Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kiss Off Into The Air

I don't remember hugging my friends in high school.  Or college for that matter.  In Elementary School, I'm sure there was a certain amount of, "Ooooh!  We're besties, let's hug it out!" going on.  When I was really little, I know I used to kiss every boy within striking distance.  (This was pre-awkward crazy Kendra, of course.) But, I can't picture myself seeing my friend Guddy in the halls of Robert E. Lee High School and HUGGING her.  I mean, that's just weird, right? Or running up to my pal Max and hugging him in Biology lab?  Yeah, no.  Pretty sure I didn't greet Edi with a hug every time I saw her getting a soda in the green room in college.  So, when did that shit start?

I know that at some point in my adult life, I made a conscious decision to just go ahead and hug everyone.  I'm just insane enough to have noticed that's what everyone was doing and to have made the choice to get with the program.  If I hug first, I'm controlling the situation and hopefully the length of the hug!  I can make it be over quickly and with the least amount of awkward inner whimpering on my part.  It's taken me years and years, but now I can hug or be hugged without stiffening up like I'm being licked by Freddy Kruger.  This is thanks in part to my friend Roberto, who has forced his own version of hug therapy upon me for the last few years.  He sees me, he hugs me until I'm squirmy.  Then he hugs me some more.  It's freaking me out that I now let him do it with a minimal amount of eye-rolling.  So, I'm getting better at the whole hug business.  If you hug me these days, I'm a little more human than robot.  I'm like a cylon!  A huggable cylon.

But now it's not enough.  Now people are air-kissing! The first time someone air-kissed me, it was all I could do not to run away crying and waving my arms in the air.  I just never know what they're doing, you know?  It scares me.   It's like dancing!  Are they gonna go right first or left first?!  Will they do both cheeks or that crazy European-style three air-pecks thing?!  What if I do it wrong?!  What if there's a face collision?  Face collisions could be very dangerous, you guys!  I KNOW, I'LL JUST DUCK!  I'd love to see a video of myself being air-kissed.  I'm sure I look graceful and charming when I'm jerking around and trying not to push the person off of me.

Look, I realize it seems like I hate people.  But, I don't!  I love people!  I love my friends.  My friends rock.  I swear I'm not a soulless monster, I actually love being around people.  I love talking to them and drinking with them and listening to them laugh.  I just get a little wiggy with the required physical intimacy.

And, the next stage is upon us.  People have been kissing my cheek lately.  There's an uncomfortable amount of cheek kissing going on in Los Angeles.  You never know when it will happen!  You think you're having a normal day and then all of a sudden, BAM!  CHEEK KISS!  It's very jarring.  I don't know what's happening.  I can only expect that by the time I'm in the retirement village, we'll be greeting each other with heavy petting when we navigate our walkers past each other in the halls.  Hello, Edna, nice to see you!  Let me just grab your boob there, oooh yeah, nice weather we've been having!  Like that.

I guess I just need to get on board.  I guess I should just pucker up and mouth kiss everyone.  Perhaps I'll start today with the baristas at Coffee Bean or the nail salon ladies.  They're all pretty adorable.  We'll see how it goes.

*photo of me and Pistol forever ago.