October 21, 2007
We live in a total *kiss kiss* kind of neighborhood.
Allow me to elaborate.
Dallas and its commuter towns are largely comprised of subdivisions, with zillions of houses that all look remarkably similar. Sure someone might put an extra arch above their garage to outdo their friendly neighbor, or maybe they'll paint their shutters a richer shade of taupe, but that's truly the extent of originality. Row after row, house after house, brick after brick, they all look the same.
I can't lie, it completely creeps me out.
However, amidst the extensive cookie cutter-ness that we call the DFW Metroplex, there are a handful of secret little neighborhoods that defy these odds and simply ooze with charm. And somehow, by a very random stroke of luck, we happen to live in one. Our neighborhood boasts tree lined streets, mini tudor style cottages with original stained glass windows, its very own Montessori school, and super strict regulations to keep it all in tact.
The people who call this neighborhood home, are equally interesting. They tend to be young professionals, in the early stages of eventual high-powered careers, who wouldn't have a clue what to do without their cleaning ladies. They have book clubs, supper clubs, and wine & cheese play groups. Their houses are eclectically, but impeccably decorated--usually featuring a number of accessories from Pottery Barn, an item or two from their honeymoon in Buenos Ares, and a few assorted artifacts from a semester study-abroad program in Italy.
The quirk that makes these people especially unique is the way they like to greet one another. It's always with the *kiss kiss*. You know--kiss the right cheek, kiss the left, and end the ritual with an especially goofy kind of smile. Much like Cameron and Justin pictured above.
In this neck of the woods, the *kiss kiss* seems to be appropriate for all types of encounters:
At the soccer game:
*Kiss Kiss* Jimmy's cleats are ADORABLE. I can't believe you found them for only fifty-four dollars! What a bargain hunter you are, Stephi!
At the health-food grocery store:
*Kiss Kiss* You're kidding me! Organic mangoes are on sale this week?! They look WONDERFUL! So glad I ran into you, Todd.
And at the birthday party:
*Kiss Kiss* Thanks so much for inviting us! Here's a developmentally appropriate wooden toy for little Matthew, and a bottle of chardonnay for the hostess extraordinaire!
I love these people with all my heart, but damn, I just can't get used to their European inspired greeting style. I'm used to kissing my family members around the holidays, but come now, am I really supposed to plant one on another unshowered mother at the park? Gosh y'all, in my apartment complex (which happens to be the eyesore of the neighborhood) we're more likely to greet each other with the good old-fashioned armpit fart.
We're like, What's up? *fart/flap fart/flap*
Works for us.
On Saturday, James and I attended one of these birthday parties. It was cute, very neighborhood appropriate--fresh fruit for the children, fancy dips for the parents, and lots of *kiss kiss* greeting among the adults.
Oh, and before I forget, there was a birthday cake from Whole Foods. It was supposed to feature Curious George, but the graphic turned out more like a giant ape, with tats, swinging from a vine. Seriously guys, George had a rockin' set of taa-taas. I was like, "Ummmm, could someone go ahead and draw a little organic frosting t-shirt on our monkey friend?" Unfortunately, no one was willing.
Anywho, I digress.
On our way out, I thanked the host of the party, who happens to be the father of the little boy I babysit--in other words, my boss. And apparently, unbeknownst to me, the *kiss kiss* is also used for departures. I was like, "Bye Carlos, thanks for the snacks." And before I knew it, he was reeling me in.
Of course, being the righteous, married woman that I am, I was thrown off. "Why," I thought, "is this strappingly handsome hispanic boss of mine putting his face uncomfortably close to my own?" I had prepared myself for the *kiss kiss* greeting, but I wasn't expecting it again so soon. So, in a strange moment of self defense, I turned my head to the left.
And that's when my boss kissed me. Right in the ear.
Talk about thrown off. The ear kiss is a little risque, don't ya think? I really didn't know how to react, so I said, "Wow Carlos, that was really exotic. Thanks."
And then we ran home...back to our apartment complex...right where we belong.