As the years pass on by, I’m still often surprised by how much I have to learn about myself.
It’s almost like I’m some type of human onion with layers that are slowly being peeled back to reveal who I truly am after decades of being on this earth. What’s that all about? Some of this information would have been helpful much earlier than middle age, don’t you think?
For me, I recently had an epiphany that while I like sex as much as the next red-blooded, horny Scorpio, I actually don’t really care for relationships much at all. This is perhaps why I’ve always been crap at them for my entire life – what a big waste of energy. But that’s a blog for another time because I’m still trying to get my head around that fairly important observation about myself.
What’s almost as important is a moment of personality transparency that occurred a few months back and one which I’ve been “researching” via asking my friends about it every since.
Here’s the thing: when I was visiting my dad and step-mum back in the homeland before Christmas, one night the topic turned into a discussion about how affectionate our family is. You know, we’re the huggy, kissy type who probably touch people (not in a sexy way) too often, too, I said to them both. We even kiss everyone on the lips, I exclaimed.
Then, my parents told me something about myself that I never knew before. Well, they said, it’s not a family thing. It’s a “you thing”. A you thing, what do you mean by that, I asked? It’s you, you’re the one who kisses everyone on the lips and we in turn have learned how to kiss you back that way, they told me.
I sat there in silence and may have had a swig of beer to take it all in.
So, you’re telling me, I said, that I go around and kiss all and sundry fair on the lips and generally, what, just get away with it?
Yes, they said.
Shit, I said.
How long has this been happening, I asked?
Forever, they said.
Shit, I said.
And that, my friends, was the moment when I learned that I am a lip kiss thief.
Until then, I’d just presumed that my family was overly familiar and that I’d surrounded myself with friends who also liked a bit of “kiss on the lips” action every time we saw each other.
On my return to Australia a few weeks later, not truly believing this overly affectionate revelation about myself, I tested this information with two of my best friends.
Now this part is important because I have many female and male friends. Some of these male friends are my female friend’s husbands and we’ve been having a big of a hello “friendship snog” for years and no one seemed perturbed by it at all. I just presumed that’s how my tribe greeted each other.
So, when I posed the question to my friends – who are wife and husband – that my parents had just informed me that I’m a lip kiss stealer, the bloody (but lovely) bastards agreed with their assessment.
What are you saying, I asked?
That you go for the lips every time and we don’t really have time to out-manoeuvre you, they said.
Shit, I said.
How long has this been going on, I asked?
For decades, they said.
Shit, I said.
My friend, let’s call him Blair because that is his name, said he’s not a lip kisser much at all (apart from with his awesome wife) so my over-the-top kissy greetings had been a bit of a struggle in the beginning of our friendship. Now, he intimated, he just knew that I’d go for the lips every time and he’d made a kind of peace with it.
When I saw them yesterday, in jest, he actually turned his cheek at the last moment so I just sat there with my lips pursed and waited for him to say hello “properly”. Then I said, I must write about this – and so I am.
Since this disclosure, I’ve talked about my “kiss issue” with a few more friends, who’ve all agreed, plus I’ve tried to be better at assessing whether a lip kiss is appropriate or not. Although, let me be clear, I don’t kiss professional contacts, well, until they become friends and then it’s lip action all the way.
Lord know what this says about me. Perhaps, my statement at the start of this blog about not being good at relationships means that I’m starved of affection so I just go around planting platonic kisses on anyone who I’m close to – and for all these years they’ve let me.
I’m hoping that means that there’s really no problem with me being a lip kiss thief and I don’t have to do something radical like change my behaviour because I fear it’s far too late, and much too entrenched, for that.
Plus, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.