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Is it Ok for a restaurant owner to kiss an unfamiliar customer?


This morning a friend of mine and I were talking about how our respective weekends went. One of the things she mentioned was that she and another female colleague stopped for dinner at a restaurant on their way home from work on Saturday.

They had never been to this restaurant before but enjoyed good service and food. The restaurant owner even introduced himself and was checking with each table to see if patrons were pleased. That is a good sign in my book.

But she also said that as the two of them were getting their coats, the owner came over to them with a big grin and bid them farewell and kissed both of them on the cheek. It was not a (for lack of a better term) European style cheek-to-cheek "kiss" he gave these ladies, but his lips pressed firmly on their cheeks kisses.

My friend thought that was weird, creepy and inappropriate. What are your thoughts?

  1. My own thought is that was weird, creepy and inappropriate. Emphasis on inappropriate. I'd cringe and probably not return. A handshake and a "thank you for coming" would have conveyed his pleasure at your presence well enough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Yes. And I like your icon, Gio.

    2. Um yeah, weird and inappropriate.

      1. I was expecting to read about a kiss on the lips. On the cheek, late in the evening, maybe after all had some wine, not creepy or weird....may inappropriate but it's not like he groped them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          Lips touching my face, unwarranted, un-asked for, would constitute "groping." No hands involved, but worse. Lips on my face, ewwwwww. gross. and very creepy.

          1. re: wyogal

            Agreed. I don't care if "he had some wine." That doesn't mean it's ok for him to get touchy-feely with me (or anyone). Someone putting their lips on my face in an inappropriate situation IS groping.

        2. I agree with your friend. That would put me off. However, there are some people who are just very effusive and touchy-feely. I don't like such people as a rule, but I don't take their inappropriate hugs personally. I would just dine elsewhere in the future.

          1. I have to go with weird, creepy and inappropriate.

            Was the owner native French or Swiss? Or otherwise European? (The French and Swiss are the nationalities I most associate with gratuitous kissing, but in truth I don't know many other Europeans).

            Was there an extended conversation in which first-name introductions were made, or multiple table visits? Or was the visit more a brief check-in?

            1 Reply
            1. re: babette feasts

              One of the first times I dined at a Parisian restaurant (had the same dish that sent Julia Child into ecstasy) I gave the maitre'd a hug and a kiss. I was young and tipsy and he didn't seem to mind.

            2. An Italian restaurant? Italians kiss everyone!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Motosport

                I'm guessing he's NOT. Nor was he a George Clooney lookalike - otherwise, we wouldn't be having this thread :D

              2. Weird, creepy and inappropriate in my book!

                1. Um...

                  A kiss on the cheek?
                  My thought is that the restaurant owner may like the company of women and a kiss on the cheek isn't anything more, to him, than a brief hug.
                  I wouldn't give it a second thought, actually.

                  53 Replies
                  1. re: latindancer

                    People shouldn't assume that what isn't "anything more that a brief hug" to him isn't offensive to someone else. Personally, I wouldn't want to be hugged -- let alone kissed -- by a man I'd just met, especially if we just had a business relationship, not a social relationship. So what if he's Italian? This isn't Italy, and customs about touching strangers are different here.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      <I wouldn't want to be hugged--let alone kissed--by a man I'd just met>

                      Let's just say, we roll a little differently then. I guess I'd not think of the owner of a restaurant, which I'd just dined in, to be a complete stranger....
                      He was a man being flirty with a woman....what's the problem? I wouldn't be offended. Not in the least.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        "He was a man being flirty with a woman." That is the problem. I don't go to restaurants to be touched, let alone kissed, by a stranger. Being the owner of the restaurant does not entitle him to cross this line.

                        1. re: wyogal

                          Flirtation by two individuals, in my book, isn't a bad thing.
                          Even with complete strangers.

                          1. re: latindancer

                            In my book, it's rude. The "flirtation" was one sided.

                            1. re: wyogal

                              We don't even know if it was flirtatious intent here. I don't mind some humorous flirtation but I also maintain really clear boundaries. Two different things.

                              I would not have welcomed the mouth to cheek action at all, in that situation, nor would I be quite as outraged about it as some are.

                              1. re: mcf

                                I know, I was just quoting the excuse given by someone who thinks this is O.K.
                                I'm outraged by those that think the owner is somehow entitled to behave this way.
                                I'm outraged that someone would think that a woman should/could "take it."
                                A line was crossed.

                                1. re: wyogal

                                  That someone is me.

                                  Don't be outraged. My outlook happens to be a very healthy perspective on what appears to be nothing more than flirtation and, possibly, cultural. You, obviously, have a huge problem with it for whatever reason.

                                  I've been around alot of men, from all over the world, who would think nothing more of this than a 'thankyou' for coming. The women on the receiving end of it are not only used to it but love it. To take this scenario further than what it is, seems radical. To look for an offense, on the part of the woman, is sad to me.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    You, technically, are consenting to being assaulted. That's your prerogative. It doesn't mean it's legal or appropriate for others. You can tolerate havin' a guy squeeze you, but that doesn't make it generally acceptable.

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      <are consenting to be assaulted>

                                      Ha. I've been around a long time, MGZ, and I'm perfectly clear about my own personal boundaries.
                                      I, intuitively, know what/what isn't appropriate behavior for a man when they're around me.
                                      Should the restaurant man, in question, come anywhere near
                                      the point where my boundaries have been crossed, I can assure you, with all the training and strength I have to give, the restaurant man would have found himself clearly in a position he would have never thought possible.
                                      Trust me.

                                      1. re: latindancer

                                        "I, intuitively, know what/what isn't appropriate behavior for a man when they're around me."

                                        No, laws have been established to determine what is and what is not appropriate behavior for any other person, regardless of their gender. All you intuitively know, is what you find that you are willin' to accept. All I've been sayin', all along, most often in response to others, is that there are laws prohibiting the conduct noted by the OP, so long as the women who were kissed did not want to be kissed.

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          WOW. I really must be really, really careful on my next holiday to America. Don't want to find myself being arrested.

                                          I wonder if there are other serious cultural differences between Europe and America that might get me into trouble.

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            Frankly, Harters, as you probably know, most American assault/battery laws stem from English common law. At bottom, the concept is an "unwanted touching". Modern American laws have subsequently been shaped by elements of sexual contact. Truth is, due to the difficulty in prosecution, that many of these laws are not vigorously enforced. That does not change the basic notion I've been sayin': Whether one deems it "weird, creepy [or] inappropriate", it violates the law in most States.

