Blow me a grimace

I was picking my daughter up at daycare yesterday and all the kids gave her a hug except the new kid, George. George is a good guy, just kind of shy with the ladies. Krista the Daycare Person said, “Well, just blow her a kiss, then,” and she demonstrated. George demurred and pressed up against Krista, but there was something weird about it I’d never noticed before, and I had one of my weird contextual leaps.

I realized that the only expression that you can blow someone is a kiss. (Is a kiss an expression? What the hell is a kiss, anyway?) If you can only blow positive things at someone, why not a smile or a wink? And why confine yourself to the positive. Haven’t you ever felt like blowing someone a punch while you were driving – you’d smack your fist in your palm while gazing malevolently at the cretin who just nearly sideswiped you and then sneer like Billy Idol in the “Eyes Without a Face” video while you blew the punch his direction. Or her direction.

I mean, I’m not unhappy that people aren’t blowing at me with every asinine thought that comes into their heads, and I’ve got a screaming crotch-punch saved for the first person I see blowing their fast food order in front of me, or any food order for that matter. (“I’ll have a venti latte - *smooch* – OOOOWWWWWWWWWW.”) But what the hell is it about? Where did it come from? How do we ensure that it won’t spread? What if people in retail businesses start blowing thank yous? (“Uh, 2 adults and a toddler.” “OK, here you go – enjoy the show. *puff*”) You can’t screaming-crotch-punch a movie ticket person, they’re behind plexiglass. What if you get a speaker-kiss blown at you after you’re done ordering chili tots at Sonic? You can’t screaming crotch-punch a colorful speaker.

Without knowing anything about it, I figure it’s probably French. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I don’t hate or fear the French or any of that nonsense. I eat quiche (but I call it “egg pie” if any guys are around), I drink wine sometimes even when beer is available, it’s all good, but you know I’m probably right. There was no feudal lord in 14th century Japan blowing kisses at concubines, those guys probably threw ninja stars or elaborately folded paper airplanes at the ladies when they were trying to get their attention. The person who blew the first kiss was definitely wearing a powdered white wig and/or bloomers.

So I’m admit it: I’m thinking… what else can I blow at people? All I can think of is malice, but I’ve watched a lot of kung fu movies. But what the hell is this kiss-blowing thing all about? It’s not like mankind has come up with a ton of quirky ways of expressing love or affection, most things you can do with gesticulation are nearly-universal ways of flipping people off. Waving? Flip-off. Pointing? Flip-off. Waving a fist in the air? Flip-off. Hell, blowing a kiss is probably the same as flipping someone off in some remote corner. Where did this weird little gesture come from?