Why a hug or kiss adds a touch of love

“Pretend,” he’d say every afternoon as the sun went over the yardarm, “that I’ve just come home from a hard day at work.”

And with that my granddad Jack would uncurl himself from the easy chair where he’d been doing the crossword or some other retiree pursuit.

He’d pull my grandmother into his arms and kiss her fully on the lips. And if you watched closely – as I so often did – you’d see a look of pure love pass between them. He’d often angle for a second but she’d shoo him away affectionately.

That kiss at dusk was who they were, what they’d created; a ritual as touching and certain as her futile attempts to replace his pre-dinner peanuts with carrot sticks.

Recently I was having a glass of wine at a friend’s house when her husband came home. He loosened his tie, ruffled his son’s hair, kissed me on the cheek and … that was it. He smiled at his wife but didn’t touch her.

“Kiss her, kiss her,” I silently urged, but neither made a move. And then I took a large sip of hypocrisy because more and more often these days my husband and I are the same.

Read the rest of this column here.