This poem was written about this habit we have aquired of air kissing when greeting people. It may well be healthier and less germ ridden than hand shaking (here’s the social etiquette for those who aren’t sure)
Liz Brewer, a social etiquette expert on ITV’s Ladette to Lady, says a single air kiss next to a friend’s cheek was the most acceptable for the British: “It is important to go for the right cheek, as that way you are greeting each other heart to heart… If you go for the other cheek it is less friendly.”
She says the air kiss is best for people you don’t know well as there’s no contact – but for the very confident there is the two-cheek option.
It’s the false sentiment behind this air kissing that I have a problem with – and it’s that’s which inspired this poem.
Kissing the Air
Complacency props up this world
As effortlessly it sighs.
Disguised concern yawns unfurled
Underneath the lies.
Life’s an overstuffed easy chair,
An affectation beyond compare,
A big pretend of love and care –
Kissing the air.
Sophistication puffs us up
And fills our sails with wind.
Our stiff yet honest awkwardness
Flies loosened and unpinned.
Mouthing platitudes we don’t share,
Twisting our smiles whilst feeling despair,
Blinded by duplicitous glare –
Kissing the air.
One cheek or two? we start to fret
As we approach our prey.
Caught in this mindless etiquette
In which we have to play.
Meaningless words which go nowhere,
Playing our game of solitaire,
United by the guilt we share –
Kissing the air!
©L M Roberts 2011
4 thoughts on “Poem: Kissing the air”
I refuse to kiss the air. I may not kiss you on the lips, but there’s gonna be lip contact somewhere.
My immune system is strong because I don’t worry about inconsequential germs and dirt like some do.
Thanks Eric! Check out the updated version of this poem (above) was working on two drafts and published the wrong one doh!
Yeah its silly isnt it – whats wrong with an old fashioned honest handshake (apart from germs lol)
“It is important to go for the right cheek…” Hmm… as opposed to the left one, or the wrong one(s). lol Love your poem, L. I don’t see much air kissing in The States—a good thing IMO. It drives me nuts just knowing it exists.
Oh theres lots of it about around here now – just air (no cheek :)) Glad you liked the poem Adam – appreciateed! Another challenge coming soon 🙂