A New Year's Eve tradition is ...(no, I'm not going to talk about resolutions, that's too depressing), the Kiss. You know, when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31-Jan. 1, we find the person we love the most and plant a big old hairy wet one on him. Or her.
I wondered ... why do we do that?
According to one source on the Internet, it says that in English and German folklore, the first person you encounter in a new year, and the nature of the encounter, sets the tone for the rest of the year. The kiss is about strengthening ties you wish to maintain in the future.
So if you're married, you better hope you received a kiss from your spouse on New Year's Eve. If you didn't, 2013 might not be such a good year.
If you are single, and you didn't kiss anyone New Year's Eve, I've got some bad news for you. There's a superstition that says you're going to have a year of loneliness.
You might want to find out who didn't kiss their spouses. They're probably going to be lonely, too. Just saying ...
On New Year's Day, I was reading my mom's 2013 Farmer's Almanac and came across the article, "A kiss is just a kiss ... or is it?"
Here are some interesting facts I learned about kissing.
*Some anthropologists believe kissing began 125 million years ago with the ratlike animal Eomaia scansoria. It sniffed and rubbed his nose on other creatures to identify them as kin, friend, or foe. (Now, I'm not calling these anthropologists fibbers, but really, 125 million years ago? And kissing rats? Ugh! And how could they know these rats were the first and not Tyrannosaurus rex or the Wooly Mammoth?)
*Some anthropologists believe kissing may have evolved from a way mothers fed prechewed food to their children. (Swapping spit ... hmmm ... spells love to me!))
*Kissing may have evolved from sniffing. The area around the mouth and nose contains scent glands that produce pheromones, our personal perfumes. Kissing is a way to sample a person's unique aroma, detect his or her sexual chemistry, determine his or her health, and discern whether he or she is a potential mate. (Well, all I know is, when we were on our first date and Harry had to stop at a stop sign and he leaned over and gave me a kiss, I knew he was the one! Maybe it was his aftershave, Aqua Velva, or the pizza he had for dinner that I smelled, but whatever it was, that kiss sealed my destiny.)
*A passionate kiss uses a total of 34 facial muscles. (So I guess you could say, if you kiss a lot, you're exercising a lot, which should make your facial muscles stronger, which could mean you wouldn't need a face lift! Guess Joan Rivers never got that memo.)
*Kissing produces extra saliva, which contains immunoglobulins, antibodies that wash the teeth of bacteria that could lead to tooth decay. (Does that mean more kissing could put Listerine out of business?)
*Ancient Romans greeted each other with kisses on the hand, cheek, or mouth. Roman statesman Cato encouraged soldiers returning home to kiss their wives to see if they had been drinking. ("Hi Honey, I'm home after being gone for three years building the Roman empire. Smooch Smooch. Aphrodite, you've been drinking! And whose sandals are those under the bed? Have you been partying without me?")
*For good luck in gambling, kiss the cards before the game begins. (Then get up, walk around your chair three times, slip the Ace of Hearts up your sleeve and tell the dealer he has pretty eyes.)
*Old wife's tale ... To cure a toothache, kiss a donkey on his chops. (Sure, kiss a donkey on his chops and it'll startle him into kicking you in your chops and knock your teeth out. End of toothache.)
*Old wife's tale ... If you drop a piece of bread on the floor, kiss it when you pick it up to avoid bad luck. (If I get my lips that close to a piece of bread, I'd rather butter it, slap some cheese on it, grill it and eat it, than kiss it.)
*Danish custom says that it's a bad omen when the first person you see in the morning is an old woman. Should that happen, you must kiss her to avoid bad luck. (I didn't know Harry was Danish! I just thought he liked me!)
*According to a study by a German psychologist, people who kiss their spouse good-bye in the morning miss less work due to illness, have fewer auto accidents on their way to work, earn 20-30 percent more money monthly and live approximately five years longer than those who do not. (Well, three out of four's not bad. I'm going to tell Harry he's got to rev up that good-bye kiss in 2013! I want all four this year!)
OK. I'll make a New Year's resolution. I resolve to kiss more. Maybe that mouth activity will prevent me from sticking food into it. Which would help me lose weight. Which technically I have not resolved to do. But if it happened, I'd be willing to kiss an Eornaia scansoria. Just saying.