Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Sunday, April 10, 2005

On Hugging

When I was in high school, I was part of a very touchy feely group of friends. We hugged each other often, lay about each other, sometimes played with each others hair. We didn't think anything of any hidden subtexts or anything. We just enjoyed being around each other and most of us liked to express affection through touch.

And then I'm not so sure what happened, but it seems that the people I hung out with during and after college seemed to be of the "I'm too cool (or too tough) to be hugged" sort, and so it just kind of stopped. They just gave off the vibe that they were not into hugs hello or goodbye. At all. Or that a hug meant more to them than it really did. Which is too bad really.

I had even begun thinking that it had been a long time since I had been the recipient of a hug, and just thought about how nice they were. I'd like to think that everyone needs some kind of constant touch in their lives, something that reassures them that the world doesn't think they are a leper case.

I guess I don't hug people as much as I do cause I am afraid a bit of the idea that when I do, the person receiving it will freeze up, or sometimes worse yet, do the "pat-pat" which is the kind of hug you give when you're being hugged but caught in that weird situation with a friend where maybe the hug's a bit weird, (maybe you don't really know the person well, maybe you're just caught off guard, in the worst case, maybe you really don't like the person) but you know the person (or his or her friends) well enough to not want to be totally rude either.

So it was a really nice surprise when after saying goodbye to my friend's friends, one whom I met only once before, gave me a hug goodbye when I offered my hand to shake goodbye. (New England Puritanism at its finest, I know.)

Maybe we all need to get over the whole "this is my space, this is your space" type of thinking and just get over ourselves and hug people we know more often. It couldn't hurt.