Hello E-Hell, I am totally stuck.
I have a big family wedding coming up in May, and I’ve learnt that our Auntie H is in attendance. Auntie H definitely does not get along with my family for reasons we have never been clear on. She’s made it clear to our faces and the rest of the family that she cannot stand us. Which is fine, we’re all adults now, and only see each other at large family gatherings.
My issue is that even though she hates us, she still insists on kissing and hugging us hello when we’re in public. We’re not kiss-y people generally, and we resent being physically manhandled by this woman in what is effectively a display on how she’s certainly not the problem in the family (most evidence I have is far too identifying, but she’s dug herself a hole on more than one occasion.)
So, the question is, how do you ‘bean-dip’ a kiss? My sisters and I are long past the age where we can hide, and I don’t want to make a scene. I just don’t want to be kissed by people who would stab me in the back at the first opportunity. Any advice would be gratefully received. 0406-19
I think the best approach is to take the initiative to greet her with a stiff-armed handshake. If you are seated upon introductions, it’s hard to hug someone in that position and a stiff arm stuck out in front of you with a happy “Well, hello there!” should be enough of a signal to even the most obtuse person that you prefer to not be hugged. There is plenty of non-verbal communication that can be expressed in a handshake including the non-verbal statement “Don’t get closer to me”.