There is too much platonic kissing, I blame the European Union. Without Ted Heath’s approval, we would never have seen the rise of post modernism, smaller portions on squarer plates, and greeting and departing social kisses.
I consider the hug far more preferable to the kiss, though a handshake or a greeting by a facial gesture involving eyebrows may well be quite enough.
There are a far fewer ways of a hug going awry, whereas a kiss, whether on one or both cheeks, is a minefield of possible embarrassments.
For spectacle wearers, there is always the clash of glasses, especially if a friend has only recently upgraded to wider frames and is unaware of the new broadness of their skull.
There is the worry of how many kisses, just as Catholics do their church services upside down compared to Anglicans, standing up during kneeling bits and vice versa, so kissing protocol can catch you unawares. Is it one, two or even three depending on the code of the tribe of the greeting kisser.
You guess at one kiss, they go for two, an awkward split second, followed by a sense you have been judged lacking or ignorant in lip to cheek etiquette.
“only one social platonic kiss, well this person is also likely to fall short in their knowledge of the situationist movement, and the films of Eric Rohmer”.
What if you have just had cup of tea, were your lips to moist on contact? Are you now being considered a pervert or pest or over-salivator? What if the contact was too distant? The equivalent of a handshake without grip, those ones like clasping a pair of tights filled with mince.
And what of kisses on first meeting? But I don’t even know these people.
Just because it might be showbusiness, why do we wish to connect with their cheek and end up on the back foot before the conversation has begun because your glasses fell off or they have a nose bleed?
A hug is more solid. It does not need to be used on all occasions, it can even be reserved for special occasions of offering solace or expressing a joy at a reunion or at a political event filled with hope and anger. It is more politically motivating than a kiss, and doesn’t have the dubious history of being used for betrayal.
I am shaking hands around the UK – My Autumn tour goes from Oslo to Nottingham, Cambridge to Laugharne, Croydon to Manchester, and Dublin, Cardiff, Bridgwater, Goole and on and on, all details HERE