Is air kissing rude or not? We’re taking a poll in our office about what the etiquette is on air kissing. Please, help us out.
–Adele, Jersey City, NJ
Air kissing is vaguely impersonal although more friendly with a warm smile and short intensive eye contact — the power gaze. Blowing an air kiss is a greeting half way between a windshield wiper hand wave and skin-on-skin facial contact. Best blown from across the room or on your way in or out of a crowded space.
The social nuance of the air kiss is, “Good to see you, we’ll catch up later.” In a more flirtatious manner — “our future is in the air.”
As the holidays approach, along with large and small celebrations, it’s good to remember that air kissing is the most sociable way to greet without catching someone’s cold or passing along yours. Unlike a social kiss that can be creepy and try-hard, the air kiss can be a blow off.
Watch out for those irritating kissing interlopers who only kiss when they can be seen in close comfort with you.
In any event, it’s mostly vanity. Who wants to smudge their freshly applied lipstick while giving a big wet smack on the lips? It depends on the situation.
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Accepting A Compliment