I'm going to say right from the very beginning that this post has nothing to do with writing. But it's something I've been thinking about lately, and something that's been cropping up in a few different conversations, so I thought I'd put my thoughts to keyboard and get my personal ideas out there for the whole world to see because really, what else is a blog for?
So, admission time: I don't like hugging.
I know, shocking right? What kind of awful, mean, terrible, heartless person doesn't like hugging? Me. That's who. And while I have plenty of flaws, I don't think I'm awful, mean, terrible, or heartless (except when I squished the flying ant in my apartment this morning - that was pretty heartless. But it was an ANT. And it was FLYING. Uh, no).
I imagine Dr. Phil would say my parents have something to do with my innate dislike of a perfectly innocent and socially acceptable form of affection, and he would be correct.
I don't come from a family of huggers.
Now, don't get me wrong. My parents are two of the most caring, loving, and supportive people I know. They always have been and they always will be. That being said, I went up to visit them two weeks ago for the first time in six months. We hugged once when I arrived. We hugged once when I left. Short, sweet, and to the point. I saw my grandfather. No hugging. I saw my grandmother. No hugging there either. No hugging my aunt I see once a year, or my cousins I often see less than that.
Weird? Maybe. But for me, it's normal. For me, it's comfortable.
I like greeting people with a simple hello and a smile. Same goes for when I leave. So when the heck did it become the norm to hug bloody everyone when you arrive and when you scoot out?
I didn't even know hugging was a thing until I went out of state for college and started meeting brand new people and making brand new friends. I found myself with a boyfriend whose mother insisted on hugging me whenever I left their house. It was nice, I suppose. A friendly, loving gesture with no harm intended. I still didn't like it.
The same thing started to occur when I went to visit friends. I was hugged when I arrived and hugged when I left. By everyone. A simple "It was great to see you, have a nice night!" no longer seemed to be enough. I actually began to dread having to leave a party, especially a party with a lot of people. I would paste a smile on my face and try to say my good byes quickly, but they always caught me.
Huggers are sneaky. And relentless.
So I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to learn to become a hugger. And I tried. I really did. But it's just not for me. First of all, there are so many kinds of hugs and I never know what one to give, or what one I'll be receiving.
There's the face to face hug:
The cheek kiss hug:
The super tight (and uncomfortable) bear hug:
The awkward hug:
The "just please don't" hug:
The one armed hug:
And (horrors upon horrors) the group hug:
I know I'm in the minority when it comes to my opinion on hugging. And I know most of you are sitting there thinking "what the heck is the big deal?" and I guess there isn't one. Not really. I mean, if someone cares enough about me to want to give me a hug, then so be it.
I guess what I'm trying to say in this long, rambling post is that if you have a friend in your group who doesn't try to hug you every time they leave, let them go with a smile and a "hey, catch you next time!" They're not being rude or weird. I swear.
They're just very fond of their personal space.