The Kiss that isn’t. Saint Valentine’s Day’s Thoughts.
A Point of View © 1996
It is not often that Saint Valentine’s celebrations stimulate my point of view, I don’t write romantic stories, but occasionally they do. This is one of them.
Humans have a natural tendency to kiss each other. I am not an expert on the subject, but I have the uneducated impression that it is a habit we develop when we are breastfed by our mothers right after we are born.
There are many kiss versions of which I am aware. There is the kiss of passion between lovers and the kiss of friendship between, well, friends. I am not dealing here with the passion version. This is not an adult-oriented article or column. To me, the use of written language by humans should be pure and clean. Otherwise, we would not be different from our monkey ancestors. I pick fruits that fall from the trees, I don’t drop them from the branches. I want to concentrate on the friendship version.
Different countries and cultures kiss differently in many situations as well, and the genders of the kissers have nothing to do with it.
It is not unusual to contemplate grown men wearing Arab garbs kissing other men out of respect or camaraderie. It is in their tradition. Women of all cultures kiss each other often and many giggle at the same time as well. In Spain, it is customary to kiss your friends on both cheeks when you meet, once is not enough. Not to kiss each other in that form is considered unfriendly. Watching our two recently elected presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden kiss each other’s cheeks would not be surprising, it would be cataclysmic.
But there is another new way to kiss that puzzles me. The versions described in the previous paragraph are familiar to everyone dealing with those situations. The one I am talking about is what I would call the contactless version. And I am not sure if we have the pandemic to thank for its appearance in the kissing world.
In this type of kiss, you approach the cheek of your intended target and when you are getting close to them you stop and simply say “Mua,” yes, “Mua.”
What you are actually doing is blowing a kiss in the air. You can do it on one cheek or the two cheeks but having said “Mua” tells the other party that you are not getting any closer and will drive each other apart without actually touching flesh.
I have to be honest with you. I never intended to “Mua” a friend in my life, I was actually “Muad” first. It surprised me and I wasn’t sure about what we had done and why. It sounded like some kind of food if you ask me. Was that actually a kiss or a blow in the air? What did it mean? Was someone making fun of me? Is this the safe way to kiss a senior citizen? After that first experience, I wasn’t sure what to do to my next friend, kiss her or “Mua” her. What should I expect?
I suppose watching two Arab men saying “Mua” to each other in the middle of a public street does not look respectable. And listening to a couple of Spaniards “Mua” each other on both cheeks is noisy stuff. Are they getting ready to fight the bulls or acknowledge each other? Please let me know when you find out. Spouses may get offended if someone tried to kiss their consorts, but an innocent Mua? Not in my book.
For now, I will continue to be careful with my kissing. I will let the other party decide if we will use the old system we learned when we were babies or the new one. They both mean the same. I expect the next edition of the Webster’s Dictionary to come with a new entry: “Mua”. And explain its meaning… if they can.
As for you my readers today, have a Happy Saint Valentine’s Day.
And this is my Point of View Today. And So long. Mua.