The people at Dentyne just come flat out and say it in their newest TV commercial: The average person spends 20,000 minutes in their lifetime kissing.
Again, this is simply an average.
Your smooching may vary depending on whether you attend a lot of Greek weddings or have more than 15 grandchildren.
I'm not an overly competitive person, but I do believe in keeping up with Joneses, who, by the way, are our newlywed neighbors down the street.
The Fettermans next door have been married 40 years, so I'm thinking these folks may represent a more realistic role model for me.
I assume I've been rolling along at an acceptable rate up until now, but why not increase my output so my obit can read: Exceeded the standard kissing time by 2,000 minutes.
Even my harshest critics would be forced to concede that when it came to lips, I was successful at putting two and two together.
When Mary Ellen came home the other night, I gave her the customary hello, but I realized that if I lingered a few seconds longer in the osculation and then multiplied that time by my predicted life span, I could increase my total production by 20 percent.
Osculation, by the way, is the scientific name for kissing.
Don't use that word during romantic encounters.
It'll have a negative impact on your lifetime total.
After 30 years of marriage, my wife became instantly aware that I had breached the unwritten rule for time spent on the customary "Hi, honey, I'm home from work" kiss.
"What was that all about?" she asked.
"Is something wrong?"
"Your kiss. There was this delay. You were loitering on my cheek. You do know it's only Thursday."
The question, of course, is how they ever came up with 20,000 minutes.
I did a little math and it looks like if your kissing career spans 75 years, you need to kiss about 47.4 seconds a day to reach this goal.
I'm a happily married guy, but there are a couple of days a week that to reach this number I would have to count my relationship with the dog (we're just best friends, I assure you) and my new Big Bertha driver that gets a little extra lovin' whenever I don't hit a ball out of bounds.
Dentyne has a Facebook page where customers put their kissers right online, revealing true-life stories about kissing. About 12,000 individuals are seeking advice on how to inform loved ones about their halitosis.
Actually, it's only 11,258 people. The rest are Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, St. Bernards and the like, put off by humans who insist on going nose-to-snoot without first freshening their breath.
The Facebook site also notes: "You kiss 20,000 minutes in your lifetime. What about the other 40 million moments?"
It's bad enough I'm now obsessed with maintaining a respectable record in the puckering department, but apparently a slew of other situations exist where your breath should be pristine.
There's something to chew on.
In order for my wife and me to someday reach the national average, I'm really going to need her full cooperation. Last night I told Mary Ellen how beautiful she is and how great dinner was.
I think I have a chance of reaching that 20,000 mark, as long as kissing up counts.
For the past 16 years on WISH-TV's Daybreak, Dick Wolfsie has lent his unique brand of wit and humor to the screen.
His video essays and personal stories are unique to Indiana television.
Many are syndicated nationally.
This former high school and college English teacher has logged over 10,000 hours of television. Wolfsie's work in the media has netted him over a dozen awards including a regional Emmy for best host, a national ACE award and a Casper Award for five years as host and producer of AM Indiana.
He has hosted talk shows in New York, Chicago, Boston and Columbus, Ohio. Dick served as a regular host for a series of multimedia cable talk shows originating in New York and broadcast throughout the US and Canada.
Dick has extensive radio experience, including his own talk show on WIBC. He has published articles for Indianapolis Monthly and several national publications.
He has also written and produced stories for WFYI's Across Indiana.
Dick is a weekly humor columnist for 25 central Indiana newspapers. An audio version of his column can be heard on WFYI every weekend right after Car Talk.
He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Mary Ellen, an administrator at Butler University.