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              Maybe this is why I'm not creeped out by this: I don't consider a cheek kiss to be asexual contact.

                                            2. re: Harters

                                              I know of a woman who won a lawsuit with a retailer in a major city years ago because the man sizing her foot told her she had nice feet. She was able to purchase a home in a very upscale area because of the settlement.
                                              Yes, Harters, there are laws in this country that prevent men from saying/doing/acting in a way that a woman may find offensive. That's not to say, however, that a man cannot still act out the behavior. It's the responsibility of the party who feels the law has been violated to initiate the complaint.
                                              The law varies from state to state.

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                Yes Harters, it would not be a good idea for you to come here and start kissing total strangers which was the case in this situation. Especially on a New York subway. That might result in you getting your tea time snack in the form of a knuckle sandwich. :-)

                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                  We Europeans only kiss folk in greeting or parting, so never total strangers. I almost ventured onto a New York subway last time we were in the city but found it very intimidating so bottled out and just left and got a taxi. But then I find New York generally intimidating - visited twice, definitely no need for a third visit :-)

                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                <No, laws have been established to determinewhat is and what is not appropriate behavior for any other person, regardless of their gender>

                                                Yes, *I* (the keyword *I*) know what is appropriate behavior for men when they're around *me*.
                                                The laws are there to protect those who don't like the behavior.
                                                Unless the behavior was completely heinous *I* would never use the law to my advantage.
                                                Up to this point I've never wanted/needed the protection of the law.

                                            3. re: MGZ

                                              Wow. I just never would have considered a kiss on the cheek, invited or otherwise, to be assault. Ever. Inappropriate, perhaps. Probably. Assault? Wow.

                                              I know there's been discussion of this being illegal, falling under "offensive touching" I think. Since it is not explicitly in the legislation cited elsewhere in this thread, I'd be curious how often a cheek kiss has been prosecuted as such.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                So in New Jersey, you can go to jail for kissing someone on the cheek, and be put away with those other assaulters known as rapists? You know, those who commit actual assault.

                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                  Yes, but more likely you might either avoid prosecution after arrest or simply get some time on probation. Feel free to come here, pass the bar, and practice. Or for that matter do it in any other State and look into the fact that the same fundamental laws that exist most everywhere. Touching someone who doesn't want to be touched is a centuries old definition of assault/battery. Civil suits are easier to prosecute, but the underlying concept remains the same.

                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                    So if the woman in question was in NJ, pulled out her cell phone, dialed 911 and reported she had just been assaulted the police would respond and place the owner under arrest, no questions asked? This case would then be found to have merit and the tax payers would pay to have this man prosecuted?

                                                    I guess I am just finding to hard to believe that even with the woman being supporting witness for each other that the courts would take the claim seriously as it was outlined in the OP. It seems more realistic that they would respond to the 911 call, talk to all parties involved, most likely talk to other "witnesses" and then try to talk both parties into letting go, maybe giving the owner a warning. If the women still insisted on prosecuting I guess they would have no choice but I still don't see it going to court unless there are more details we are not privy to going on.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      Rather than argue theoretical law it would be more relevant to cite a case where a kiss on the cheek from a relative (not complete) stranger resulted in a law suit.

                                                      There are all kinds of laws. IIRC it's illegal to tether a giraffe to a streetlight in Florida.

                                                      1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                        Now you're equating giraffe tethering to a kiss on the cheek!

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          I'm equating the relevance. There are countless laws that aren't enforced or would get you laughed out of a courtroom/precinct.

                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                  We have no information to suggest whether or not this was flirtatious intent, or just inappropriate and unintended boundary crossing, though. Or worse.

                                                  Other people's offense taken comes from their own individual life experiences and personal boundaries.

                                                  Everyone here seems to have healthy perspectives, and healthy perspectives can differ.

                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                    Oh, right. Women should always be pleased and flattered when some strange man wants to touch them. Why not go further? Hey, some Italian guy pinches your ass -- just go with it because that's what Italian guys do! Some guy wants to have sex with you when you're passed out. No problem! Just because some women have been acculturated to "love it" doesn't make it okay for men to do it across the board. Touching without consent is not cool. Ever.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      You're carrying this just a little further than necessary, Ruth.

                                                      I, in no way shape or form, suggested anything you've listed as 'cool'. Please give me a little more consideration than that, okay?
                                                      Perhaps the word 'love it' should have been more like 'understand it'.
                                                      The women I'm referring to, including me, understand what the intent of a man, kissing a woman on the cheek, is.
                                                      Friendly gesture, nothing else. For a woman to take a different perspective, and call it something other than what it originally was intended to be, is a different story altogether.

                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                        So here's the problem in a nutshell: when a man grabs a women in embrace and plants his lips on her cheek, he doesn't know if she falls into the group who understands his intent or not.

                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                          Did the man 'grab the woman in an embrace'?
                                                          I didn't get that.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            Poetic license, that was my inference of how it made them feel. Not necessarily a "grab." But clearly not "casual" from their perspective.

                                                            Often it's not the act, but the intensity that creeps folks out.

                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                          How do you know what his intent was? Maybe they were creeped out because he's a creep who takes advantage of his position to kiss women he finds attractive?

                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                            I no more know what the restaurant owner's intent was any more than you or anyone else does.
                                                            I'm speaking for myself and my friends.
                                                            A woman does, or should, know in a very short time what the intent of a man is.

                                                            In this case, nobody knows.

                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                              "A woman does, or should, know in a very short time what the intent of a man is."

                                                              Ever heard of date rape?

                                                              One never knows for sure, particularly with a stranger.

                                                              1. re: mcf


                                                                So the conversation's now gone from a stupid restaurant owner's kiss on the cheek planted on a person who's been dining in his restaurant to...

                                                                Date rape.

                                                                <Ever heard of date rape?>

                                                                What do you think, mdf?
                                                                My comment was referring to a kiss on the cheek given by a restaurant owner. I would know in very short time what the intent of the man was.

                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                  "I'm speaking for myself and my friends.
                                                                  A woman does, or should, know in a very short time what the intent of a man is."

                                                                  The comment above is not specific to a situation, but to the perspicacity of you and your friends' abilities to know what a male intentions are.

