Air Kiss greetings are just the WORST! I can grab a hand and shake it, high five, hug or even fist bump, but I just can not fathom air kisses! The reason being because I can never successfully pull it off! EVER! There are so many unwritten rules, each of them different to every culture and it’s enough to want me to stop greeting people altogether!
I am writing this post because yesterday whilst I was undergoing this seemingly simplistic social act, I happened to get my lipstick all over a stranger’s cheek. Not Cool. ( I then battled with myself about whether I should tell the lady that she has my lipstick smudged across her cheeks, but that’s a different story!)
So here is a Step by Step guide for Air-Kiss Gestures, so that you do not make the mistakes that I do (again and again!)…
Step 1: As you approach the person, focus on which way they begin to shift or lean because that is the side of the cheek they will kiss first. There are far too many times where me and another lady have been caught in a limbo of trying to air kiss on the same cheek, and almost going for a smooch right in the middle! Highly Awkward!!
Step 2: Anticipate how many times they will give you an air kiss. Their culture or country of origin is usually the best indicator. (If you simply have no idea, then you are screwed and might as well brace yourself for the awkwardness to follow.) In some parts of the world, its one kiss on either side, right and then left. In others, its right, left and right again. My experience with Emirati ladies is by far the most confusing. For them it’s a right, left and then right, right, right, right…(depending on how much you like the person- the more, the merrier!)
Step 3: Do not actually kiss the cheek! An air kiss is just that, kissing the AIR rather than any part of the face! (Having said that, I have witnessed Middle Eastern men that greet each other with kissing of the cheeks, so following this step may not be wise either.)
Step 4: Make the right sound. This is key to a successful air kiss. For some, no sound must be made, whilst for others there is a soft mwah sound as the cheeks embrace. There is also another type of air kiss that must be delivered with a very loud but quick smacking kiss sound that originates from almost pursing your lips like a puffer fish in quick succession. (Yes, the first time I encountered this, I was baffled!) I have found that the louder the kiss, the more amiable you are.
Step 5: Semi-hug the person as you deliver your air kisses and part away with a smile, having successfully deciphered the conundrum of Air Kissing.
Step 6: Repeat the process again for the next in line, and do not expect it to be the same as the previous encounter. The second person could be hiding another unknown air kissing ritual up their sleeve, ready to create another awkward meeting.
Perhaps this step by step guide will save you from an awkward encounter, or perhaps it will make the social gesture even worse and more confusing.
Perhaps I am not really the right person to be writing a guide on this matter at all and you should probably forget all that you just read…
Till next time.. *Mwah -lipstick smudge – forehead bash- trip over and fall*
What has been your most awkward encounter? Can you successfully pull off an air kiss? I would love to know your thoughts, so feel free to comment below!