Thursday, April 19th, 2012

How Not to Kiss in Paris

"In kissing, some people were ripe, others were not. Whole groups could be off-limits. It definitely wasn't appropriate to kiss your boss, except when it was, though it was correct to kiss your underlings, except when it wasn't. Young men generally didn't kiss other young men, unless they were friends outside work. But older men did, sometimes. You never knew. Also, these kisses were intended not to touch the cheek but to glance it. People kept their eyes locked on the middle distance and seemed, while kissing or being kissed, very bored. Honestly, I had no idea how it worked. September found me frequently biseing inappropriately. Male clients, IT support workers, freelance temps. Any female who came within ten feet. They'd return my weird kisses reluctantly, or else back away and attempt to ignore the gaffe. I asked Pierre how he knew whom to kiss, whom not. Pierre said there was no way of knowing this unless you'd grown up in France, then you just knew. He himself preferred to shake hands. André overheard Pierre saying this and suggested, in that case, Pierre should move 'the fuck' back to New York."
Do you dream of moving to Paris? Think again. (An excerpt from Rosecrans Baldwin's Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down.)

12 Comments / Post A Comment

jfruh (#713)
lbf (#2,343)

@jfruh I've wanted that shirt forever, and I LIVE THERE (slash here). Got vetoed by my wife.

lbf (#2,343)

(also, i totally did not have to click on that link to know what it was, p4sc rocks)

The nightmare of the Lacoste shirt with a popped-collar blazer is endemic in Spain as well. Any time you get shit from a European for being a no-culture American, just fold down their collar, poke them in the little alligator, and whisper in their ear, "Howzabaout that Eurovision song festival?". Then kiss them on both cheeks. As well as their face.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@SarahHeartburn: I'll happily tolerate popped collars and Eurovision if I also get single-payer health care, eight weeks of paid vacation and wine with every meal.

City_Dater (#2,500)


I would ENTER the Eurovision song festival for those things. Every year, if necessary.

@ejcsanfran Well, they're quickly dismantling our social services here in Spain, and unless Nicky loses, good luck with France.

deepomega (#1,720)

@ejcsanfran I'd rather die alone, unmourned, with incredible debt from end of life care, than have to act like Eurovision isn't the tackiest shittiest thing in the universe.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@deepomega: Presumably, if you are American, you'll get your wish!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@SarahHeartburn "poke them in the little alligator"

With a drone or a missile, or just a finger?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

You kiss every woman, and you kiss men you are close to and haven't seen in a while or if it's a special occasion of some sort (unless you are a woman, obviously, in which case you just kiss everyone all the time).

As for work: just get a low level, low stress job where it doesn't matter. It's not like it will make a big difference financially. People who want to make money move to US.

josh_speed (#97)

You know, I live in Montreal and we do the bizous thing to a lesser extent. So I will spill the haricots verts: it's not codified, it's not complex, people just do it because they're tired and hung-over and it's endearing–depending on whom you are kissing, I guess.

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