I had not intended to publish this when it appeared on Saturday afternoon. It was a draft and I intend to continue working on it. I was working on the funky computer I traveled with, and I swear it has a life of it's own. The ending has changed. If you read it before, please read it again.
Last night I went to our usual Shabbat dinner at Robin and Steve's. I
enjoy these dinners. It's a way of connecting with the family; finding
out what's been happening all week; just being family together. There
were just the four of us; Charna was home, but Eli is back in Chicago.
This weekend they had a house guest, a rabbi who had come to visit their
synagogue. He had dinner at the synagogue and arrived at the house just
as we were cleaning up from dinner. When he was introduced to me I put
out my hand to shake his just as he was about to bend down to kiss me.
He stopped and shook my hand. I didn't think much about the whole thing
until this morning. He had tea and dessert with us; told us about some
of his experiences interviewing at various synagogues and some things
about the place he works.
As I was getting ready to leave the rabbi came over to say goodby
and kissed me; I didn't duck in time. I've been thinking about this ever since. I don't like
being kissed except by family, close friends and people I am intimate
with. At gallery openings I accept that everyone kisses everyone; I
don't like it, but it doesn't offend me. This kiss bothered me. I thought it was
the sweet old lady, grandmother type of kiss; the same kind of subtle ageism Ronni Bennett
writes about. But Robin told me he tried to kiss her too. She also managed to shake hands. So maybe it wasn't ageism; maybe I'm too sensitive; maybe rabbis from the east coast kiss everyone. I still don't like it. I think it devalues the kiss.
I understand this about the kissing thing…I don’t like it either..I love to hug, though…but my kisses are for my parents and my husband…these lips are off limits for others!
I identify with you about the kissing thing, too. I’ve been embarrassed so many times on New Years with that thing of everyone thinking they have to kiss everyone else…especially in Las Vegas! Grace, I probably wouldn’t recognize you if you walked in the door this minute, but puleeeeze don’t kiss me smack on the lips to prove how cool you are. I already know. And although I’m more inclined to hug, like Mage, even that I’d like to avoid as much as possible. I guess that makes me a cold fish.
Then there are the French who kiss everyone twice. In the air. I hug……sometimes and if I know them well. I don’t shake hands because my hands are so very fragile. If they insist, they get my left hand with an apology…awkward all around. As I think about it even more, I kiss only those really close to me. But I still hug. LOL
This kissing thing bothers the hell out of me, too. I kiss very few people and when I do, I mean it from my soul. I thought it was a New York City iciness that caused me to not like strangers getting too close too fast. In any case, the next time I see you, I will kiss you smack on the lips to prove I’m going with the flow.