Kisses

DRIVING HOME LAST WEEK from my editorial office, I saw a woman carefully inching her car out of a gas station into my lane, which was backed up at a red light. When the light changed to green, I stayed on the brakes and waved her into the road ahead of me.

Some people in that situation pull out with no acknowledgement. Some people nod with an expression that seems to say, Yeah, damn right you're gonna let me in. More people use some variation of that quick little wave we use as a traffic thank-you. This woman? This woman blew me a kiss.

Made me smile for the next mile.

Kisses have been an internet subject this week because of a promotional video shot for peanuts by a tiny clothing label in Los Angeles, Wren. The video shows 20 attractive people paired off and instructed to kiss. Prior to the video shoot, no one had met his or her partner. They were strangers kissing on camera. Each was a friend of the people who produced the video, and because they were mostly, if not all, actors or musicians or models, they might be expected to exhibit more poise and less self-consciousness than most of us would bring to the situation, and I'm sure they did, but nevertheless their human awkwardness and vulnerability are evident and genuine. Because the kissers are mostly performers of some kind and the video was made to promote Wren clothing as part of Style.com's video fashion week, the short film has generated a lot of the cynical snarkass comments—exposed! this wasn't real! this was shot for a client! look at how the people are prettier than the rest of us!—that make the internet so special. Never mind. Watch the video, even if you've already seen it 10 times, and appreciate what a fine bit of expression it is. Then allow me one observation.

There is much to engage your attention here, including the pair who encounter that age-old problem of colliding noses and the young woman who gets so involved she nearly falls out of her shirt and the guy who gives his video partner a sweet little squeeze at the end. But what struck me the most was not the kisses or the kissers, but the lovely things so many people did with their hands. Watch the video again and pay attention to the hands. Like the lady who blew me the kiss at the intersection, those hands made me smile.