                                                                  I suggested a situation where it is often not true even with a man known to a women. Nowhere have I equated the OP to date rape.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    <I suggested a situation where it is often not true>

                                                                    My response and comment was *only* specific, and referring, to the scenario the OP referred to.
                                                                    Never did I once go outside that perimeters of that scenario;

                                                                    A kiss on the cheek, given by a restaurant owner, to a patron.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      <The comment is not specific to a situation>

                                                                      Yes, it is.

                                                                      I should know what my comment is or isn't about. You're perfectly welcome to think it applies to something else but it doesn't.
                                                                      I've consistently stuck to the topic on this thread.

                                                                  2. re: mcf

                                                                    It seems a bit a stretch to even indirectly relate an uninvited cheek kiss to date rape.

                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                      I agree, And I didn't relate them even indirectly. I addressed one's ability to intuit a stranger's intentions, a side issue that arose.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        <i addressed one's ability to intuit a stranger's intentions, a side issue that arose>

                                                                        There was no side issue with me. I intentionally related my feelings ONLY to the OP's question. Nothing else.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                          Seriously? You think you can sell that?

                                                                          Of course, one never knows another person's intentions, but we can know folks by their attitudes and actions.

                                                                      2. re: debbiel

                                                                        The subject should have never been mentioned in the context of this discussion.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                          No one else seems to have difficulty discerning what the analogy related to that you seem to have.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            There IS no analogy.

                                                                            You're the one who brought it up, mcf, and continues to force the subject, which there is none.
                                                                            Not I.

                                                                        2. re: debbiel

                                                                          It was indirectly related to my response to the OP's situation.
                                                                          I simply stated that I would know quite quickly what the intent of the restaurant owner was if he had kissed me on the cheek.

                                                                          Then...wham. Date rape.
                                                                          To mention it is simply egregious, given the context of the scenario the OP stated.

                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                            "I, intuitively, know what/what isn't appropriate behavior for a man when they're around me."

                                                                            Date rape was an example of how untrue this can be even with someone familiar to a woman.

                                                                            You don't know what you don't know until something unexpected happens. This, in no way, equated/equates date rape to a non violent but unwelcome kiss on the cheek, as much as you enjoy lying about it.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              I specifically, many many times, stated that I was ONLY responding to the OP's situation of a restaurant owner kissing the cheek of a female patron.

                                                                              I couldn't then, and I cannot now, understand why you would bring up 'date rape' when I have never deviated from the original subject. It's very important to stay on-topic with this subject, in my opinion.

                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                <as much as you enjoy lying about it>

                                                                                I suggest you read the posts, in context, one by one so you don't feel the need to accuse me of lying.
                                                                                I'm not.

                                                                          2. re: mcf

                                                                            Cheek kissing is what, a "gateway gesture" to date rape?

                                                                            I must have died last night and gone to hell. Or at least Bizarro World.

                                                                2. re: wyogal

                                                                  I wonder how the women in question expressed their displeasure, if at all? And how it was responded to if they did?

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    mcf, good question and I did ask her if she said something to the man after he kissed her. She said no, but gave him a disgusted/angry look that could almost have turned his testicles into ice cubes.

                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                      I admire her confidence in her visual effects. ;-) I think a verbal rebuke would be far less ambiguous, though, making sure the message is loud and clear. Did she say how her friend reacted, or if either said anything?

                                                                      I'm told I have a glare that can stop traffic, so it's not that I'm disbelieving in such powers. <g>

                                                  2. I am a firm believer in not hugging, touching, or kissing strangers, but I wouldn't think anything nefarious about it. It's just a bit "too familiar" for a stranger. It might get him into trouble one day.

                                                      1. re: Philly Ray

                                                        It wouldn't play for me but that Saturday Night Live sketch was the first thing I thought of.
                                                        Back to the question, if it were a French or Italian restaurant and the owner was French or Italian complete with heavy accents, I'd probably let it slide. An Italian place with a Brooklyn accented owner? Creepy.

                                                          1. re: Philly Ray

                                                            Thanks Westsidegal....

                                                            I've forgotten about that skit. It's absolutely outstanding.

                                                            1. Too many variables for me.

                                                              As an almost 50 year old woman, a gentleman owner of nearly the same age (+/-) in a fine establishment serving wonderful food? A kiss on the cheek would be not a big deal.

                                                              Frankly, I would be surprised (but not necessarily offended) if a younger or female chef did this.

                                                              Now, thinking back...if I was 20-something and this happened...yeah I might be taken aback. I could be wrong, but I'm not so sure the younger folks touch so much anymore.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  I'm sorry...to lean over and kiss a stranger is very weird...at least in our culture. I am a very warm and touchy man, nevertheless in this circumstance, I can't imagine anything more than a handshake, or a pat on the forearm or shoulder accompanying a "thank you for coming" as being appropriate. I think the same thank you gesture should apply to all guests regardless of gender. If he had kissed a man on the cheek as a parting "thank you" it would have been truly bizarre and likely very unwelcome.

                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                    Frankly, I think in 'our culture', if you're speaking of the US culture? ...

                                                                    I think we could gain from a little more hugging and kissing on the cheek.
                                                                    Just my 2 cents.

                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                      I'm about as touchy and huggy as they get...to people I know. I maintain that for a man to kiss a stranger (woman or man) as a thank you for coming to his place of business is creepy and weird...at least in my neighborhood.

                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                        That's what makes life interesting, to me anyway.

                                                                        I'm not afraid to kiss a stranger on the cheek or give a hug when it's needed.
                                                                        How dull life would be if we all thought the same.

                                                                          1. re: wyogal


                                                                            In this case, of course.

                                                                            However, on many more occasions that I've cared to think about, there are complete strangers who have *needed* another person's physical contact....comfort.
                                                                            I'm very sorry for the person who's unable, because of the 'grossness factor', to give it to them.

                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                              It's about crossing a line. This was not needed, this situation didn't cry out for a hug or any other physical contact.
                                                                              We are not talking about other cases.
                                                                              A restaurant owner that kisses others, without permission, is crossing the line. There is a sense of "entitlement" going on that I find repulsive. I also find defending the owner equally repulsive. This was not done in a location where it was customary. It was not expected, nor warranted.

                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                        You stole my thunder with this response.

                                                                        I can see where someone might find it inappropriate however I don't find it creepy or weird.

