Naturally, this practice sends me into a spiral of what ifs, internal dialogues, and a general state of panic. Billy is constantly shaking his head at my ridiculousness. But the struggle is real, and I've put together a short list of the kisses I've experienced in my quest to not be awkward.
The Smoosh Face includes full-on simultaneous cheek kissing from both parties. In my mind, this is what is "supposed" to happen, but it's challenging to perfect. You gotta really move those lips sideways to keep your own cheek available for kissing, while also kissing them at a parallel angle. Get carried away, and this one can easily turn into a kiss on the lips, which is what always happens when my 4-year old and I try to kiss good-night.
Photo credit: Thomas Hawk
Hands down, my least favorite kiss. Mainly because it involves arms wrapped around my head and hair rubbing. My personal-space-o-meter just shattered!
Billy says I am the only one who makes this exchange awkward, but I say that's because he doesn't kiss the preteen boys. Preteen boys are my kissing nemesis. There's that moment, after their parents have kissed me, that we are looking at each other. I'm used to letting others take the lead on the lip smacking, but these boys are shifting back-and-forth in similar uncertainty to my own. They are bicultural enough to know this situation is not in my swing zone, and they're kinda okay to let it slide, but everyone around us is still kissing, and peer pressure is real.
That's when I hear a voice in my head say, "Sarah, you are the grown up. Make this happen in the least awkward way possible. The faster the better." And that's how I end up over-aggressively kissing teenage boys.
This kiss happens when you get too much into the greeting groove. You are passing that peace and lip gloss like a boss when you suddenly realize you just kissed someone unnecessarily. Maybe you've already greeted each other, maybe they were talking to someone else and you kind "surprise kissed" them, whatever. It happens.
This is my favorite face palm. This is what happens to me when I hang out with non-Latinos soon after being in a group of Latinos. It's the kissing equivalent of trying to give someone a high five and then using that raised hand to smooth your hair once you realize that's not going to happen. Although, it's a little harder to play it cool when you've accidentally gotten too close to someone's cheek for no apparent reason...
So there you go. Seven examples of kissing. I'm sure Billy will be all, "What on earth?!" But can you feel me? Are there examples that I've missed?