I know what images are dancing around in your head.  Young Hollywood starlets, “Want-to-be-Famous-for-Nothings”, The Red Carpet.  While the rise of American celebrity continues to plague us with ridiculous demonstrations of artificial behaviors, it is the air kiss that holds genuine promise for sincerity if executed properly.

Although it might be assumed that this cultural phenomenon originated in Hollywood, its inception actually dates back more than a century ago from countries far, far away.  It is hard to pinpoint the exact location but it’s safe to claim that air kissing was not invented by the Housewives of Orange County.  These gals may only take claim to re-imaging the air kiss into a disingenuous and hollow greeting.

Let’s begin our lesson with the Five W’s: Who, What, Where, When and Why.

Who:  Only people you know.  Don’t attempt this move on strangers.  Don’t attempt this move on your closest kin.  The air kiss is reserved for the community of peeps that fall into the “I know you and mostly like you but haven’t seen you in a coon’s age”.

What:  A sincere acknowledgement that you are delighted to see the person again.  Actually,  you don’t have to be delighted to meet their acquaintance again, just don’t be depressed to see them again.

Where:  Essentially anywhere but this move is usually demonstrated in public.  I just know there is a joke in here somewhere.

When:  Upon greeting or departure in a social setting.

Why:  Because a handshake would be too formal and a lip lock too intimate.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s tackle the How-To’s.  Successfully accomplishing the air kiss with social flair requires you execute three easy steps:

  1. Enthusiastically greet the person by their name.  If it’s actually been a coon’s age since you’ve seen them and you’ve forgotten their name, “It’s so good to see you” will do.
  2. Gently and loosely grasp your victim’s arm and lean in towards their right facial cheek.  Executing this move with a broad smile is best.
  3. Move your right facial cheek towards their right facial cheek (facial cheeks may touch), purse your lips and smack the air.  Sound effects are optional.

A word of caution:  You will need to quickly assess the situation for appropriateness.  To test this cautionary hint, I recently conducted a scientific field test.

While attending a wedding last weekend, I was thrilled when I saw many familiar faces who I hadn’t seen in years (a coon’s age).  I was also thrilled that I was provided with a timely opportunity to employ and test my methodology.  These former close friends and acquaintances consisted of both men and women in assorted age categories.  Four subjects were tested and the following results were tabulated:

Subject #1:  Female – Age: 23:

Only test subject to utilize sound effect “Mwah Mwah” upon execution.  She was clearly familiar with the greeting type and in fact, appeared excited to demonstrate her prowess.  While executed perfectly, test subject’s age illustrated her familiarity with “Sex and the City”.  Genuineness of greeting is in question.

Subject #2: Male – Age 26

  Test subject initially appeared confused and uncomfortable by my air kiss attempt.  He rapidly gained his composure and indulged my earnest address.  I believe this became a teaching moment albeit a little “Mrs. Robinson”.

Subject #3: Female – Age 44

Test subject comfortably reciprocated and clearly understood the air kiss by demonstrating a flawlessly returned greeting.  No sound effects were detected.

Subject #4: Male – Age 60

My air kiss attempted greeting resulted in confusion and a kiss on the lips.  I assumed this test subject was confused by the exchange style however; it may have been his reputation and alcohol consumption that I miscalculated.  I did look fine after all.

RECOMMENDATIONS: This type of greeting is not for everyone.  You will need to size up the situation on the fly and make an instant judgement call.  If in doubt, fall back to the more traditional acknowledgement of a handshake or a loose, carefree hug with a pat on the shoulder.

I wish to thank all of my test subjects for their sacrificial contributions (except for Test Subject #4).  Your names will be held in confidence and will not be released to the public (except Test Subject #4)   It is my duty to forewarn other fine looking ladies of lechery.

Dare to smooch the air my friends.

K. Martini