Nothing like a big juicy kiss from a tall, dark and handsome stranger now, is there?
But this isn't about that.
What I am talking about is a kiss - not juicy, but with lip involvement - his, not mine. And it's coupled with a full body embrace, too.
Oh - and it isn't from my husband, either.
Sounds tantalizing, right?
Well, this display of affection is consistently delivered by the proprietor of a restaurant that my family and I have frequented over the years - every time I enter and exit, and every time one of our daughters enters and exits.
It's not that it's offensive, but it's kind of creepy. Why is this his routine? It's not like I'm kissing him back or nuzzling in to get closer - I'm kind of a limp stick figure - one would think he would find this dance of ours rather dissatisfying.
He's like Richard Dawson from Family Feud. Dawson seemed way more excited to get a kiss from one of his contestants than the right "Survey Says" answer. It seemed to me that the game show set-up fed right into his deep yearning to get affection any way possible.
Certainly my family doesn't have to frequent this restaurant if we don't want to, but we like it. It's one of about 5 to 10 places in our rotation, so it plays a valuable role. I don't want to make our world any smaller.
One day last week, I saw him visit table after table, kissing at least one woman from each group. He looked like Don Juan working the room.
Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy. Perhaps a kiss is his way of showing that we customers - the female ones, anyway - matter. Does it beat being taken for granted? Maybe. I'm not sure.
Other restaurant and shop owners make us feel special in different ways. One greets us with a big smile, another asks how we've been, another will immediately show me what's new and different, another one adds yummy surprises to our meal and gives us candies when we leave (she knows the way to my heart)...everyone has his or her way of showing appreciation.
My husband also thinks this guy's enthusiasm is a bit over the top, and one of our daughters suggested I tell him Thanks but No Thanks, but I'd rather do what she and I did the last time.
Since he usually hangs out near the front door, we waited until he went behind the counter, and then we made a run for it, exiting without our goodbye kisses. Call it passive aggressive, but it was effective. We at least were pleased with the outcome,
Will he get the hint?