Friday, March 09, 2007

Kiss Me Deadly, Kiss Me Tenderly

Although I have participated in my abundant share of hellos these past two months, I still come across many bizarre, unpredictable, and endearing kissers. I do not know what men go through, but greeting women is always a new experience:

The Woodpecker: This person kisses you on one cheek – or sometimes concentrates all their might on one side of your face - before moving to the other to deliver ten rapid sets of twenty, head-bobbing kisses that leave you looking more disoriented than Courtney Love. Apart from the physical side effects that come about from this particular smooch, the thing that I dislike about this type of kiss is that sometimes you wonder, “When are they planning to quit?” I find backing away from the kisser and avoiding their conclusive smack is equally awkward to going in for that lass kiss when they actually back away from you.

The Stabber: Out of all the women I greeted, I dread this type the most. I am all right with the light and friendly cheek-to-cheek kiss. However, some – specifically younger women – decide to stab your cheeks with their jaws so as to:

1- Not ruin their makeup.
2- Because your oily cheek is just not good enough.

I think it is understandable when you greet this type of kisser at, for instance, a wedding, where both you and the other party try your best not to touch or rub your cheeks together so as to avoid any cosmetic fall. The latter, uppity kisser is another despicable story. Why would you greet someone with an impersonal and boney mandible and not opt for the wispy, barely there contact?

The Shaker: Women do not usually shake each others’ hands here. If the person you are greeting is a mere acquaintance, you are more inclined to either shake their hands politely or simply nod and spew out a stream of friendly and welcoming phrases. Yet, there are some that kiss as well as shake your hand. This simultaneous exchange catches me off guard; I end up kissing the person while leaving their hand hanging in mid-air. Sometimes, I actually manage to realize, “They’re going in for the hand!” The person’s facial pores enlarge as my face floats toward them to kick off the salutation but soon, I am too close to the person to look down and utilize my now unavailable sense of sight to direct my hand in theirs. I end up relying on my sense of touch and balance in hopes of pinpointing the location of the person’s awaiting palm. But I just hate it when you go in for the shake, fail and both parties’ hands embarrassingly slink away untouched.

The Enthusiast: From experience, I think these kissers are genuine and heart-warming individuals. I usually receive these types of kisses from close family members who I have not seen for quite some time. Enthusiasts do not believe in breezy greetings. They firmly press their cheek onto yours whilst delivering multiple kisses. Throughout the session, they enhance the synchrony by securing a tight grip on your shoulders so as to swiftly careen you back and forth toward them. Although this process sounds complicated, it is done in a fairly short period of time. The only difficult part is to incorporate words into the procedure; you usually start your ramble but are soon cut off by the next kiss, so you end up sounding like this, “Hal***shloo***shakh***shimsa***…” and etc. The physical side effects that come from the combination of the Woodpecker’s method and your lack of control on your swaying body are cast aside when you finally pull back and see the Enthusiast’s glowing, smiling face.

NB: Posts on this blog will not be as plentiful as they were before.

Carlos Santana – She’s Not There I love this song...

Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack

Ali Farka Toure w/ Ry Cooder - Ai Du I more than love this song...num num...

at 9:41 PM


  1. Blogger eshda3wa posted at 1:31 AM  
    my friend and i were just talking about the kissing thing
    and its like u dont know how many 2,3,4, more?
    one cheek 2 cheeks, back n forth!
    man its confusing
    there should be a standart kissing ritual
    actually they should abolish the kissing, i dont like kissing ppl i barely know!
  2. Blogger EniGma posted at 1:40 AM  
    hahahaha! funny! I hate kissing, but if they're gonna make us kiss then at least standarize it for god's sake!! Make it 1 per cheek or somethin.
  3. Blogger Trevelyana posted at 6:26 PM  
    Haha. It's even weirder when you meet someone, say, from another country or a different region. Like in Saudi, there's the dominant 1-2 combination. But then I met my lebanese friend's mom who goes for the french 1-1-1. My other friend's syrian mom goes for a 1-1 which leaves me kissing air coz i'm used to 1-2.
    I've known her 2 years, we still can't get it together.

