Thursday, July 26, 2007

About the Hugs

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.

Peace, (((friends)))).


LadyBurg said...

Ah, I remember the hug line. Made me giggle, the memory.


and because I like these too


Kathryn said...

Oh...yippeeeee....If you knew how hard I've had to concentrate to not sign off with hugs, cos that's what I usually do.
So I feel more like hugging you than ever, having been relieved of that particular responsibility.
Hugs :-) xxxx

Songbird said...

How about kisses?

cheesehead said...

Gee, I thought I was being nice.


will smama said...

cheesehead - 5. minutes.

songbird - go kiss cheesehead.

cheesehead said...

Smart @ss.

To be fair, you did ask my why I didn't weigh 500 pounds, as you expected.

DogBlogger said...


And kisses from both dogs, too!

Girl said...

It must run in the family.

I once hugged my friend's mom and ended up biting her cheek.

Listing Straight said...

You know. I really have very little memory of this.

I think I just don't like the obligatory hug. Hugging is fine when appropriate, but I'm not into hugging as a substitute when a handshake or shoulder chuck is more appropriate.

I wasn't always this way. In seminary (the liberal seminary in NYC) we did the kiss of peace in chapel and I was just fine with that.

I guess I just reconnected with my southern uptight roots.

Anyway. Enough.


ppb said...

I hate obligatory hugs. For some reason the cheek kiss of peace doesn't bother me at all. I followed a college chaplain who ended services with "the ministry of hugs." Argh.

But this is all to say that I really had expectged a hug when I got to meet you in September. Right after you joined the liturgical dancers. on stage. I mean chapel.

I'm not good at shoulder chucks. I am always afraid that I'll hurt someone. But for you, I'll try:

]*, or (o)

Questing Parson said...

This was wonderfully uplifting to read. I was wondering if you didn't notice I was in the room.

Serena said...

Good job articulating the challenge of hugs. I love to send virtual hugs .. and really don't like the real thing for all the reasons you gave ... I'm the short VERY ALERGIC one ... and not only do I not like wearing someone else's perfume, I hate the headaches that go with it. If I had my druthers women would send the money they spend on perfume to feed a starving child instead. -:)
(o) and -]*

Quotidian Grace said...

Hey, you're not taller than ME!



Mark Smith said...

I grew up in a "not physically demonstrative" family. Getting involved in church above the local level was an eye-opener on the hug front for me - I just wasn't comfortable.

The only exception - church camp. Everybody hugs everybody there all the time (well ... maybe less on 90 degree 90% humidity days). When I'm there my attitude on hugs is transformed. I accept hugs from anybody.

In the "real world" - my hug list is really short. My wife. Our maid of honor/long time friend. People from camp. My parents very awkwardly. That's about it.

So I'm with you.

If I may be so bold ....

Diane said...

love the kitty hugs. And Scout the dog gives you a smirchy kiss on the cheek.

Lorna said...

I'm not good at real life hugs either for the opposite reasons - I'm so short I end up gazing at the others naval or something

but cyber hugs I can do and I appreciate them too ...
love the picture by the way

((((for you!))))