While spending Christmas at my mom’s I became aware of a terrible practice that had made its’ way to the place I grew up in. It’s the “Bussi Bussi” or a peck on each cheek. Coming out of church on Christmas morning (I want to stress that I only go because of my mom…as the average Austrian, I am a Roman Catholic, but only on paper), we were held up by the seniors of the community who greeted each other with kisses. I was shocked not only that they did this, but that they also seemed to enjoy it. I already had heard from an older woman in the pub that she hates this new “tradition” and tries to get out of it every chance she gets. I just couldn’t imagine it being true, but to my horror, it was! Can you imagine your childhood teacher hanging on every woman over the age of 60 in your area? And that women even line up to catch a kiss from him? And that those kisses are dangerously near the lips? Did I mention that his wife stands nearby? Luckily, they spare everybody else outside of their club and were content with me just shaking their hand.
And then even my childhood friend came up to me and kissed me. I was taken aback because I just don’t think that we need that. Sure, I haven’t seen her in a long time, but does it require kisses? Hell, we even shared an apartment once and didn’t need to share our saliva. So why is it that this practice is having such a revival? It is just repulsive. First, you cannot get out. Even if there is an old disgusting man with a beard and wet lips approaching you, you cannot deny him. Even if you hate each other to guts, it is customary to kiss each other when saying goodbye. Even if your hand turns to stone when shaking the hand of the other he/she finds a way to your cheek by bending unnaturally. And then nobody knows how to do it properly… Do you let them kiss you and just laugh, or do both of you kiss each other? Some just touch your cheek and don’t even kiss you. If you attempt to kiss back, it is just impossible to kiss each other on each other’s cheek at the same time without curling your lips…and it’s not a good sight. And then there are those kisses which are dangerously near your lip area, where you really don’t need anyone else’s bacteria. Maybe it enjoys a revival because the ministry of health issued a communique stating the benefits of sharing saliva for the prevention of a few diseases. Who knows…This could be backed up by the fact that a famous Viennese politician is always shown kissing all her party members when starting a conference. How is that political? To be fair it is not only her, even our federal chancellor does it. In my view politicians shouldn’t do that…but even Mr. Sarkozy and Mrs. Merkel started to do it…so how can I go against such powerful people…It is a tough fight 😉
When I was a child, it was only an aunt who did it, and she was old. After my teens it took up it’s own life and swapped through every generation. Nowadays you can see 13-year olds in a crowd taking up to 15 minutes to greet each other with kisses on the cheeks. If you are a very very good friend, you can get greeted by a kiss on the mouth… It is just…I don’t mind if others do it, I merely hate the fact that it has become such a normality for other people that they stomp over your inherent feelings of disgust and just expect you to go with the crowd. I hate it and it is not easy to escape it. And I think that the guys who hate each other the most practice this tradition the most. I mostly get those kisses from girls or boys I really don’t like. Because the people I like know that I hate it, and my friends mostly hate it too. Because it seems that we grew up in a bubble, when this practice was dead. Oh how I wish those days were back 😉 Nowadays people are used to it and don’t care which saliva hangs on their cheek. I am uncomfortable with somebody entering my comfort zone as it is, but voluntarily let somebody kiss you if you don’t even know him/her is just too much for me. And it is even more unfair for girls, because they are practically fair game. Boys have the advantage not to get kissed by other boys, but they kiss other girls. Maybe they are afraid to be outed as Communists 😉 Why is a handshake not enough? I really should start a campaign against this abhorrent gesture. There are people out there who hate it like me! I know it! But we aren’t strong enough on our own 😉 Please join me on my handshake campaign: “Get away from my cheek you sick bacteria spreading pervert, a handshake is enough!”