A few years ago, at one of the many family weddings that one is obliged to attend if one is of Irish-Catholic stock in Scranton, Pennsylvania, my wife ran into an old college friend, a middle-aged man, who had a startled look on his face. “I just met your father and grandmother,” the friend said, “and they both kissed me on the lips.

My wife was unperturbed. “Welcome to the club,” she said.