*Kiss Kiss*
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.


Brad and Becks said...

Yeah...Brad and I are laughing out loud.... that was a great post. looks like i am the first to read!! YES! By the way- we just finished the Red Sox game!!!!!! GO SOX!!!!! I actually watched the WHOLE thing....and ENJOYED IT!

Michemily said...

Ha ha ha! I accidentally turned my head too fast once! The first time I encountered the kiss-kiss thing, I thought it was supposed to be a real kiss on the cheek, not just kind of in the air . . . unless that's what you're talking about, that was embarrassing. Here in Leipzig, they shake hands until they get to know you, and then they shake your hand and pull you in for a hug against the other shoulder. Sometimes they press faces too. Awkward when I keep going to the wrong shoulder . . .

Grandma said...

sending a long distance kiss-kiss to you...but on the same cheek, but I can because you're my kid!! xo xo

Grandma said...


Grandma said...


jahowie said...

LOL!!! I know a lot of "snobby" people, but they don't go around kissing each other. Some people are so self important that they actually think that you should be honored to accept their lips on your face!! Gross!!

Anonymous said...

I think that's how the Desperate Housewives got started.


Jess said...

Goodness, thankfully all of my friends are allergic to any kind of physical contact with one another. Even a hug can get a little awkward in our group.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Thanks for this--I would not have guessed that European-style kissing is taking over Texas neighborhoods!

I come from a non-kissy, non-huggy family, so as an adult I'm always a little awkward, even with just a hug.

But now people are starting to add the kissy thing--and some of our friends even do it on the lips. I'm never prepared and always end up feeling stiff and weird.

I'd be fine with Hiya and a big grin, but suppose I can get used to it, just as long as I know it's coming. It's the guessing that makes it even worse.

Busy Little Bee said...

Oh, oh wow. Talk about awkward. But hey, a little ear-smooch from an attractive Latino man could never hurt! :)

Luckily the group I'm in thinks "hello" and "good-bye" with a little hand wave is sufficient.

P.O.M. said...

Oh sheesh. Maybe you can have a shirt made that says "No kisses please" and wear it to the next partayyyyyy. There is really no need for the smoochie smoochie or close-face action with anyone non-related. Crap, I can't even stand it when the realives get in too close. STEP BACK PEOPLE~!

Catherine M. said...

huh? I love kiss kiss! It always makes me a little excited and less normal and boring. I've been a bit slobbered on by older drunk men at my parent's parties... exciting huh?

I was introduced to this greeting Sophomore year of HS. My drama teacher gave me a full on kiss on the lips as I turned my head. For some reason he lingered a moment. That was surely not normal or boring.

Alberto Tomba, the Olympian skiier, gave me the kiss kiss after I fetched his keys out of a grate in Park City. Then he gave me the address of his hotel and the room number... Oh, he gave me a signed and kissed picture too. I felt pretty not normal or boring.

The allure comes after you accept the creepiness as a fresh shift from the desired.

I want to be your side-kick.

Anonymous said...

I live in Dallas and have never experienced this faux-French Dallasite kiss-kiss. Of course I also live in a house that has bars on its windows. You are more worried that your neighbor walking up to you will inform you "the police have been called" then that he will kiss you.