Full-time sap and part-time rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson awkwardly decided he was going to play Georgie Porgie and steal a kiss from blonde Fox News reporter, Erin Andrews, and got rejected live on television.
“But nothing truly compares to that 50 Cent instructional video on how to not approach a woman and kiss her. He’s like the Tom Emanski of never getting a second date. As someone who has been on Team Cheek Kiss since 2007, I’m well aware of the possibility for awkwardness, but I also have a firm grasp of when, to whom, where, and for how long. Curtis Jackson has no idea what he’s doing out there. Or, on the surface, it seems as if he doesn’t. You know, just an amateur flirtatious move by a man nervously out of his element.”
The awkward exchange occurred in the pit at the Daytona 500. In the video, which is about a minute long, you can see an eager Jackson make a beeline straight for Andrews, who is in the midst of doing a live shot, and tried to plant one on her. It’s not clear if Fiddy was trying for the lips but Andrews definitely tried to dodge his kiss and ended up giving him the cheek instead. After which, Andrews promptly excused herself from his presence and continued her hunt for Danica Patrick. Not knowing when to take a hint, Jackson began to follow Andrews through pit road like a tattered stray cat, who you – against your better judgment – petted and is now going to follow you down the block. If that is not bad enough, Grantland also offers up another instance, by way of a clip from Saturday Night Live, where the “Candy Shop” rapper clumsily plants five kisses on the cheek, hair and forehead of Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank. I swear this dude thinks he is being cute but little does Jackson know that he and his antics are like one angry white woman away from calamity. Not that black woman don’t understand or institute boundaries but rather the stated boundaries are likely to be respected and taken more seriously when they happen to be drawn by the request of fairer skinned women. But enough about Jackson and his burgeoning white woman problems let’s talk about how disgusting it is to find out that he is on #TeamCheek-kissing.
Me personally, I hate getting kissed by strangers. I know that cheek-kissing is very popular way to greet someone within the bourgeois and aspirational class alike. And most people will engage in the air-kissing, which, while very got-damn pretentious, is pretty much harmless. However there are risk-takers among us; the ones who don’t care about bacteria, viruses, the transfer of bodily fluids and overall personal space. These are the folks that freak me out. And every time I feel their wet lips against my cheek, I feel not only awkward but also profoundly repulsed.
Worse is when the cheek-kiss is expected to be reciprocated. As in the time I was at a community event and ran into a local mover and shaker, whom had been absent from community work for a while. For the purpose of this story, let’s call her Regine. Now Regine was really into politics but up until recently had never won an election. The word around the neighborhood was that while this woman was generally thought of as a smart cookie, folks were turned off by what they felt was a phoney personality. Admittedly, I had always pegged her as a bit bougie but always thought of her as a decent person too. Therefore, when I saw Regine standing alone, and looking rather pitiful and lonely, at one side of the room, I decided I would be a fellow decent human-being and go say hello. Well, my greeting must have made quite an impression because before I could inquire about her missing whereabouts, she had grabbed me by the face, leaned in and planted her lips on both my cheeks. Yes, Regine hit me with the double cheek-kiss. She even made the “mwah” sound with each kiss. Well, that’s what I get for being a decent human being. In fact, I’m convinced that my cheeks must be made out of that same memory foam we see in those beds they sell in those late-night infomercials because to this day, I can still feel the wet spot, from where her lips made contact. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had the nerve to lean in again, this time putting her cheeks near my lips. My entire body went stiff and tensed. Did she expect me to kiss her back? I thought of every non-rude way I could get out of this situation but none could be found. I was cursing internally myself for even bothering to say hello to her bougie behind. The pause was growing heavier by the second and it was time for me to act. Without any recourse, I leaned in and returned the gesture – on both cheeks. Then I quickly excused myself from her presence, feeling violated and vowing to never vote for this smooch-demanding heifer ever again.
Nowadays, I am a bit more savvy. When a person extends their cheek, I usually start a random conversation about the weather or the last episode of “Scandal.” The random jabbering in their ear provides enough of a diversion to get me out of having to reciprocate a cheek-kiss. However, I have yet to perfect a way to gently tell people to keep their lips to themselves without looking high-strung and emotionally retarded. Then again, considering that cheek-kissing seems to be growing in popularity, maybe it is my own hang-up about strange people, whom I don’t have an intimate relationship with, putting any part of their bodies on mine? But while I have worked through my issues with hugs and the occasional arm or back rub (I still flinch out of instinct when strange folks touch me though), I still want to Steven Segal-karate chop the heck out of anyone, who feels inclined to cross the thresholds of familiarity and kiss me – even if it is on the cheek, forehead or the back of the hand. And if that makes me a bad person, well I don’t want to be right. I don’t care if it is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. I don’t care about history and what other folks may do in their culture. I don’t even care if diplomatic relations depended on it; we will all be going to nuclear heaven if it means me having to put my lips on a strange person’s face again. So consider yourself warned.