carried on the move reaching casually down to my feet, and fiddled aggressively with my shoe. No-one was fooled. My crimson cheeks were a bit of a giveaway. Excruciating.

So here’s my plee -  England please, can we all just agree on a standard format of greeting. Personally I would suggest the double kiss, right cheek first. No single kisses, certainly no third kisses and never, never the hug. Most un-British!

Oh, and whilst we’re at it, please can someone do a kissing map of Europe? I know it’s three to four in Holland, more in the South of France than the North, and goodness only knows what they do in the more passionate Latin countries! All comments gratefully received!



  1. LOL! I'm sorry, but that is hilarious! I'd offer to give you a hug if I didn't think you find it offensive!

    2 kisses it is then. Right first!

  2. They should call you Cheeky Baby, not Chatty Baby! x

  3. I couldn't agree more!.. although I am a bit of a kisser, they are really so awful and fake aren't they, those little social kisses. Perhaps kisses should be passionate and tender or not at all. I may just start high fiving more often..

  4. I LOVE the high fiving idea Sarah, good call! x

  5. High-fives are a great idea! No misunderstanding, and with such a deliberate gesture, no-one could possibly misinterpret. That would save any awkwardness too with the people whose cheek you really don't want to get close to e.g. the spotty oik the agency might employ next, or the really old mad aunt whose chin is hairier than Daddy's!
    High Five! (Don't leave me hanging!) :)