    Maybe we can call out our combination on our way in-- "ONE TWO"! *Smooooch* :D
  4. Blogger Men Who Do Cleavages posted at 7:49 AM  
    I like the way how men kiss in Italy. As for the French kiss, it is too lame for my liking.They say in Milan there's even a full time course on well, 'kiss and tell'.I'd quite like to sign up for it : who knows I might major in it, even.
  5. Blogger 1001 Nights posted at 9:15 AM  
    LOL this is funny ! I agree with eshda3wa we should try to abolish it when it comes to semi-strangers, or just tone it down a notch. Maybe we can replace it with warm and loud high fives?
  6. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 10:56 AM  
    I find it funny when you have foreigners visiting Kuwait .. they see two men kissing and think that its mandatory. You have line of American men looking extremely awkward thinking they have to kiss every guy in the room.
  7. Blogger Joud posted at 12:13 PM  
    cool post..

    i can understand people from diff cultures being confused by how to greet each other.. but this is just funny
  8. Blogger Ms. Sarah posted at 3:23 PM  
    lol i hate the fact that i never get to "lead" the kissing, it's like i'm grabbed and the person grabbing me chooses how many times and HOW she wants to kiss me...
    if i was going to lead the kissing, i'd just hold the person's hand (minus the shaking), one light kiss on each cheek oo khalas, and then maybe stay holding the hand while asking shlonich shakhbarich sha7walich with a big smile..

    why can't people be that simple? :p
  9. Blogger Erzulie posted at 11:59 PM  
    eshda3wa: I don't kiss people I barely know, but it's also weird to not lunge in when someone wants to kiss you...I don't mind the whole greeting/kissing thing, but I think the ritual should be developed and done in a smoother fashion.

    enigma: I think one per cheek is all right...yeah, I think that's workable.

    trevelyana: You just reminded me of how I heard people kiss in they really rub noses there? I prefer kissing over that (if that actually exists) because I think it's unsanitary to rub against someone's oily nose. No offense to Bahraini people though, rub all you want.

    hobsonjobson: How do the Italians and French kiss? I don't know about the course, but I'll gladly be the mocking observer of it all.

    1001: Warm and loud? :P~
    I think if the person is not that close i.e. you'd rather opt for shaking their hand rather than kissing them, you might want to stand far away and extend your hand while leaning in from your torso. That way, if they REALLY want to kiss you, they would have to take a step to get closer, but I don't think people are that desperate for a smooch :P~

    K: Someone I know invited their American friend to their diwaniya. The American entered the room and was greeted with a kiss. Because nobody warned him about how people greet each other here, the American promptly delivered a punch to the kisser's face.

    joud: :)

    swair: Kisses turn political here. I don't like holding the person's hand when I'm talking to them; what if they're palms are sweaty? What if they didn't wash after using the restroom? What if the remains of what they were eating was still on the tips of their fingers? Ah the complications...But the one kiss on each cheek is a lovely combination :)
  10. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 1:47 PM  
    This was a great post Erzulie! It is so true and gave me a good laugh because you read my thoughts :) I like the "Enthusiast" kissers too, although a one-per-cheek-kiss for most people on social occasions is what I think is elegant, appropriate and more than adequate. My way of a warm hello to those I have truly missed and know well (in Kuwait) is to give a mini hug as well by putting one hand on the persons arm or shoulder at the same time (its the American in me that feels the need to give hugs, I can't help it...)

    But most importantly - and this is what's foremost on my mind after reading your post-


    I love him and posted a couple of his beautiful melodies from In the Heart of the Moon a while back, but I have a feeling people think that I am kinda a fuddy-duddy...

    Ms. B, giving you a virtual, warm, "hi how ya doin Erzoola?" 2- cheek kiss.. ;)
  11. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:25 PM  
    ms.baker: I sometimes hug people after two to three kisses too, but that doesn't happen reguarly i.e. when a good friend of mine comes back to Kuwait for a visit, I usually kiss and hug, or rather, squeeze them a bit :P~
    And yeah, double yay! I love him too :) And I love that you do too. And to hell with fuddy-duddy, it's called being classic, and that NEVER goes outta style :)
  12. Blogger Elaine posted at 4:48 PM  
    we SERIOUSLY need to establish some rules about greet-kissing! some people make up combinations of their own and im left being sickened and going "are they THAT excited to see me?" i don't mind high-fives and hugs either :p
  13. Blogger xxx Candy xxx posted at 10:20 PM  
    I liked this post...I personally hate the lebanese kissing style 1 on the right...the 2nd on the left cheeck then back to the right...adoooo5! loool

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