Thursday, October 30, 2014

Observing the young men and their manners

As most gay men of my age would do, we watch younger straight men. Is there something a bit gay about this one? How nice could this guy look if he only did his hair a bit better. You can do sexy sagging of jeans but you can also do the silly sagging.

I was amused to watch a young man running for a tram, well more jogging. What really amused me is the young man jog to catch a tram is no faster than walking, but it looks like he is making an effort. Having noticed this once, I kept up my observations. It is quite true. Young men make an effort to speed up by jogging, but go no faster than walking.

A quite handsome lad left the tram. His mate stepped forward from near where I was sitting at the tram stop to greet him. They did this hand slap thing that I don't have a clue about and then did a man hug, which from what I observed is like an air kiss. They did not really touch each other when they hugged.  They were trendy young straight men, and after observing them, I feel terribly terribly old and out of touch.

Somewhat reminds me of when we last saw Oldest Niece at my birthday lunch. She neither greeted me nor wished me happy birthday, but I was very pleased she, her partner and Little M came.

We saw them off at Tradie Brother's place. I am inclined to do the dutiful kiss of the cheek, that I had to do with great aunts and grandparents when I was a kid and now at times do with Mother. Oldest Niece seemed to reject the dutiful kiss and go for a quite strong and embracing hug goodbye.

My first straight man hug was from R's brother in law's sister's husband. I got it so wrong and felt embarrassed afterwards. There was no need to press cheek on cheek. I didn't really know what was happening.

Kiss on the lips or on the cheek? Hug or not and how tightly? High five or hand slap?

Right, here is what I feel comfortable doing. Men don't hug. They shake hands. If you make an effort to dominate with a hand shake, I won't like you but your grip should be firm. I simply do not like limp wristed, weak handshakes.

Women, a soft handshake on meeting, which is like fingers touching and not a firm man handshake. On departure, maybe a cheek kiss. If I kind of know you already, we go straight for the cheek kiss on meeting.

It is all so complex now. It used to be so simple. I feel so old. I would love to know how you similarly aged people deal with all this. River, do you kiss your children when you see them? Victor, how do you greet your friends? I could ask more of you by name, but the list would be long. Feel free to speak up regardless.

Alas, I am just too old to be a modern young hipster and know about all these things. Here is a gratuitous photo of hipster and Melbourne comedian and actor Ash Williams.

28 comments:

  1. The cheek to cheek thing sometimes confuses me. One cheek or two?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes Victor, the Euro kiss or cheek to cheek. There is absolutely no way of knowing whether to do both sides or not.

      Delete
  2. Andrew, all depends on culture and personality. In my place cheek to cheek is sometimes uncomfortable situation ii doesn't matter between men or women is not good for me. Hand shake in each situation is Acceptable.So it doesn't depend on your age but some people like your niece don't have basis rules of behaviour .. What a shame but true..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting Gosia. I think our young people pick all this up from American tv. Oldest Niece is better than she used to be about greetings but still not quite there yet.

      Delete
  3. Air kissing is so last century.......I greet with a hand accross the shoulder and a pat on the chest or stomach. But then maybe I have just turned into a dirty old man......lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allan, I hope you don't do such things in your workplace if they have rules about such things. I am pleased to know you don't go straight for the grope.

      Delete
  4. I wish I knew. And what is appropriate for some is viewed with horror by others. I play it a bit by ear and let the other person make the decision about how much contact they want. Which is also fraught with danger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, you are as troubled as I am about the whole matter.

      Delete
  5. I was never hugged and kissed as a child, so I didn't kiss my kids past babyhood or hug them very much although I did hug them. But I don't now kiss them at all and rarely hug, it just isn't me and it feels uncomfortable and awkward as if I am trying too hard to make up for the lack of hugs while they were growing up. I did hug and kiss the grandchildren a lot, but now they are grown it is just a hug.
    I still feel awkward with adult hugs, never knowing whether to touch or pretend, so I back away and shake hands instead. A proper firm man shake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, as I thought. It all worked perfectly well in days of old when no-one hugged and it was either a handshake or a cheek peck.

      Delete
  6. P.S. I really envy people and families for whom a hug is as easy and common as saying hello.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is how Tradie Brother's ex wife and their children are. It is a good thing.

      Delete
  7. I have no idea why young people behave as they do and I cannot understand their English :( Everything makes me feel like a stranger in my own country :(

    When young people meet each other now, they don't kiss or handshake; they text.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Hels, they text I am 2 minutes away, when they are 15 minutes away. I too at times feel alien in my own country.

      Delete
  8. My kids always greet me with a big hug and kiss. I used to think my son would out grow this practice when he became a teenager but thankfully he didn't and has never been embarrassed to acknowledge me in this manner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really nice Fun60. Of course it is nothing to do with love and respect. I am sure above River's children love her no less than your children do you. I can't recall what we did when we met, but obviously it felt very natural as I don't remember it.

      Delete
  9. Greetings have changed as the people have changed them. I usually kiss on the cheek to my sons, their wives, their little ones as well. Then my husbands family, we always kiss on the cheek arriving and leaving, even hugs if we haven't seen each other for a while. I have no brothers or sisters to hug. Good friends I hug and kiss on the cheek, and if someone helps me I will give them a hug sometimes, other times I don't as it depends on many things...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WA, you mix the old and the new well, and it seems quite naturally. Depends on many things indicates you are confident in your greetings and know what is right to do at the right time.

      Delete
    2. You read me well Andrew :)
      Thanks..

      Delete
  10. After years of American man hugs, high-fives, fist-pumps, and secret handshakes, one of the many things I love about Spain: Most men actually hug each other and kiss each other on the cheeks. Straight men with straight men, straight men with gay men. Not an issue. It is SO refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know where you stand and what you do then Mitchell. I like that.

      Delete
  11. I'm quite comfortable with hugging and kissing friends and family but I really dislike people hugging or kissing me on the first meeting. I feel you should work up to that level of intimacy. To avoid being put in that position, I often initiate a handshake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfect behaviour Wombat. I would expect nothing less. It is rather familiar to hug or kiss on a first meeting. But at times it is ok if you have known the person for some time without ever meeting them.

      Delete
  12. We don't have the kissing problem here, gay or not gay everybody kisses everybody. It's the use. When I go to my painting class I have to kiss everybody until I arrive at my seat and in Russia and other Eastern countries men kiss on the lips ! We at least do it only on the cheek. No matter what age you have ! I wasn't used to all this kissing when I came to Belgium, but you get used to it. In Italy and France it's the same and I noticed that in the UK women kiss others too even if they don't know each other well. (Men not yet, lol) Mr. G. gives a kiss on the cheek of our son's friends, boys or girls everybody does. So don't feel old, you just live in the wrong country (hahaha)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, is there any time to get some art done after all that kissing? Yes, Australia has its old culture (English) and its American culture and its European culture and is a confusing mess.

      Delete
  13. Nathan's mum and grandma greet me with a kiss on the lips. I think it's too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree AdRad, that is too much. I would dodge and go for the cheek until they get the message.

      Delete