Monday, September 21, 2015
I Hug Now
I'm the grown up. When I'm with 100 teenage girls, I am the old lady who should have it together enough to decide whether we are going to hug. It just isn't right to be sitting there waiting for a 12-year-old girl not only to validate me but also to set the tone and intimacy level of our relationship. Also, I no longer care if the person I hug doesn't want a hug for two reasons: (1) It takes up time in case you have nothing to say to them so the small talk goes better. (2) Even if we aren't close enough friends to be hugging, there's (usually) no harm done.
In some ways my hugs mean less now that I give them out so liberally. Refraining from promiscuous hugging used to be one of my reasons for hugging so selectively—that way you could be sure the hug really meant something. On the other hand, perhaps people find it a pleasant surprise (even if they are at the same time slightly repulsed) that I like them enough to hug them. It all evens out. I guess I've decided to trade being thought of as a weird over-hugger for the possibility of making people feel like I really like them. They may be squirming to get away, but there is no question that I think of myself as their buddy. They might even be thinking, "Wow. I'm surprised she thinks we're such buddies," but it doesn't bother me anymore.
In short, at this point in my life it feels really lame to be insecure about hugging. By initiating hugs with everyone I feel like I am the captain of my own ship and like I set the terms for all my relationships. I don't know where you fall on the hugging spectrum, but I hope that when I see you you surrender completely to my embrace.