Tag Archives: hug

The Art of Hugging.

There are two camps.

Huggers.

Non-huggers.

95% of the time I am not a hugger.  That is unless your on the approved hugger list and allowed inside my personal force field.

How do you know if you’re on the approved list?  I have a genuine look of happily giving / receiving the hug.  Another clue is I haven’t grabbed my cell phone to pretend I have a call coming in to dodge your hug.  Nor have I turned around and walked away, pretending to hear someone calling my name from across the street.

Seriously, I wear an invisible hula hoop sized force field around my mid section that prevents people from getting in too close.  Arms length is ideal.  You take one step towards me and I take two back.  It’s a whole new type of two-step dance.

It’s not to say I don’t like hugging.  Hugs are an important part of our interpersonal connection with each other.  There are some people I hug every time I see them.   Others I would hug all day if I could.  Still, there are some people I would prefer remain on the outside of the hugging arena.  Beyond arm’s reach.  Thank you.

It turns out I’m a picky hugger.  My hugs aren’t flung around like breath mints in a dance club, I’m selective in who I share them with in life.  Some people realize this about me and will actually ask me if it’s okay to hug me first.  Love that!  It especially throws them for a loop if I initiate the hug.   If you get one, hang on to it, it could be sold on eBay in later years as vintage collectible interpretive artwork.

Occasionally, I let the force field down without warning and it shocks the hell out of my friends.  Especially those who have never received a hug from me themselves.  Imagine going up and down the Costco aisles with me when all of a sudden I yell out this guy’s name and run up and give him a hug.  My friend’s lower jaw actually hit the shopping cart as I ran off to hug this stranger.  He was speechless.

When I returned to the cart he could only utter short sentences in disbelief:

Really?

You’re hugging strangers.

And they’re old.

But you won’t hug me?

Did you even know that guy?

Really?

With my big cognac colored eyes blinking innocently, what can I say?  It was a long-lost friend.  Honest.  I still haven’t lived this moment down with him.

Those who know me know I’m generally not going to initiate a hug, which leads to a bit of enjoyment when they see a known hugger coming at me.  The moment of their enjoyment is preceeded by my exclamation of, “oh here comes a hug” which leads to a snort from the group.

There are people who are champion huggers and would hug anyone, anything at any time.  That’s great and I’ll accept your hug, as that’s the polite thing to do.  It’s people I don’t know very well – neighbors, second cousins, friend of friends… who hug me upon greeting.  Makes me sweat when they start heading my way.

Speaking of dispensing hugs.  I have mastered a way to avoid a hug entirely.  Simply follow these steps:

1.  Place target in sites and mentally prepare to accept hug.

2.  As target approaches, open up your arms as if to embrace target with loud exclamation of how good it is to see them.

3.  Quickly put forward your right hand for a handshake and with your left hand place it on their should or elbow, depending on your height, to stop advance.  Press firmly with left hand to apply hug brake.

4.  Engage handshake.  Avoid hug.

It works, I’ve done it.  Trust me.

Once you’ve figured out a hug is coming, and you’ve decided to accept the hug, the next hurdle is what kind of hug to dispense.  A full frontal hug or a sideways hug?  Yes, these are things non-huggers contemplate within the 5 seconds of a hug being launched.

It’s too much.

Personally, my size is an issue.  I’m short.  Barely 5’2 on a good day.  Tall people (nearly everyone else)  have to fold up like a Praying Mantis to hug me.  Others have an inexplicable urge to pick me up.  Please don’t.  My size also lines up perfectly with boobs.  Talk about uncomfortable, unless you’re into woman’s boobs…it’s awkward.  I’ll just stick with being familiar with my own boobs, thanks.  What’s even worse is if you get a long-term hugger and you try to release but they’re still hugging you and you’re squished into their boobs.  Where’s the release lever?  Don’t make me tap you on the shoulder and say, “excuse me but your time is up.”

Note:  Exception to the long-term hugger issue above:  If it’s a sexy, fit and handsome guy whose is doing an extended hug…well then that’s okay I’ll hug back for however long.

Don’t even get me started on the sideways hug issues.  With my height, I tuck in very nicely under the arm pit.  I mean really.  Three words:

Arm.

Pit.

Heat.

Which reminds me, I need to tell you about my recent experience on Alaska Airlines….speaking of pit heat.  That’s for another time.

Personal Safety Zone – Hoola Hoop Style

I’m not a hugger – unless I know you.

In reality, even then, I may not hug you.

It’s nothing personal.  I prefer to keep a hoola hoop size safety zone around me at all times, whenever possible.

Of course there are definite situations when this doesn’t work.   Examples:  elevators, dance floors, receptions, bars, grocery store lines, airplanes, Costco food sample tables….you get the idea.

I’m also short.

Hugging can be awkward.

I don’t necessarily want to end up in my friend’s pillowy cleavage.  But thanks for the offer!  Not to be rude….but let’s avoid the “eye to boob” contact – thanks.

99% of the people have to do a full bend to hug me – that’s awkward for them….appreciative to me.  In fact I usually stand up on my tip toes in return.  Cutting off at least 2 inches in the bend.

For the hugger, one of three things happen.

  1. A full squat to hug me (which only leads them to the thought of, I could pick her up and swing her around….)
  2. They bend at the waist, allowing their butt to stick out far enough to hamper traffic movements around them.
  3. We do a side hug and I get tucked into their armpit.

Now you see why I prefer the hoola hoop – there’s safety in the no touch environment.   It’s my little world inside the hoop and I prefer to keep it that way.  Which is nice, have you seen some of these people running loose out there?  Makes me want to hand them a Sani-wipe!

