"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, October 05, 2013



Who, what do you kiss?

The topic came up in an email.  A Chinese lady who reads my blog complained about a little kid - a toddler - who kisses people on the lips.  She thought it was inappropriate and could possibly indicate something more sinister.  I mentioned that my dad kissed everyone on the lips, men, women, children.  Not just randomly of course, but when the situation was right - say the waitress at dinner was especially nice - cases like that.  The fact that he opened his mouth always seemed rather gross to me.  That isn't the point of this post however.

In my response to the Chinese lady, I told her I rarely ever kiss(ed) anyone.  I'm not a kisser.  I have to force myself to kiss anyone.  I blame my mother.  As a toddler I used to make smoochy sounds before going to bed, as a way of being cute and asking for a kiss good night, until one night she yelled at me to "Just ask for a kiss if that's what you want you little bastard!  I get so sick of hearing you make those insipid sounds!  Speak!"  I know!  She could be so strict - raised by nuns, you know.

So anyway - that ended the good night kisses.  Come to think of it, I never even kissed her good bye on her death bed.

So who, what do I kiss?

As I told the Chinese lady, I do kiss things, and very rarely people - just a peck on the cheek mind you.

Once my sister came to visit and I forced myself to kiss her on the cheek and she pushed me away and told me to knock it off, "Don't start acting like dad!"  I was grateful not to have to kiss her again.  I've had friends who insist on kisses - I offered it up, as a sacrifice and an act of charity, did it as quickly as possible.  Thankfully the practice of 'air-kisses' has trickled down to the lower classes.

For the most part I only kiss holy things - except for my cat, I suppose.  I kiss my cat's nose sometimes.  She may not like it however, since she immediately licks her nose as if she is licking it off.  I really think cats prefer rubbing noses instead of kissing.

As I said, I kiss holy things.  I kiss relics, holy card images, the Bible, the crucifix, my rosary, icons, the feet of statues, and so on.  I usually kiss my hand if I just received communion in the hand.  I've also kissed a bishop's ring once or twice - although that's kind of weird for me, and I think it was weird for the last bishop I did it too as well.  I leaned too far in and my lips parted over it - the ring.  It was weird.  I knew him as a priest, so I was just trying to be nice.

Oh!  At times I have kissed my forefinger and placed it on a person's forehead.  They are usually dead by that time.

Now hugs are different.  I can kind of hug people.  I prefer to do it in emails however.

Big hug!

H/T Nankin Chow Mein Halloween



  1. That's so sad to read about your mother.

    My family didn't really show affection, either. We make fun of each other with merciless taunting and berating. Can't let each other think we're too big for our britches, you know.

  2. I kiss the wounds that heal... and heal the wounds I kiss...

  3. Greet one another with a kiss of love. (St Paul)

  4. My daughter rang me recently. She had had a tough day with her two young children. The eldest was giving her a particularly hard time, refusing his meals, and generally making life difficult for his mother and baby brother all day. And when evening came he refused to settle and just kept getting in and out of his bed.

    Eventually, exhausted, he began to quieten down. His final words to his mother that night were: “Mamma, I’ve been bad today!” And his mother kissed him with all the loving forgiveness her heart could muster.

    The child is three years and four months old.

  5. @Jeron - it was a long time ago and my mother was a bit nuts.

  6. Yes, holy things and family, but my favorite is babies... I can't resist them! Heaven on earth! (Jesus is there)

  7. I come from a family of kissers. We grew up watching my dad come home from work and kiss my mom. I thought it wonderful. ^^ My brothers and I when we see each other, we kiss each other or when we say goodbye. Well, two of them are sorta distant these days but that's another story.

    My precious nieces and nephews and sister-in-law are kissers too and I hug them too. When they were babies, they would grab our faces between their two precious hands and smooch us. ^^ Happy memories.

    I too kiss my rosary, my prayer book, my bible, any holy statues or pictures of Jesus or Mary...I even remember asking my holy guardian angel to kiss the Lord for me. ^^

    Papa Francis is a kisser too. I bet that gets him in hot water with certain folks. As I watched the live video from his visit to Assisi, he kissed lots of folks and they kissed him in return. The light in the eyes of the lucky folks made me smile so much.

    Hugs for you too, Terry!

  8. I am one of those annoying people who touches and hugs and kisses..appropriately of course. But raised that way. People show affection and love differently. I would much rather have someone be there when I need them then fake kissing. I think your there for people Terry. Don't stress about the show of it.

  9. I'm sorry about your mom too. I can't imagine being like with my kids.or anyone actually...but it sounds like she was hurting inside..was embarrassed that she didn't know how to show affection, because of how she was raised probably. She didn't mean it.

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  11. What a wonderful topic. My husband, who has OCD, always kisses me three times when we part. It's endearing. Yesterday, I babysat his sister's boys. I arrived when they were down for their naps, and when the youngest (14 months) woke up, he wasn't so sure about me being there instead of his mother. I changed his diaper on the living room floor, and he started to sob, but I assured him it would be OK. He stood up and looked at me for a moment then quietly put his arms around me, kissed me on the cheek, and crawled in my lap with his arms around my neck. I've been carrying that little kiss around ever since.

    I've kissed our own two boys hundreds of times--tucking them in, at the sign of peace, when they're sitting next to me on the couch. I've always thought that I want them to have enough kisses from me to last their lifetimes--enough kisses "banked" so they have one for every day of their lives--long after I'm gone. When they're old and sick or on the battlefield or in a hospital bed somewhere, and they are crying out for their mother, I want them to be able to close their eyes and remember the feeling of their mother's kiss.

  12. Dear Ann! What a lovely story - it warms my heart! Really, it does. How kind you are - thank you.

  13. You're funny, Terry. I've always liked when people can convey their sadness or pain with a touch of humour. It can be healing for others who are open enough and ready to find the humour in their own pain. If no humour was intended in your blog. My apology for the insensitivity. In any event, I too have a great kissing affection for all my sacramental. I kiss them and the dog more than people. Hmmm...

  14. Thanks Bob - and yes - it is meant to be humorous.


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