I Love Each and Every One of You ... From the Bottom of my Heart
I can recognize a fellow curmudgeon a mile away. Today I present to you Richard Cohen, who's on a tear about false displays of affection:
We have become a nation of phonies. We blow air kisses at one another. We love everyone. We don’t merely like them or respect them or hold them in some esteem. We love them. We have done away with the intermediary steps of feelings less than love. Performers on the stage shout they love us. Politicians love us. Acquaintances love us. The people who actually love us still love us, but how would we know? Never mind condemning recreational sex. How about recreational love?
Preach it brother, Cohen! After lamenting the way customer service interactions are done on a first-name basis, English's lack of distinction between formal and informal speech, the decline of firm handshakes, the rise of hugs and kisses, and the existence of emoticons, he concludes:
I want to be called mister. I want to shake hands. I don’t want to be hugged. I want to kiss only certain women — some on one cheek, some on two — and very few men. I want degrees of intimacy, gradations, so I know where I stand and so, for that matter, will you. I recognize that I may come across as a crusty old geezer, but I just had to get this all off my chest. Thanks for bearing with me.
But don't worry. I still love each and every one of you.
Kiss image via Shutterstock.