Not too long ago I was on the verge, it hasn’t left my mind completely, of bringing my own silverware with me to restaurants.  It’s one of the first things I check.  Not just mine but I look at others as well.  On more than one occasion I have sent a friend’s silverware back due to being unclean.

Then I realized, with horror, if I brought my silverware, I may as well bring my own glassware and plate.  I’m certainly not going to haul around a wheeled carry on bag everywhere I go, so I’m going to have to live with whatever is on the plate.  At least I can check the glassware for lipstick.

So what do you do when you see the glass is clean – no lipstick, dried  crusty food bits or other things that make you go “no thanks” yet you’re going with your gut and that scratch may be more than just a scratch on the glass?  Do what I do – the lip roll.

Position glass just under your lower lip line.

Curl lower lip over glass edge.

Drink.

Yes, I could use a straw, but I don’t want lines in my face later on in life.  People will think I lived my life either as a chronic smoker, or worse yet…a habitual pole smoker.  Let’s just move on.

Bathrooms…..wouldn’t be so disgusting if it wasn’t for the people using them.  Are people using a different set of manners in public restrooms than they would at home?  If home bathrooms are being used in the same manner as the public bathroom, we’re in trouble.

Several things disturb me:

Moaners.     These are the women who are moaning and groaning during the entire process.  From unzip to rezip.  Really?  Is it necessary?  With the occasional sigh thrown in as their ass hits the seat.  Which makes my stomach turn as the hazard sign blinks, “don’t sit on the seat!”

Piddlers.       If you pee (or worse) on the seat – wipe it up.  It’s YOUR bodily fluid – not mine.  Do you do this at home?  Send in the Ebola team, we have a contagion.  Makes me faint just thinking about it.

Lovers.     I know what you’re thinking – shame on you.  I’m talking about the over the top Mother Earth lovers.  Those who only flush once a day in order to save the water levels, save the rats in the sewage system and keep the earth green .   I love the earth.    However if you’ve taken a poo – be kind to the next in line – flush it!

Wash Your Hands.       Forget it.  Telling John Q Public the way to prevent illness is to wash your hands frequently is like trying to convince a dog not to roll in dead salmon.  It’s the same outcome.  The dog thinks, “but it smells so good.”  John Q. Public says, “but I didn’t get anything on myself.”  Really?  Tell that to the next person who comes down with e coli.

Speaking of washing your hands, I had a moment in a public restroom while I was washing my hands.  A lady comes up to the sink and only used one hand.

  • Turned the faucet on with her right hand.
  • Rinsed her right hand.
  • Got a paper towel with her right hand.

Which can only mean one thing:  she wipes with her right hand.  Why not wash both hands?  Is the left one NOT dirty?  Did you not touch anything with the left hand?

The people who immediately comes out of the stall and grabs a paper towel to turn on the water at the sink crack me up!  Not wanting to touch the water knobs because, “all those dirty hands are touching them and it’s gross!”  Ponder me this…did those same dirty hands not touch the latch to get out of the stall?  Just curious.

Disturbing isn’t it?

Think of all the things you touch in a day, that someone else has touched.  Handles, buttons, pens, latches, doors, boxes, railings, carts, hands, arm rests, counters, money….etc, etc.

Which leads me to traveling on planes.  Everyone take a deep breath….they’re like bathrooms but different.  Horrified?  Makes me sweat a little just thinking about it.

As soon as I sit down, I get out my Sani-wipes and wipe down my hoola hoop safety zone.  Seriously, how many other people have sat there before me?  When was the last time any of this has been wiped down?  With a sanitizer?  Arm rests, seat belt buckle, head rest and the tray table – anything I am going to touch, I’m wiping down.

Tray tables are like petri dishes – who knows what has been on them!  Forget the seat pocket.  I don’t want to think about what has gone inside those little hot pockets.  Could be everything from dirty diapers to flu ridden tissues or vomit bags.  Nope.  Keep it.  I’m not touching it or the magazine – this isn’t a cracker jack box with a surprise inside!  Technically, there is a surprise, you just have to wait 48 hours to see what you get.

Traveling on airplanes is like going to the zoo – you never know what show will be happening during your visiting hours.   Could be screaming new born or adult hysterics.  A guinea pig running amok.  Drunk and newly discovered love birds.  Or someone trying to find their bottle of aspirin.

When you drop something on the floor and you can’t easily locate it – an Emily Post solution would be to ask those rows around you to see if it rolled under their seat.

Are you shy and afraid to ask?  Then ring the flight attendant.  They can ask for you.  Our personal space is only so big and we’ll be happy to look around our space to see if we can help locate your lost item.

However if you are determined not to bother anyone and think the solution is to get down on your hands and knees….patting the floor from two rows in front of you to three rows behind you….please for the love of the other passengers WASH YOUR HANDS afterwards!

If you think seeing a grown adult, on all fours, going up and down the aisle….while talking to themselves… isn’t going to draw attention then your world must be filled with unicorns and glittery pixies.

Big ol’ butt coming at you….backing up….beep…beep….excuse me. How you like me now?

Big ol’ fuzzy head of hair come at you….excuse me…..have you seen my bottle of aspirin?

Better half yelling from their spectator seat:  Did you find it?  Well look under the seats!

Nearby passengers are hoping the cart with the little tiny bottles comes by very soon – otherwise they’re hitting the button.

I’m thinking we should provide a mandatory sani-gel rinse as people get on a plane.  Wipe ’em down folks and keep your hands to yourself.