I was out for dinner the other day and my friend K observed that a nearby couple had gelled as soon as they’d sat down.
‘Yes – they do seem very close,’ I said.
‘No,’ said K. ‘I meant they squirted antibacterial gel when they arrived.’
Then, just as we were about to tuck in to our meze, K offered me a squirt of gel.
Offering gel is a new social ritual. And I’ve noticed it’s nearly always offered by women to men.
It’s also interesting that people normally offer you the little bottle for you to gel yourself.
Is there any significance, I wonder, in the other person doing the squirt for you, directly? Are you then supposed to offer your palm? Or the back of your hand? Is it acceptable to refuse gel? Or to do two or more squirts? Does this vary from country to country? Region to region?
Oh dear. Life in the noughties is so complicated.