Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Keep Your Lips to Yourself

UGH! I had a different post planned for this morning, but while I was eating breakfast, a special report broke into the Today Show to announce President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. I didn't bother hopping up to change the channel (because I'm lazy that way) and so I watched. President Obama did a nice introduction of Ms. Sotomayor and then turned to let her take the podium. He shook her hand. . .and then kissed her. Ugh!

That just drives me crazy and this goes back to the presidential elections when Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin was introduced or greeted by a man. They shook hands. . .and then they were kissed. On the cheek, of course, but I can't stand this.

It's not that I'm a crazy feminist--I enjoy having doors opened for me. It's not that I'm anti-kissing--I got used to this kiss greeting long ago with all of Eamonn's friends and family. In England, and most European countries, it's very common to greet a woman friend/family member or even a new acquaintance with a kiss on the cheek along with a handshake. A friend of ours who is French actually does four kisses, back and forth, on the cheek (he says at large family events they barely get through the greetings before the party is over). So I have no problem with the kiss greeting IN A SOCIAL SETTING.

But presidential and vice presidential debates? No. Political rallies? No, again. Introducing a highly regarded judge as a nominee to our nation's highest court? Sorry, no.

Did Barack Obama and John McCain kiss before their debates? Um, no. Do President Obama and VP Biden smooch when they pass in the halls of the White House? I'm guessing not. Biden and Palin upon meeting? Yes. Clinton and Obama? Yes, again.

What's the difference here? They do it when a woman is in the picture. And maybe they're just trying to be chivalrous or courteous or something, but stop it. It's not appropriate. This is not a social setting, it is the international political stage. If Joe and Sarah are meeting for drink, smooch away. Political debate? Keep your lips to yourself, thank you very much.


Beth said...

I'm with you on this. I didn't see the announcement (heard it on the radio), but I think I'd rather see a High-5!!

1dreamr said...

I agree!! I've always thought the same thing -- man, woman, or purple-haired martian...what difference does it make??! No kissing!!

Marci said...

Oh well you would hate living here in Mexico City--I kiss everyone (just once on the cheek)..I am sure Chris is sure I am having an affair with our car salesman after all the kissing we have done!

Kristie said...

Hmmm. I never thought of it that way, but you are exactly right. Personally, I hate the cheek-kiss greeting. The one time I tried it I leaned in, lost my balance, and practically broke the guys nose. Clearly, a handshake works best for me.

M said...

We have an aquaintance from my son's basketball and I call the man the "kissing bandit." He always kisses the ladies...I try to get away with a "hello" and run away...but it usually doesn't work! I am not much on kissing people I don't know....or for watching dignitaries kiss.

Robin said...

I didn't see it happen, and might not have even caught, since kissing is so ubiquitous, but you are so right! Imagine if Hillary had won the presidency-- would every cabinet meeting begin with rounds of kisses? Even in Europe I don't think they do this at that level, except maybe purely social affairs.

Robin said...

PS to Beth-- maybe that knuckle-bump thing?