17.5 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Kiss Me

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Why do we destroy what we love?

Nan Nicholson, The Channon I have been an environmental activist for over 50 years (I started when I was a...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and Beyond

A huge amount of entertainment all crammed into one space.

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Northern Star dimming under Murdoch shadow

As democracy advocates and journalists around the world did their best to acknowledge World Press Freedom Day on May 3, in regional Australia, The Northern Star was dimming.

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

On-farm restaurant’s sustainable vision

Frida’s Field is an on-farm restaurant based in Nashua, just ten minutes from Bangalow. Hosting three long lunches per...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Kiss Me

Kiss Me

I am a kisser. I love kissing. It’s a peculiar human behaviour exercised by roughly half of human societies.

I kiss hello. I kiss goodbye. I kiss friends. I kiss family. I kiss men. I kiss women. I kiss babies. I have even known to kiss strangers.

The other day I saw a bloke in the street whom I thought I knew – someone I thought I hadn’t seen in ages so I gave him the ‘so good to see you it’s been so long’ classic kiss and hug combo. That’s when you cheek-kiss followed up by a bit of a cuddle, held for a couple of seconds.

He was into it. He even went for a little groin gyration. As I pulled away I realised that he wasn’t who I thought he was. I realised he was a random dude who looked like someone I know. I actually didn’t know him.

He knew me though. He said ‘Wow, Mandy Nolan, you are so friendly’. I blushed and then ran to my car where I experienced mistaken-greeting shame. I never know how to greet people. Too effusive and you’re accused of being too intense, and if you are too reserved you look repressed. You always know when you’ve kissed someone who isn’t a kisser because they freeze up. They don’t like being touched, let alone kissed, but they haven’t worked out yet how to perfect a lip dodge. You realise this when you are about to land your lips and the receiver has gone to wood. You can’t pull out. Once the lips make their journey through space you have to land on cheek or lip.

One woman pulled herself so violently away from me one time that I kissed her on the top of the head. In her attempt to avoid contact with me she ended up with a much more intimate and maternal encounter than what she would have received if she’d just given me her cheek.

I think kissing people as a greeting is lovely. Unless it’s the Queen. You’re totally not allowed to kiss her. Paul Keating put his hand on her back and Michelle Obama hugged her. It was against protocol but I bet she loved it.

The Queen must exist in constant touch deficit. If I met her I’d kiss her. On the cheek though. I’m a one-kiss person. I can’t bear people coming back from six weeks in Europe and suddenly going in for two. If you’re European and the two-kiss is your thing, I’ll go with it. Some people go the three-kiss. That’s like a volley in tennis. I never know when to stop rotating my head. Last time someone kissed me three times, I went four. They got the joke so they kissed me again. By the time I stopped returning service I’d hit about 21 kisses. I finished it up, however, by an unexpected Ace. Bang on the lips. With tongue.

I am never sure of the kiss etiquette. Whom do you kiss? At what event? Do you kiss hello at business meetings? Outside court? Or just private functions?

Until I read the story on Leigh Sales speaking out about a businessman at a charity lip-kissing her as being inappropriate I didn’t realise I’d been out of line.

I don’t kiss everyone on the lips – but if you approach me face first without offering the cheek I assume that you want to take it on the mouth. I won’t put the tongue in. I won’t mash my face into yours, but I will brush lips.

I understand Leigh’s discomfort, though. The gentleman in question had offered a cheek and then as she was about to kiss it he pulled back to the mouth. That’s an old joke. I did it to my mum once and it was really weird. She looked at me a bit like Leigh Sales looked at that bloke.

I saw someone do it on a movie and I thought how funny it would be to pull on someone. Mum was probably a dumb choice. That was so funny in the movie I watched, not so funny when your mum thinks you’re about to snog her. I creeped myself out.

The problem with the greeting kiss I think is that it is gendered. Rather than taking a ‘no social kiss’ policy I think we need to encourage everyone to kiss hello. Especially cis men. Aussie men need to greet each other with a kiss. Lip or cheek, it’s up to them.

I’d love to see Dave and Robbo meet up at the pub after work, both in their high vis, cheek-kissing hello before their first beer. Then Dave turns his head suddenly and kisses Robbo full on the lips. Robbo slaps Dave on the back. ‘Got me there, mate! My shout!’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.