Monday, November 3, 2008

We Like The Straight To The Mouth Kiss

Have you ever felt someone squirm inside, when upon greeting them you embraced them in a hug? Or better yet, moved right in for a friendly kiss, feeling the other person's anxiety as you moved closer, then found a quick turn of the head. I completely understand the concept of personal space, an invasion of personal space, and the boundaries that some people feel too worried about crossing concerning their personal space.

See for me, I grew up with minimal personal space boundaries. As we, Italian Americans (yes, I am generalizing here), love a good straight to the mouth kiss when greeting someone we know. So from toddler hood, I anticipated a pinch on the cheek and a big wet sloppy kiss to follow the pinch. It's always been the signature move of elders in my community. Let me clarify, not only elder relatives, but family friends of my parents that I hardly knew. We love a good embrace, a nice kiss, distinctive signs of love and caring.

Living in Colorado, one can imagine the population is a real hodge podge of cultures and backgrounds. Let me just tell you how it is, Colorado is not the place for straight to the mouth kiss, even with old buddies. Colorado is definitely a warm hug kind of place, sometimes a handshake turned into the pat on the shoulder, a this is as close as it gets gesture. I can't tell you how many uptight friends i've seen move into, stiff body and slightly uncomfortable when they saw me coming. For they know, I am an overzealous greeter, full of defying boundary breaking personal space. Now I would like to clarify, I am not a straight to the mouth kisser with my friends (unless they are Italian in descent), but I certainly do enjoy a longer than necessary embrace. I little bond to show them I care.

So now, tell me, do you squirm when the arms of a friend approach or goodness be, a face pulls right in to yours, or do you embrace the love?

21 comments:

  1. Yep...I'm a squirmer. I am Italian American as well. I think I have just had one to many sloppy kisses from relatives I didn't even know when I was a kiddo;)

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  2. I have to admit that I'm a squirmer. I'm trying to do better though. I have an aunt and uncle who are "kiss-on-the-cheek" people, and I'm trying to loosen up.

    I'm totally OK with a warm embrace though (as long as you're not a stranger) and get as annoyed with the stiff, keep-your-distance hug responses as I do with a limp handshake.

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  3. I love me some love, but a kiss on the mouth is a little much. Kisses to the cheeks, or warm lingering embraces are fine, but I only kiss my husband and my baby girl on the mouth. :)

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  4. another squirmer here, even with handshakes. apparently I need a lot of space. but when I studied in Mexico I liked the cheek kissing. I'm strange.

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  5. I actually like hugs and kisses on the cheek. I have friends like this and I just love it. I love giving friends hugs too, but I don't initiate kisses on the cheek or mouth. :)

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  6. Give me a good warm solid hug, and or some cheek kisses. A solid handshake is good too, for a more casual acquaintance.

    But a kiss on the mouth - makes me squirm. A weak handshake - unless your physically frail - no excuse.

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  7. I'm laughing on the inside, because I anticipate a friend to walk right up to me and sock me a good one on the lips the next time I see them. I suppose I am just asking for it.

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  8. I'm Italian American, but I squirm. I was always a little overwelmed when the Italian side of the family would kiss me--it took me a while to get used to it.

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  9. It has taken me a LONG TIME to become more comfortable with displays of affection. I was just never all that cuddly growing up and was also a fairly reserved teenager. I made a good friend my freshman year of college, who was VERY affectionate. She was a big hand holder and would tease me about how I suffered through all of her advances. I'm still pretty reserved - but definitely much better than I used to be.

    Please don't ever kiss me on the mouth.

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  10. Oooohhhh...never straight to the mouth in the South. We're the huggy type ;)

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  11. Lips are for hubby only, but cheeks and a good hug are great, particularly when it's cold in Scotland.

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  12. I don't dig the kissing but I like a good bear hug.

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  13. Sorry about this, but: TAG. Please give me a visit for the rules.

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  14. So now i'm sort of grateful that you didn't kiss me when we met. :)

    my husband's family IS ALL ABOUT THE KISS ON THE MOUTH. Wigs me out.

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  15. I try, try to like hugging, but I always end up feeling a little claustrophobic - maybe because I'm small? During a reference check, one of my old bosses told my most recent boss that I don't like hugs - we'd sometimes get hugs from our (adult) clients, and she'd always tease me about how I'd stiffen up. So I squirm so much that it gets mentioned in reference checks!

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  16. i am probably too touchy feely...i always want to touch people on the arm when i'm talkign or give them a shove in response to a joke. i try to control it but it happens before my brain says stop :)

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  17. Vermont is full of straight to the mouth kissers. I grew to love it. And it reminded me of my no-boundaries family growing up.

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  18. i lived in colorado for 34 years. now i live in california. they freak me out with the happy mouth greetings. wave from a distance, people, wave from a distance.

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  19. Honestly for me it depends on who it's coming from.

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  20. I don't really mind kisses to the mouth- as long as no one shoves a tongue in. I kiss very close friends, my mother side of the family, and my 2 cousins from my dad's side.

    I find it a great way to show affection and bonds.

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