                                                                        (I do believe other factors such as the background/heritage of the owner could play into account as well)

                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                          Regardless of any of those factors, as I previously noted, it is illegal. In NJ, for example, one could do six months in jail or eighteen month of probation for an offensive touching violation. In some States, the assault charge could result in a much more significant penalty. Bottom line, if you own a restaurant and want to kiss a pretty girl on he cheek when she's leavin', ask her permission. The OP's friend has a solid criminal complaint against the restaurant owner.

                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                            I'm not doubting you brother, nor am I challenging your knowledge of the law. Just out of curiosity, does the law quote what does or doesn't constitute "offensive touching"? Or is it strictly subjective based on the violated persons tolerance for what is or isn't appropriate?

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                              Well, in Delaware, where I first cut my teeth as an officer of the court, for example, it was defined thusly:

                                                                              "11 Del. C. § § 601 Offensive touching; unclassified misdemeanor; class A misdemeanor.

                                                                              (a) A person is guilty of offensive touching when the person:

                                                                              (1) Intentionally touches another person either with a member of his or her body or with any
                                                                              instrument, knowing that the person is thereby likely to cause offense or alarm to such other person;
                                                                              (2) Intentionally strikes another person with saliva, urine, feces or any other bodily fluid, knowing
                                                                              that the person is thereby likely to cause offense or alarm to such other person."

                                                                              I'm in the middle of makin' dinner right now - bucatinni with a tomato, anchovy, & sausage sauce - so I'll have to look up and show you the NJ Statutes tomorrow. OK?

                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                Ok, I guess I can wait. It would have been nice if you offered to save me some.

                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                  2C:33-4. Harassment.

                                                                                  NJSA 2C:33-4

                                                                                  Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he

                                                                                  . . .

                                                                                  b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so;

                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                    So intention is key, not just action?

                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                      Basically all criminal violations include an element of what's called "mens rea", which loosely can be defined as intent In offensive touching types of violations, that intent is typically based upon whether or not someone wants to make contact and it was not invited to do so. The issue of whether or not the "touched" person wanted to be touched is usually what determines the "purpose to harass" element.

                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                        Does it usually require some sort of objection to be voiced or demonstrated? I think it's hard to establish purpose without that.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          "Does it usually require some sort of objection to be voiced or demonstrated?"

                                                                                          No. Technically, the intention to kiss someone who does not want to be kissed could lead to a conviction, if in fact the kiss occurs.

                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            That was my point; kissing someone who either shrinks back, raises a hand or says "no" is very different from surprising someone with an unexpected kiss, in terms of demonstrating purpose, I think.

                                                                                            I suspect that had I not been aware that the kiss was coming and it suddenly happened, I would be too stunned to register a complaint on the spot, though wet lips on my cheek would definitely be very unwelcome.

                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                              "I would be too stunned to register a complaint on the spot, though wet lips on my cheek would definitely be very unwelcome."

                                                                                              You could simply call the police the next day.

                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                I think you're hammering the legal angle too hard. Unless he'd groped me and touched me in a way I experienced as sexual and/or violent assault (and this incident doesn't come within a mile of my *personal* definition) I would never consider such a report.

                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                  I wasn't tryin' to hammer, merely explain.

                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                    I guess I know what my options are, but given this set of facts, I think that would be really uncalled for.

                                                                                    2. re: MGZ

                                                                                      cheek kissing = "striking, kicking, shoving"?

                                                                                      Wow. Just ****ing WOW.

                                                                                      I repeat what someone said upthread, that this cheapens and diminishes the actual pain and suffering of real assault.

                                                                                      Just WOW.

                                                                      3. re: sunshine842

                                                                        I agree, unless the kiss was accompanied by another intimate or threatening gesture. I'd assume the guy was either a touchy-feely type or the guests in question were attractive gals and he was a bit of a hound.

                                                                        I'm personally not a big hugger/kisser of non-friends but I don't take offense when others are.

                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                          And him being "a bit of a hound" is okay with you?

                                                                          No one should kiss anyone unless you know for sure that it is welcome. Period.

                                                                      4. My European male co-workers are big on the cheek kissing. I've seen some people do it here too.

                                                                        I teased one colleague who is British about it because I thought it was strictly a continental European thing, and he just dove in for another cheek kiss. It was utterly nonsexual and completely friendly. Totally weird if it had been one of my American buddies, but totally normal for my European colleagues.

                                                                        Wouldn't weird me out if a restaurant owner did it - I'd just chalk it up to cultural even if the guy was American. My cousin's circle of friends is big into kissing - they're always smooching each other on the cheeks, even with people they just met.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                                                          It is really an interesting topic. I can see that it is non sexual and just friendly, however, it certainly is not "erring on the side of caution" with the general public. I think a business owner should be concerned with being cautious with the general public(patrons) more than other people in a simple social situation. I am a business owner and I am always acutely aware of social norms and boundaries with clients.

                                                                          I have been kissed by people I just met, didn't really care for it, but didn't think it was a big deal. I would feel differently if a business owner kissed me without permission. Not offended, but certainly I would feel a bit funny about it. Like they exhibited a lack of social skills for a business owner. For me, it is really a separation of business and social.

                                                                        2. Maybe the owner is lonely?

                                                                          1. Legally, it's an "offensive touching" assault in most jurisdictions. It's a bit past "weird, creepy and inappropriate."

                                                                            1. I am a pretty huggy person, but only with people I know. Not so much a kissy person except for my kid and husband.

                                                                              Given a choice, I would prefer a stranger not hug and kiss me, but in the setting described and allowing for cultural and personal differences, I wouldn't get worked up about it and it wouldn't keep me from returning.

                                                                              If the hug or kiss was too familiar, involved any groping, and if the kiss involved slobber, that would be a different story.

                                                                              1. When travelling thru Italy and Greece we often dined out with family friends who took us to their favorite places. It was not an unusual occurrence for the owner (manager? Head waiter?) to kiss us on both cheeks after being introduced as “our dear friends from America”. A particularly gregarious one (who had also met my parents once, years before) gave us a bear hug to boot, exclaiming “you look just like your mother!” I never found it creepy or disgusting.

                                                                                On our anniversary (years ago) we dined at an old school Italian place outside of Orlando. When our waiter learned I had lived in Italy we chatted for some time about where, when, etc. At the end of the meal he shook my husband's hand and kissed me goodbye, again on both cheeks, while congratulating us on our anniversary. Neither creepy or disgusting

                                                                                1. No. no no no no no.

                                                                                  1. Maybe your friend gave them a really good tip! ;)

                                                                                    1. Did your friend express her displeasure with the kiss? I hope she did.

                                                                                      I come from a family of touchy-feeling Italian Americans (one generation removed from Naples), and grew up thinking it perfectly normal to see my grown male cousins kiss our grandpa goodbye.

