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Mary Kenny

Why I'll be glad to kiss the social peck goodbye

Mary Kenny


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Greeting: there are times when you’re not sure if a cheek kiss is expected or not

Greeting: there are times when you’re not sure if a cheek kiss is expected or not

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Greeting: there are times when you’re not sure if a cheek kiss is expected or not

Were you brought up to kiss, hug and embrace those you only knew quite slightly? Most people, I think, used to be quite reticent on this score. The kiss and the cuddle might be a family thing - although even among families, not all were kissy-huggy - but the "social kiss" wasn't a common feature of society here.

That's the 'mwah! mwah!' cheek kiss exchanged by the ladies who lunch and just about everyone else in recent years. Unsure of whether one or two kisses were expected, a decade or so ago I consulted a London etiquette expert, asking which was socially correct. "Two in London, one in the country," she ruled, firmly.


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