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.
H/T Nankin Chow Mein Halloween