since i moved to california, i've noticed that i've become a kissier person. you know the kind, the hello or goodbye kiss on the cheek on as part of the hello or goodbye hug. i've noticed that with my oklahoma friends who still live in the midwest that they are often startled if i throw in the kiss, but to california friends, it's perfectly normal.
i was musing on this a few weeks ago when i was on a trip where i saw a friend from here and a friend from ok, neither of whom i'd seen in a while. my friend from here, we greeted each other with the kiss-on-the-cheek-hug. my friend from ok--just the hug. i couldn't figure out what the difference was. both are good friends and oddly enough, the one from ok i've known longer. i finally came to the conclusion that maybe it had to do something with la and hollywood being so close and that it's just a socal thing. then today i came across this article from christianity today. this quote caught my attention: "Kissing someone shows that she is part of our family. That we're exchanging the Holy Spirit. That we're a reconciled, forgiven community."
you really have to read the whole article for the context, but this sentence rang true for me. my friends here are my faith family, my faith community. they're with me in the day-to-dayness of my faith for good and for bad. so it's not a hollywood thing, it's a family thing.