Have you ever?

Have you ever thought about the tradition we humans have for kissing one another on the lips?  Think about it.

Here in America, we often brush lips when we want to express emotions of a romantic nature.  We also brush lips when we say hello or good-bye, although it’s usually family or close friends that are involved in this type of kissing exchange.  Some people are exposed to more lip kissing than others.  For instance, wedding photographers see more than the average amount of lip kissing, I would guess.  Airport gate attendants probably see more lip kissing than most.  I’m guessing jewelry store salesmen and saleswomen see their fair share of lip kissing, and I’m betting pastors do too. 

I’m a hugger, myself, although I’ve been known to lip kiss.  For me, a good hug goes a long way, while kissing is brief, dispassionate (unless it’s of the romantic variety), and definitely not something I want to do with everyone I might like to hug, for whatever reason. 

Lip kissing is such an odd thing to do when you think about what is really involved.  And lips are such odd members of the body.  I’m not sure how this tradition of lip kissing was formed, but I wonder…have you ever wondered…how it is that a lip kiss means more than a handshake, but less than a wink?  Who negotiated the deal?  The whole business of lip kissing is strange, I think, when you consider what’s happening and why. 

I know non-verbal languages are pretty common place in our world.  Grunts signify disgust, annoyance, even pain.  Sighs, well, sighs can mean anything from I’m bored to I’m very unhappy with how long this is taking.  Whistles are for attention getting, both by juvenile men and damsels in distress that more than anything need to get a cab to 34th street before the rains coming crashing down.  Ticks signify anything from anxiety to anger, with a hundred subtle nuances existing between the two. 

I’ve been looking at a lot of wedding pictures lately-it’s the season, you know-and the more I observe this ritual of lip kissing, the more I’m thinking, yeah, that’s weird.  

Maybe some day we will evolve past the point of touching lips with others to express ourselves; I don’t know.  But in the meantime, I think I’ll try some finger nail flicking to communicate with those I care about.  That’s right, Bob, these long fingernails are headed your way.  Should that fail to impress, however, I’m always in the mood for a life affirming hug.  ;^)


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