Talking Allergies

Office Parties / Double-Cheek Kiss Greeting
Page 1 of 2

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Office Parties / Double-Cheek Kiss Greeting

OK, so I go to the husband's office party and while it's lovely to see the very nice people he works with ... I've been double- and single-cheek pecked by three people before I've even got my coat off.

I have no idea what they've been eating until a few minutes later. Not so good.The party favourites - shrimp and sushi (with soy dipping sauce) - are among the offerings. I wash off but within minutes need to take a Reactine due to small hives erupting. (At least nothing worse.) Sigh.

Maybe I'm inept at this one area, but has anyone figured out how to politely deflect the "kiss" greeting?

Author:  AnnaMarie [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

"I'm just getting over a really bad don't want to catch it"


Author:  gwentheeditor [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I hear you - but I'm just the world's worst actress, don't know if I could pull it off.

Plus it invites those "oh, I had that too ... blah-blah" boring cold stories.

Still - it's better than breaking out into hives - or seeming downright rude.

Author:  ethansmom [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's a tough one, I would have also suggested the "I think I'm coming down with something.." standard. What if when someone approaches and moves in to kiss, you turn it into a hug? Too obvious?

Author:  dustytiger [ Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

if you go with the i'm coming down with something everytime you see a person though then they'll think you're avoiding them which is even more rude

my problem is that fregrances and lingering cigerette smoke cause my asthma to act up sometimes, and there just isn't a polite way to tell someone, i'm sorry but if you kiss my cheek or hug me again i'm going to cough up a lung... but on the other hand running for a puffer after a hug isn't the best impression either...

soooo confusing, i don't have any ideas but i'm watching this post to see if there's anythign i can use that's for sure!!

Author:  Caroline2 [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:14 am ]
Post subject: 

I have done this move not for allergy reasons but personal space issues: I hold out my right hand, crossing my arm diagonally across my body while leaning my shoulders back ever-so-slightly. This 'dodge' is pretty strong body language, but I have not lost a friend over it. (I hope!) You might want to practice with a partner, though, so it is a smooth move. :wink:

Author:  KarenOASG [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:49 am ]
Post subject: 

We should come up with a name for your move, Caroline2! Did anyone ever listen to CBC radio a few years ago - in the morning they had a segment where they would describe something and then ask listeners to send in made up words to match the concept. Funny things like a ponytail on older men (ponis is the word that I remember) and what happens to you when you're shovelling the driveway and hit that bump of ice and then get gutted by the handle of your shovel. I can't remember what words came in for that, but I remember thinking - yeah - we need a word for that!

Anyway, sorry G - definitely not a fun situation for you. The only thing I can think of is to do is like what Caroline2 does - I would lean back and stick my hand out.

We should write to Miss Manners about this one! It's so 21st century.


Author:  Helen [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:30 am ]
Post subject: 

I've run into similar problems this holiday season. With family, I opt to risk being "rude" if I decide that it is a high risk allergy moment. Not as easy an option for an office party, I realize. I don't mind hugs and kisses on the cheek when people arrive (although the thought of allergies always crosses my mind). . . but towards the end of this particular family gathering, a relative distributed "turtles" chocolates (containing pecans) to everyone (I was even offered one . . .by someone who has known me my entire life. My sisters who react when around nuts weren't able to make it, so we did not specifically request a nut free celebration this time.) I just feel like saying farewell from afar after that. I haven't had severe contact reactions, but I do sometimes get hives.
Even with family it is awkward.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:13 am ]
Post subject: 

See, my family are all so in your face (I am too) that I would not hesitate to say, "I can't believe your handing out turtles when you know I have allergies to...".
As for parties, I don't think it's rude to do as Caroline2 suggests. I think it's ruder to make someone sick. If it's done with an honest smiling face and you take a moment to make a positive comment, you're not giving the the brush off.
Sometimes it's not is what we do but in the approach taken. You can get away with a lot when you smile.

Author:  Nicole [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode about the "Kiss Hello"? Seinfeld hated it. What did he end up doing? I can't remember.

If all else fails, what about the simple, honest truth? Sorry, I have contact reactions to food, so no kissing for me.

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

OK, I'm going to try the Caroline diagonal-armed leanout approach, smiling as Susan suggests. Thanks for the suggestions - think it might just work. (I'll report back after the next party.)

Problem with the explaining approach is that these fleeting kiss greetings are done so fast that they're over before you've had a chance to say - "but.."

Author:  Nancy [ Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Would anyone consider telling the truth? My family is a "in your face" kiss aholic. My son has a life threatening allergy to treenuts, peanuts, sesame & sunflower seeds. My husband and I have taught our son to not kiss, but say "let's not kiss, I have food allergies and I do not know what you have eaten...and that could make me sick". So far no one has been offended and it actually helps educate people who know nothing about food allergies.

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Nancy, With family, absolutely agree.

But this is in the context of an office Christmas party and being pecked on the cheek almost before I'd even seen one person in particular approaching. This is why I like Caroline's approach, and I think I have to go in at-the-ready at the next party.

I was a bit caught off guard. Hadn't even made it to the coatcheck. Will try to be ready with that extended arm next time. Gwen

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:09 am ]
Post subject: 

Once you have manouvered around the cheek kissing greeting, and have touched on a subject or two you can always confide that you find such greetings awkward due to food allergies and the risk of developing hives-if you choose to.
You can thank them for being gracious enough to accept your handshake.
In that way, you are protecting yourself, educating others, giving an explaination if they did think it was awkward and the confidential tone will make them feel important.
Many people you work with are probably aware of your allergies already so it may not be an issue with most.
Good luck at the party and let us know how it goes.

Author:  Supi [ Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

How about wearing 'herpetic-sore' stick-ons to keep people away? Cheek condoms? :shock: :?

Kidding aside, I can always pick out dog/cat owners after a hug/kiss because my face breaks out in hives almost immediately. It sucks and happens so fast that it's next to impossible to explain ... I like Caroline2's approach and will try it myself this season! :D

PS Hope I didn't offend anyone with my original 2 ideas ... :oops:

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 4 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group