Cheek Kissing (was Re: [LMB] Touching)

The Woman With No Name incognita at
Tue, 11 Nov 2003 07:11:23 -0800

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 17:04:04 -0800, "Mitch Miller"
<mitchmiller at> said:
> Be careful when you come to L.A., then.  The accepted method of greeting
> by people in the entertainment industry (and who in LA doesn't think he
> or she either is or will soon be in the entertainment industry?) is a
> two-handed shake w/kiss on the cheek.  Actually, now it's a kiss on each
> cheek, if you're more familiar with the other person than having waved to
> her assistant's sister's cousin across the room at a party.  You can,
> however, get away with air kisses.  Be prepared.

I hit on a variant of this when I spent a semester in France.  In some
circles, you do the hug and one kiss on each cheek (totaling two), in
some you repeat it for a total of four.  I was used to it enough to quell
my American-instinct flinches, but I once ran into a boy who saw me pause
at two, trying to guess if /he/ was a two or four person, and he asked,
with all cultural sensitivity "Ah, in America, is it only two kisses?"

At which point I had to explain that in America, barring certain
subcultures, it's none, and even the hug is pretty iffy - safer to start
with a handshake and watch the other person for the hug-initiating lean.

Americans, as a very wide generalization, really like their peronal
  The Woman With No Name
  incognita at

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