Category: In My World

When did huggable become social grace?

This is a little close for comfort

So, something has been bothering me. This issue, although non-life threatening, changing, and basically insignificant… like a piece of sand floating around on my eyeball and despite my valiant effort to ignore it, it’s still annoying me. So, I’ll just slander myself here and call it good.

It wasn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last time, but after the last five day social fiesta, I was once again accused of dropping the hug etiquette ball. Basically, I am a non-hugger. Or maybe that should read……Mike is often forced to hug, but evidence suggests he fails (flails) miserably at it.


Sophie: “You are so funny to watch when people are hugging you. You really suck at hug etiquette.”

Mike: “What do you mean?!! I hug. I hugged no less then 10 people tonight.”

Sophie: “Ya, ok, you ‘hugged’ if you call it that. But you’re stiff as a board and you are the only person I’ve ever seen put 3 feet of space between you and the person you’re hugging. You may not realize it, but it makes you look cold and uncaring.”

Mike: “Damnit, I’m not a cold and uncaring person just because I don’t melt my body with someone I barely know. I care! I’m kind!”

Sophie: “I know that, but you can be confusing to people because you give off mixed signals. You’ll talk to them, make them feel all warm and cozy, but when they go to give you a hug you practically run from them.”

Mike: “I hug you and the girls good enough, don’t I?”

Sophie: “Yes you do, you hug us like you mean it, but we are the exception. Everyone else gets the tree that bends in the middle for a quick shoulder to shoulder touch”

Mike: “Great, I’m an unhuggable tree. Anything else you’d like to add?”

Sophie: “Your ass does look cute when you stick it way out and away from everyone.”

Mike: “Good to know.”

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing wrong. I know my ass does tend to stick out because usually everyone is shorter then me and I’m bending over to receive the impending hug. Perhaps this is evasive action, but I unhinge at the hip, bend way over and out thereby touching my shoulders to their shoulders. This I believe creates that 3 feet of space Sophie was referring to and I’ll usually throw in a one handed back pat. I’ll pat twice if I’m feeling gracious, three times if I’m feeling rambunctious, and quickly retreat back to an upright position. Not good enough? Not feeling some care from that?

Would it be better if I stood up straight, wrapped my arms around the person in earnest, pulled them in flush to my body? I could really show some love by pressing their nose into the valley between my neck and my shoulder and hummmm softly. Would that imply caring or simply smother a person into a cozy zone?

I’d really like to fix this failing social grace of mine. Maybe the next time a man that is of equal size or taller hugs me, I could wrap a leg behind theirs and slide it up and down for some extra lovin’. I could probably throw in an ass grab and press my chest against their chest to convey a memorable ‘nice to meet you sir’ gesture.

When it comes down to it, I admit, I’m not a touchy feely sort of person. I do happen to enjoy people very much, but that doesn’t mean I need a soul pressing hug to validate my internal emotions.

What happened to the handshake in a social setting? Is a handshake so cold and impersonal that it’s currently off the social menu? Why is connection signed, sealed and delivered through physical contact, i.e. an authentic, zero personal space, hug? These questions are the social sand in my eye.

And for you honest huggers out there. I admire your ability to press solidly, pat soundly and impart your physical impression on others. Just don’t hold my 3 feet against me. K?