My father-in-law is one of the happiest, friendliest men you’ll ever meet. His smile and stories light you up, even on your lowest of days. And he kisses everybody on the cheek. After dating his daughter for only a few months, he started kissing me each time we met.
Some fathers use an intimidating demeanor to petrify a suitor from their beautiful daughters. But because my father-in-law isn’t intimidating at all, I thought that he was kissing me to scare me away from his daughter. Like reverse-psychology, it seemed like an overtly nice, creepy intimidation. Turns out, kissing me wasn’t an intimidation tactic at all. He’s just a really, really nice guy. So I began to return the favor.
After kissing my wife’s father on the cheek for the past three years, what else could I do but carry on that tradition into my own daily life? But it just so happens that my good friends find this practice extremely weird.
Sure, they’ve seen European movies where people greet and kiss one another on the cheeks, and sometimes even the lips. And during their family gatherings, my friends probably kiss their relatives on the cheeks at least some of the time. But it seems like, by attempting to kiss my friends on the cheeks, I’ve crossed some invisible line.
Is there some etiquette I fail to understand? Is there a level of friendship you must have with someone in order for kissing them on the cheek to be deemed appropriate? For instance, is it okay to kiss your groomsmen on the cheek…? Groomsmen are the ultimate of friends, so it must be okay to give them one little smooch, here and there, right…? But according to my groomsmen’s reactions, apparently it’s not okay.
I’ve tried kissing all three of my groomsmen on the cheek, and every time they do the exact same thing: They freeze up and give me the ‘What the fuck was that’-look.
Perhaps trying to convince my friends that cheek-kissing is a normal practice will only take time. My theory is that if I keep nagging them with cheek kisses that eventually they will do one of two things:
So, to my insecure, heterosexual bros, hear me now: I’m not saying we have to make out. I’m just saying that kissing is a true sign of friendship. There’s nothing wrong with a light cheek kiss once in a while. We don’t have to do it in public, but when I come over to your house and the doors and drapes are closed, let’s just try it out and see how it feels. It may be awkward at first, but trust me it will make for a better and long-lasting relationship.
…And finally, bros, if you had been listening in etiquette class, you don’t ACTUALLY kiss the person on the cheek; you kiss the air. See for yourself:
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