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The politics of email and text kissing

Yesterday, distracted as ever, I signed off an email to someone I’ve never met with three kisses. Whoosh, off it zoomed into the cyber-yonder and I howled inwardly. And it was to a man. And he was very formal and jobsworthy in tone.

So, in this age where you can’t have survive an introduction without being hugged half to death and kissed one, two or three times (oh, for the beautiful distance of an old-fashioned handshake), when do you do kisses on email and text? Too soon is embarrassing, too late feels chilly and withholding.

Being the first person to send a kiss is like a microcosmic version of being the first person to say ‘I love you.’ Brave. Reckless. And if you don’t get one back, the mortification is real. The worst, of course, is when kisses evaporate; when people who have always sent kisses suddenly cease and desist? Have I shot down in their esteem? Have they heard something? Do they hate me? Seeing as half my life is spent wondering what I’ve done wrong, any change of kiss-terms will be noted and chewed on.

And I have a friend who firmly believes that one text kiss is unacceptable. He is a rather politically incorrect man who says that one kiss is homogenous and disrespectful and that affection must be transmitted via no less that two kisses at the end of every text. Now, he’s my kind of guy.

The verdict this end is that a text or email kiss costs nothing. There is no invasion of personal space. It’s just a single letter. A lone character. That makes us feel less alone. But not straight away. They must be lightly earned. And then they can never be retracted. xx

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