                                                                                      That said, if a stranger leaned in to kiss me, I'd have both hands up in a "whoa" gesture in a hurry.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst


                                                                                        It's all about discomfort and boundaries.
                                                                                        Everyone's perception is different and if someone finds it uncomfortable then there're definitely ways to make a man feel less than comfortable...
                                                                                        I've used a few.

                                                                                      2. On our first visit to a restaurant with a well known chef owner meeting and greeting folks, he pointed to his cheek and asked for a kiss. I looked at my husband (who's used to me and just waited for it) and said "Ok, but no tongue until I taste your food."

                                                                                        If he'd kissed them on their mouths, I'd say ICK.

                                                                                        Weird, creepy and inappropriate have everything to do with one's subjective experience at that moment. Hard to say from afar or a retelling. It is nice to be asked, though, not just slobbered on involuntarily.

                                                                                        1. Very weird. Very creepy.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: wyogal

                                                                                            Ewww. I really don't like people that I don't know hugging me, let alone kissing me.

                                                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                              I think most folks share that feeling. Many don't like hugging anyone, other than their partners, for instance. Different folks, different tolerances. The problem is, if you don't ask, you don't know, and may commit an offense, however unintended it may be.

                                                                                          2. Is it safe to assume that your friend is, at least, in her mid twenties? Or, at least, not a teenager?
                                                                                            Have they traveled outside the US?

                                                                                            Have they traveled to S America? Europe?

                                                                                            I'm having difficulty with their reaction because at a certain age, in women, we begin to decipher (some later than others obviously or some not at all) the difference between harassment, flirtation and sheer friendliness.
                                                                                            I can't understand someone getting so worked up about a kiss on the cheek from a restaurant owner who's been attentive throughout the meal to his patrons.
                                                                                            His gesture, from my point of view, was nothing more than a 'thank-you for coming'....it's the way I'd have taken it and it's, I'm quite certain unless he asked for a phone number or walked out to the car with them, pretty much the way most women I know, who've traveled extensively, would have taken it.

                                                                                            48 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                              They were not in Europe. It is not the custom here. If the recipient of the unwarranted touch found it inappropriate and uncomfortable, then it was.
                                                                                              Why is that so hard for you to understand? You seem to be blaming the victim.
                                                                                              "would have taken it." wow. Maybe women of a certain age aren't actually "deciphering" but rather "taking it" because they have been taught that they should. Women these days are different, thank goodness.

                                                                                              1. re: wyogal


                                                                                                *Victim*? The two women, being kissed ON the cheek, by an owner of a restaurant as they left the restaurant.
                                                                                                Now. We don't know if the girls, while they were sitting through dinner, didn't love the attention he was giving him, encouraged the attention etc.
                                                                                                It's not relevant, obviously, but it's not like they were out in the street and some *nobody* came along and kissed them outa nowhere.
                                                                                                Mountain out of a molehill.

                                                                                                Nobody's a *victim* here.

                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                  So you say.
                                                                                                  I disagree.
                                                                                                  They were creeped out by it. I value that. I do not value a restaurant owner's sense of entitlement to place his lips on another person, unwarranted.
                                                                                                  You also seem to readily blame the victim.There, I said it again. Victim.
                                                                                                  You jump to the conclusion that they somehow loved the attention, and even encouraged it. although you prefaced it with "Now. We don't know if the girls..." that is certainly the direction you are going.
                                                                                                  This is a sensitive point for me, personally. as a woman who was groomed to "take it," as someone that has been hurt by "taking it." Where does one cross the line? Well, by placing your lips anywhere on another person without permission. period.
                                                                                                  Nope, not going to "take it," nor respect anyone's view that I should.

                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                    Ohhh, the "she asked for it" defense. I thought I was going too far with my rape analogy, but maybe not. Apparently in your world men have a right to touch women however they want, and women are supposed to be amused and flattered by it.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                      I wholeheartedly agree. That's why unwanted touching is illegal.

                                                                                                      Personally, I hate when I get hugged by a client, but there's no judge in the country who wouldn't laugh at a guy like me complainin' about an old lady huggin' him.

                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                        <Ohhh, the "she asked for it" defense>


                                                                                                      2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                        latindancer, OK, so say I'm out with my friends at a bar, and a guy is talking to me, and me, being nice, am being civil to him (but not encouraging), even if I may not be interested in him or his attentions. We go to leave, and the guy hugs me and kisses me on the cheek. Would you think that is appropriate too? Since I let him talk to me I was "asking" for it?

                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                          I guess I have to stop employing hugs and kisses as greetings and goodbyes from now on.

                                                                                                          I think of much less tame exchanges when I hear the term "asked for *it*.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                            If you know the person, hugs and kisses (if that's the norm in your circle) are absolutely fine. I hug my friends all the time (kissing is NOT normal in my group, that's reserved for my SO). But, would you hug and kiss someone you just barely met, someone who is still, for all intents and purposes, a stranger?

                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                              Yes, I would and I do if I've become comfortable with them. It depends upon circumstances, what kind of exchange we've had. I'm especially prone to if I know they're important to someone I love, or close to a friend, etc.

                                                                                                              But why does it even matter what I'd do? We each have our different comfort levels and boundaries. I certainly respect yours, I just don't agree that it feeling wrong to some folks means it's wrong, period.

                                                                                                              I think we each have to be attentive to cues from folks and do our best to make folks comfortable if we can.

                                                                                                              I don't do lips, though, just a cheek to cheek at most. I do have standards. :-)

                                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                            <asking for it>

                                                                                                            It's all about perception, juliejulez.
                                                                                                            If you think you're 'being nice' and the man thinks you're now 'interested' in him...then you have a problem in your eyes.
                                                                                                            If you think it's inappropriate then it's your perception.

                                                                                                            I've never, once, said a woman is 'asking' for anything.

                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                              Nobody, male or female, should think that touching a stranger is totally OK, other than maybe a warm handshake. And yes, someone you barely know and/or have just met, is still a stranger.

                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                I think it runs the risk of trivializing genuine assault to refer to *any* type of touch as verboten.

