Alright, before I start to bruise from the shoulder chuck things, I feel like I need to explain about the hug issues.
The truth is, I am terrible at hugs.
For one, I am taller than a lot of women. So when we hug I either a) crush their earrings into the side of their skulls, b) inadvertantly give them an up close moment with 'The Girls' or c) all of the above PLUS if they are wearing perfume I end up reeking for the rest of the day.
For two, what I REALLY don't like are hugs that are used by women instead of a handshake. I save my hugs for friends. If I am just meeting you or we are mere acquaintances, I don't need to hug you. There is a pastor here in the area that totally epitomizes this. She hugs me to make herself feel better. I KNOW it cannot be for me or because she actually thinks we are friends.
For three, well I really am terrible at hugs. A perfect example can be found in my hug history with Listing Straight. A few years ago she invited a group of clergy women over to her house for lunch. After the lunch we all started to single file it out of her house and the woman in front of me gave Listing a hug.
I remember thinking to myself, "Oh great, it's a hug thing" and gearing up and giving her a hug. To which she then said, "Okay, not everyone has to give me a hug." So the women behind me got out of it and I looked like a total hug schmuck.
We overcame that and became better friends and then she left and then we went to visit her and I actually spent way too much time thinking in the car: Do I hug? What is the etiquette here?
Here is the answer: If you are holding a child, never - EVER - hug. I ended up doing this awkward backwards spin move as she went to hug The Boy (who was in my arms) and I went to hug her. If we were in a competition to come up with a new square dance move we would have won first prize.
It was soon afterwards that she and I agreed that we are 'shoulder-chuck' friends and then she came up with the symbol - ]*
So please, don't apologize for giving me cyber-hugs. If you see me and you have walked with me on this particular journey, please feel free to give me a hug (although maybe not for 5 minutes like Cheesehead did when I saw her in Atlanta).
In the end it is all about showing each other we care so whether you (ws) or ]* the point will come across and no offense will be taken.