You'd be surprised how many Frenchmen want to walk around with lipstick kisses on their cheeks.
Or maybe you wouldn't.
A friend and I walked into La Parisienne during high lunch mode. The place was positively bustling with activity and after the sharp windy cold, it felt warm and inviting inside.
The owner walked up to greet us, offering his cheek for a continental greeting. Being a regular customer, I obliged.
Today's frigid temperatures made Zee Onion Soup too appealing to pass up and my friend shared her frites and mac and cheese, so there were carbs galore.
Midway through our meal, the owner came back for a second kiss on the other cheek, much to the amusement of the two lawyer types at the adjoining table.
"He's your blotter," one observed. Indeed.
A belated Christmas present from my favorite Gemini came in the form of a book, "The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink" along with a card saying, "It's hard to pick out a gift for the woman who has read everything."
As we sat in front of the south-facing window, my friend noted that she liked this place so much because it was so cheerful and I knew what she meant.
Let's just say that it wasn't our first lunch there together.
We talked about couples and finances, emotionally unavailable men and married couples with open marriages.
And, for the third time, the owner came up looking for a replacement for the lip print that he had inadvertently wiped off.
He must have read the same article in today's "The Telegraph" that I had.
The science reporter confirmed that it's far healthier to greet someone with a Continental kiss than a handshake during cold and flu season.
Still, if I'd known how much kissing I was going to do at lunch, I'd have brought along extra lipstick.