                                                                                                                Plus, you don't get to define "stranger" for everyone. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                  <Nobody, male or female, should think that touching a stranger is totally OK, other than maybe a warm handshake>

                                                                                                                  That's *your* perspective.

                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                    Perspective has nothing to do with it. Contact between people has to be consensual for both people. The person initiating contact doesn't get to say "well it was okay from my perspective so it was okay."

                                                                                                                    There are some cultures where kissing strangers on the cheek is a cultural norm and thus can be assumed to be okay. Apparently you belong to one of those cultures. But it isn't a cultural norm in the US, and people who live here should be aware of that.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      Cultural Norms depend also on where one resides in the U.S.

                                                                                                                      I went to school in TX and lived there for many years. It was quite common to be kissed on the cheek by the "yacht-club set". Mostly 50 yr.+ men. No harm intended, nor taken.

                                                                                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                        <Cultural Norms depend also on where one resides in the U.S.>

                                                                                                                        So true and very relevant to the thread.
                                                                                                                        There's a huge difference between parts of Utah and, for example, West Hollywood.

                                                                                                                        Very important consideration.

                                                                                                                        1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                          Cultural differences about approaching a stranger with a kiss on the cheek right there IN the restaurant is example enough.

                                                                                                                          You don't need to reside from different states to have different reactions to getting kissed on the cheek by the owner of a restaurant.

                                                                                                                          Some people are just huggy and some people really don't care to be hugged.

                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                            "Some people are just huggy and some people really don't care to be hugged."

                                                                                                                            So true. I am a pretty huggy person, but I try to be sensitive to the feelings of others and not assault them with a hug. Case in point, we just had a birthday party for our 12-year old daughter with 15 of her girlfriends this afternoon. As the girls left, I hugged every one of the girls--most I have known since kindergarten. I also hugged a number of the parents, some of which are good friends of mine. There were a couple of people who have more reserved body language so I didn't hug them, but then I wonder am I seeming snobbish? But because of this thread, I thought about the issue whereas normally I would just do what seemed right without thinking about it. Hmmmmm. I would have to think that people view me as assaulting them when I think I am greeting or thanking them warmly.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                              In my family and especially in my husband's family we have to allow for an extra 20 mins of hugging time otherwise it can go on forever...as we...make...our...way...out the ....door!

                                                                                                                              But folks who do not like hugging we just wave them goodbye!

                                                                                                                              That's about all you can do.

                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                20 minutes sounds about right. We were just at a dinner for a friend this evening (busy day!) and my husband had to send in our daughter to get me because I got sidetracked with another round of hugs as we were leaving. (In my defense, it was my ex-SIL #2, who I haven't seen for a few years.)

                                                                                                                                But again, I thought about this thread and wondered if my hugginess crossed any boundaries. Hmmmmm. While there has been a lot of strong opinions on this thread, it has certainly gave me food for thought.

                                                                                                                          2. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                            I live in the midwest, and hug and cheek kisses with newly encountered people are not the norm but neither are they particularly unusual.

                                                                                                                          3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                            <Apparently you belong to one of those cultures>

                                                                                                                            That is your assumption based on your perceptions.

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              No, based on your extensive comments.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler


                                                                                                                                So every woman who feels the same as I, and has the perspective I do, must "belong to one of those cultures"?

                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                  I feel the same as you, I think, latindancer. I'm middle aged, female, white, raised catholic, midwesterner. I assume this is what is meant by "those cultures." :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel


                                                                                                                                    We have a similiar profile. The main theme on this thread seems to be that if a person receives a kiss on the cheek from a stranger and doesn't find it weird, creepy and inappropriate, they must 'belong to one of those cultures'.
                                                                                                                                    I have no idea what 'those cultures' means but it is a fascinating deduction.

                                                                                                                        2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                          I disagree with this. I have been touched and have touched in ways other than a handshake. A hand to the shoulder. A light hand on the hand. A kiss on the cheek. Not all unexpected human to human contact is assault.

                                                                                                                        3. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                          Yeah, you did: "We don't know if the girls, while they were sitting through dinner, didn't love the attention he was giving him, encouraged the attention etc." You're also saying that if a man mistakenly thinks a woman is interested in him, it's her problem, not his.

                                                                                                                          It's the responsibility of the person who initiates the contact to be sure that it's welcome, not the other way around. The default isn't that he gets to touch her unless she specifically says no. That's pretty much the same excuse men give for raping women who are disabled or unconscious: she didn't say no, so I get to do what I want.

                                                                                                                        4. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                          To me, that is inappropriate, but not crude and I would be disturbed to think it would be criminally prosecuted.

                                                                                                                      2. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                        <It is not the custom here>


                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                            "<It is not the custom here>"

                                                                                                                            It still is in a lot of the south.

                                                                                                                            As for the "victims", did they do anything to let him know that his behavior was unwanted, like move away when he came in to kiss them on the cheek?

                                                                                                                              1. re: twyst

                                                                                                                                I do not know if my friend's colleague did or did not try to get away from the owner. My friend could not and I mentioned to mcf up thread about how she responded. He caught them totally off guard and by surprise as they were getting their coats to leave.

                                                                                                                                Is it fair to do something to someone even if they do not have the ability to express the action is unwanted? That seems to be what your question implies.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                  "Is it fair to do something to someone even if they do not have the ability to express the action is unwanted?"

                                                                                                                                  If someone leans in to kiss you on the cheek you have the ability to express the action is unwanted by moving away or flinching etc. If he grabbed her and kissed her, or if she flinched and he kissed her anyway then I have a serious problem. It just seems we are on a slippery slope now.

                                                                                                                                  I feel some people are taking this to the extreme when talking about it being assault and illegal if it was a friendly kiss on the cheek. According to some of you, if a guy attempts to kiss a woman on a date and she doesn't want to be kissed, the man is guilty of a crime even if the girl doesn't try to back away or say she doesn't wish to be kissed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: twyst

                                                                                                                                    "According to some of you, if a guy attempts to kiss a woman on a date and she doesn't want to be kissed, the man is guilty of a crime even if the girl doesn't try to back away or say she doesn't wish to be kissed."

                                                                                                                                    To be clear, I'm not opining, I'm explaining the law. And, yes, in your example, if the guy touches the girl and she hasn't consented, he has violated the law in most, if not all, jurisdictions. Like it or not, that's the way it is.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                      MGZ, you might not see my post upthread. Can you give a general statement about the extent to which uninvited cheek kisses have been identified as "unwelcome touching," or whatever the language was in the laws that you were citing?

