LUXEMBOURG-VILLE -- A woman who staunchly upholds the practice of three cheek kisses remained motionless for a whole evening when a friend stopped after only giving two.

Eva Keester, a 39-year-old social media manager, is considered by friends to be a stickler when it comes to Luxembourgish social customs.

“Whenever I see her and lean in for the kiss, she always whispers ‘three times’ just before I make contact,” said Keester’s friend Gemma. “Which is helpful, because otherwise I might get it wrong and accidentally give 15 kisses.”

However, on Wednesday evening Keester’s insistence backfired when a new member of her circle of friends, Enrico Mistretta, either didn’t hear the reminder to deliver three kisses or ignored her. After the second, he greeted the others before taking a seat and ordering a drink.

Refusing to back down, Keester remained standing, slightly bent over, face turned to the side, lips puckered. She stayed in that position during the entire two-hour meal.

At first, friends begged Mistretta to just give the third kiss, but he declined, saying that it was a matter of national pride. They then urged Keester to surrender and sit down.

“I’m not backing down,” she managed to say through her rigidly puckered lips. “In Luxembourg it’s three kisses.”

When everyone stood to depart after the long dinner, Mistretta nonchalantly went to deliver two goodbye kisses to Keester, but she abruptly pulled away after the first.

“Three, you see, that wasn’t so hard,” she said.


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