August 13, 2010

Guest Blog: Kisses

This is a guest blog from Mysterious Tony. He recently left Portland and all its glories to live in his brother's place in Brooklyn and get drunk every morning. I asked him what he missed about Portland. This apparently inspired a rant on the thing he despises most about NYC. This Seinfield clip sums it up.

Meeting new people isn’t easy. And I hate it. There’s on-the-spot facial memorization, impromptu topic conversation, and becoming acutely aware of pastry crumbs nestled in my beard, teeth and clothing, which must then be promptly removed. I usually fail two of these three tasks, and my only success is due to the constant examination of my visage to make sure I do not yet have a double chin. On the rare occasion that I successfully pass all three, I would normally immediately leave the situation and go home satisfied with my social prowess. That worked quite well in Portland, especially as an excuse for a self-congratulating fourth meal; some poutine, machaca burrito, or other fine delicacy from Cart-World on Hawthorne.* However, here in NYC, I don’t have a home to go to, and I am continually thrust into new conversations far too often for my liking.

To my dismay, this has become more problematic in recent weeks. Despite my low success rate, I have accumulated enough acquaintances to encounter the second greeting. In NYC, once the the first meeting has been bridged, additional meetings provide the opportunity to kiss on the cheek. THIS IS NOT OK WITH ME. The first time it happened, I was so taken aback I gasped audibly, and the kiss-giver asked if I might be choking on something. The second time, I ducked and she ended up kissing my forehead like she was my mother sending me off to kindergarten. This was becoming a problem I could not ignore. Strangers whose names I cannot remember are running around with a license to touch their lips to my face, and this bothers me so much that I have concluded that I am pretty much a prude. As a male, I'm quite disappointed to realize this, but I suppose there are worse things to discover, like bed bugs or your bicycle stolen.

Sadly, it looks like at least one of those things is becoming endemic to Portland. First it was headbands, now it's the bedbugs. It is only a matter of time until my beloved Portland becomes overrun with kiss-hellos from NYC and I am powerless to stop it. I guess it is time to just let the double chin grow in and leave the pastry crumbs on my face to deter the kissing. Besides, let’s face it: there was a pretty good chance I’d never be kissed again anyways.

* Editor's Note: Mysterious Tony lived dangerously close to Cart-World when he was still a Portlander. Now he is in city limbo.


Rachel Wrong said...

I have to admit, I'm not anti-kissing. It's so European. Or something.

Tony said...

You've already been infected by NYC then.

Kyle said...

Damn when I was in New York for a week last November no one I met gave me a cheek-kiss. I must have had crumbs in my beard or even soup.

Heidi said...

I love the kiss greet. I think it's sophisticated. Just like my dream world vision of my self..

kisses tony!!

Shiny Things and Cake said...

OMG! So awkward. It's always the kiss hello here in Sydney, and it gets even more awkward because all of a sudden you are at the third meeting and then its a kiss/hug thing and you are kissing/hugging a boy in front of his girlfriend! Seriously. As if my social anxiety as an American in Australia weren't enough.