                                                                                                                                2. re: twyst

                                                                                                                                  "It is not the custom here" is not my statement.

                                                                                                                                  I was responding to another poster's remark.

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              I don't think their travel or lack of it should define what their experience was at home. Just because it's shaped your perspective doesn't require that everyone share it, well traveled or not.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                Of course not.

                                                                                                                                Everybody has their own perspective on this matter.

                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                  And everyone's can be considered healthy, even if more reserved and less relaxed than one's own.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                    Didn't say it isn't...

                                                                                                                                    I'm just stating mine is.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                      I guess I'm having a hard time understanding why that's relevent here, if not intended as counterpoint.

                                                                                                                              2. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                latindancer, to answer your questions, she is in her 30's and has traveled extensively outside of the U.S.A. Neither fact really seems relevant though but I answered because you asked.

                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                  i'm in complete agreement with latindancer on her position(s) throughout this thread.

                                                                                                                                2. Beyond ;weird, creepy and inappropriate', this was illegal.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                    That's what I've explained above. Legally, it's no different than had he patted 'em on their asses.

                                                                                                                                  2. This sounds like one of those situations where we have to have been there in order to know. It sounds like the gut feeling of Fowler's friend was that it wasn't appropriate. We are told to go with our gut feeling in situations quite often these days, so this woman apparently felt it wasn't right.

                                                                                                                                    Asking social media for a judgement after the fact when we weren't there isn't going to give a definitive answer. Many posters feel it sounded creepy, while another seems to think it's totally fine and those that find it wrong are prudish. None of us were there. We just can't judge for sure.

                                                                                                                                    But I'd go with Fowler's friend's gut feeling, because she was there.

                                                                                                                                    1. The OP's friend was there. I was not. And, therefore, I'm not about to second guess whether this was "weird, creepy and inappropriate". The only important matter is that the friend did find it so.

                                                                                                                                      I note the OP's point that the friend did not take this as a European style kiss on the cheeks - as a European living in Europe, I'm familiar with this and will happily greet people in our style.

                                                                                                                                      1. Honestly, a European cheek-cheek kiss strikes me as so innocent as to be a nonstarter. But then, I spend time travelling in certain parts of Europe that this is part of an introduction. In fact, it was a component of numerous intorudctions for me in the last few days and I wasn't disturbed in any of the cases.
                                                                                                                                        Admittedly, I've never (in Europe) experienced such a show of familiarity from a restaurant owner, so I might well be taken aback in such a case. But I would probably chalk it up to pretension over sleaziness. I might raise an eyebrow but that would be all.
                                                                                                                                        If someone became more familiar, I'd start to,take action, but I do know that things are different in the U.S. and the UK.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                          Maybe you did not read the part about how it was NOT a European cheek-to-cheek kiss and it was NOT in Europe?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                            This was apparently lips planted firmly on cheeks. That's a degree of intimacy that most folks don't welcome from strangers. Even I, and I have no problem with physical contact with casual contacts. Within limits/boundaries.

                                                                                                                                          2. Just last night a restaurant owner's son came over to me as I was leaving to say hello and BEFORE he went to kiss and hug me goodbye he asked if the gesture was okay. Now that's a young man with manners.

                                                                                                                                            What's so difficult?

                                                                                                                                            Fowler, in the situation you presented my hand would have raised up and cut the space btwn my body and theirs very quickly.

                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                              Yes, if the situation was uncomfortable to me, I may have gone a little further than your description.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                I can't think of any reason to provide more than a non spoken but effective boundary in this restaurant situation. My hand would be very swift and effectively placed btwn me and the owner. In the seconds a gesture of this kind occurs, you've got two options: step in to accept or step out of the boundary. Anything more in a restaurant setting would be overkill for me. This isn't the parking lot or followed into a dark alley on your way to the car, right? The OP describes a scenario that occurred on the way out of the restaurant in front of a few people.

                                                                                                                                                Going further as you say, latindancer, would not even occur to me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                  LOL...well I didn't exactly explain or describe what I'd do.
                                                                                                                                                  There are many factors involved nobody's aware of in this particular scenario.
                                                                                                                                                  Depending on the man, who he is, how aggressive he is, what he looks like, etc....these are all factors important to me.
                                                                                                                                                  My inclination, if it's as benign as the OP's describing, would be to understand and allow him to do what he's doing with no thought afterward. I can think of only a few instances where just a hand, or a scolding look, between me and the person wouldn't have made my message clear, no matter where it happened.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                    You've already presented a number of compelling what ifs throughout the entire thread (which I read all the way through). And, you stated that what's important to you may not be the same for someone else already and that it's highly likely we each have different experiences through which we approach the OP's scenario as written. So given all that, my comment is the lens I use.

                                                                                                                                                    If I don't know you well, then asking me what my comfort level is, in a word: Simple. Well mannered men (& women) already understand this. Touchy feel-y restaurant owners sometimes need a clue.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                      <You've already presented a number of compelling what ifs>

                                                                                                                                                      My references have been to a restaurant owner kissing the cheek of a woman.
                                                                                                                                                      A number of posters have carried it to other levels outside the perimeter of the OP's situation.
                                                                                                                                                      Actually, having read through my posts I can't find any compelling "what-ifs" I've personally initiated so I have no idea what you're talking about.
                                                                                                                                                      All of my posts have been responses to other posters 'what-ifs'.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                        All of my posts have been responses to other posters 'what-ifs'.
                                                                                                                                                        Which is exactly what I referring to.

                                                                                                                                                        and earlier you wrote:Yes, if the situation was uncomfortable to me, I may have gone a little further than your description.
                                                                                                                                                        but you didn't go on to explain what you actually were referring to. so half answers don't really guide me all that well to understand you either.

                                                                                                                                                        so I have no idea what you're talking about.
                                                                                                                                                        the no idea what...is how you've answered me a number of times on CH. So, I'll tell you what, I won't continue to ask you what you meant anymore.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          The subject is the scenario as the OP wrote with really nothing more than :

                                                                                                                                                          "the owner came over to them with a big grin and bid them farewell and kissed both of them on the cheek".

                                                                                                                                                          Other than the description of the kiss no other facts were presented. Many posters took it upon themselves to go outside the arena of the scenario described and discussions angled off into other 'what-ifs' i.e.: date rape, etc. I find nothing even remotely construction about doing that and my responses were based on the OP's given statement.
                                                                                                                                                          What I *did* say is that in the given scenario, I found the restaurant owner to be a man I, myself, found repulsive, overly aggressive or I didn't like the way he looked, etc., then I may be a little more pronounced in the way I handled it than you.
                                                                                                                                                          That's all.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                            "Many posters took it upon themselves to go outside the arena of the scenario described and discussions angled off into other 'what-ifs' i.e.: date rape, etc."

                                                                                                                                                            This is untrue; I raised date rape in response to something else, your suggestion that a woman can intuitively know what a man's intentions are, even a man unknown to her.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                              <your suggestion that a woman can intuitively know what a man's intentions are, even a man unknown to her>

                                                                                                                                                              My suggestion relates ONLY to this thread and the OP's description of the scenario...nothing else outside the perimeters of this discussion.
                                                                                                                                                              *Especially* date rape.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                        <Well mannered men (&women) already understand this>

                                                                                                                                                        ...and I'm not willing to concede that the restaurant owner wasn't well mannered.
                                                                                                                                                        We don't have any facts to prove that he wasn't.
                                                                                                                                                        He simply kissed the two women on the cheek and *their* perspective was that it was 'weird, creepy and inappropriate'.
                                                                                                                                                        It's all about perspective.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                          Every thread on CH is about perspective. Isn't that what CH's DO...share and ask for perspective.

                                                                                                                                                          I'll happily refer back to Fowler's comments, after all Fowler wrote the OP.

                                                                                                                                              2. I wouldn't think it's weird, personally however it's part of my culture. As a gay man living in a city densely populated with other gay men, it is FAR from uncommon to say goodbye to someone you just met with a hug and a kiss. We don't shake hands, THAT would be weird.


                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                                                                  You bring up a very good point and one of which I'm very familiar.
                                                                                                                                                  Having lived next to a very high profile gay community I'm always amazed and inspired, frankly, that people can be so accommodating, kind and welcoming with each other and to complete strangers.
                                                                                                                                                  One restaurant, in particular that we dine at quite often, has a manager that quickly kisses not only regulars but strangers too as they leave the premises. I've observed strangers (many tourists) as they leave and nobody appears to be upset or offended.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                    and to add:
                                                                                                                                                    when i lived in SF and worked in retailing, virtually every single time i said "hello" or "goodbye" to gay friends (of either persuasion) or newly met gay acquaintances, it was always done with a hug and a kiss.

                                                                                                                                                    after i entered the corporate business world in LA, the "rules" seemed to be very different.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                      "when i lived in SF and worked in retailing, virtually every single time i said "hello" or "goodbye" to gay friends (of either persuasion) or newly met gay acquaintances, it was always done with a hug and a kiss."

                                                                                                                                                      Good to know and I appreciate your input. The case here, however, is not about how you personally choose to treat your gay friends and gay acquaintances. :-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                        The point is there's no set rule. This isn't a USA vs. Europe argument, and it's ignorant to try and present it at such (not you specifically, in general). Life is rarely, if ever so black and white.

                                                                                                                                                        If it made you uncomfortable, that's valid.

                                                                                                                                                        If it is not customary for you to have a cheek-kiss as a salutation, that is valid.

                                                                                                                                                        If it IS customary, it is just as valid for the business owner to think so.

                                                                                                                                                        Whether those customs match is a dark, deep complex grey area, especially in a country where customs range wildly within ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, gender, religion, and a whole host of other variables.

                                                                                                                                                        What isn't valid is rehashing something that was likely not thought of maliciously for days on end. It's childish, and I have strong doubts that any respectable business owner would intentionally do something outwardly ill-minded in front of a crowd of customers in their own business.

                                                                                                                                                        finally, I don't care what the "law" is, anyone willing to sue someone over a kiss on the cheek from a stranger needs a serious reality check.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                                                                            >>>If it made you uncomfortable...<<<

                                                                                                                                                            Please read the text of my post. It was not me, it was my female friend.

                                                                                                                                                            >>>If it is not customary for you to have a cheek-kiss as a salutation...<<<

                                                                                                                                                            It was not me, it was my female friend.

                                                                                                                                                            >>>What isn't valid is rehashing something that was likely not thought of maliciously for days on end<<<

                                                                                                                                                            How in the world would you know what my friend thought was or was not malicious???

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                              Forgive me, it was not intended as the specific "YOU."

                                                                                                                                                              I don't, no one does, not you even you (specifically), or your friend. If you're that invested, call the owner and talk to him about it.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                            But what *is* applicable is that Westsidegal had no problem, so it appears, hugging and kissing a new acquaintance. She appears to not find it 'weird, creepy or inappropriate' and neither would I.

                                                                                                                                                            Regardless of sexual orientations or gender isn't this a response to the original question?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                              There are folks about who seem to feel that their own attitudes and behaviors are the healthy standard that the rest ought to aspire to.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                                                                          Great, but my female friend and her female colleague are not gay men or even gay women nor were they in a gay community.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                            I think all that's being said is that in different cultures, whether in your country or in mine, this would not be taken to be offensive.

                                                                                                                                                            That said, my initial post two days ago remains the entirely valid response to your OP.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Inappropriate, no doubt. Weird and creepy probably;but it does all depend on the person on the receiving end. While not the exact the same issue; I have a problem with the man hug from some one I have never met and do not know. The method of offering a firm hand protecting your personal space works in this situation as I would expect a firm arms-length would work for the ladies. Beyond my influence, my wife finds this type of advance completely unacceptable.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bacchus101

                                                                                                                                                            Ah, yes, the dreaded "Bro Hug."

                                                                                                                                                            "Learn to hold your booze, Dude. Offer a firm grip and someday you have a chance of me respectin' you."

                                                                                                                                                          2. I don't know about other people but I would HATE IT. I am not a touchy-feely person, except with my husband and a very few close friends. YUCK.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Isn't an unwelcome kiss from somebody you don't even know called an "assault"?

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                  If so, hundreds, if not thousands, of babies and toddlers are "assaulted" daily.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                                    We'd better arrest every politician who's ever kissed a baby!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                    Only if the *intention* was to give offense, as I read the various definitions.

                                                                                                                                                                    Otherwise, IMO, it's just a personal "ick" moment that you make sure doesn't get repeated at the next encounter, if one occurs.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. We're pretty sure this thread has run its course, and we're locking it now.