Oh Me Oh My

Friday, September 29, 2006


I am not from an emotionally expressive family. It’s not that we don’t love eachother we’re just more likely to build you a bookshelf or make you dinner than to utter the words.

In high school I never hugged anyone, EVER! It was a strict rule of thumb I guess I used to keep my distance from people—assuming wrongfully that one day they wouldn’t be my friends anymore.

Then I entered university and many things changed; I hugged, a lot. Almost any pictures I have from my time at York I am squished into someone else; arms clasped, cheeks mashing into one another and a big goofy smile on my face. I greeted everyone with hugs—not manly battle hugs with back-slapping and shoulder bumping, and bodies as distant as physically possible, but warm, all-encompassing “I am so glad to see you” embraces.

Then I graduated and for some reason I reverted to my old ways. When I greet people I give them the reverse head nod, which is weird because if your arms are extended and you do the same gesture it looks like you’re picking a fight: “Wanna Go!?!”

When I am at a party and I see someone I haven’t seen in a while I do that weird open palm in the air thing that says either “Hey, how’s it going?” or “Pass me a Sprite”.

Worse yet is when you’re leaving. If I am beyond the point of the one giant wave to everyone present and into individual goodbye territory it will inevitably become an awkward dance of figuring out one another’s upcoming action. Hands are half stuck out, cheeks are presented, high fives are lingering in the air and open arms are comin’ at ya. Inevitably I will do the wrong thing, hugging the high-fiver or hand-slapping the cheek-kisser. Awkwaaaaard!

My friend’s boyfriend is the world’s most notorious hugger. His hugs are full-body boa-grips that last an inordinately long time, and though this freaked me out a little initially, I now welcome them because it makes me feel like he’s genuinely happy to see me.

This is why next time I see you and we’re both standing up, I’m going to hug you. It won’t necessarily be a long hug but you’re getting hugged, so this is your heads up. It may seem strange coming from the guy whose heart is 2 sizes too small but in the words of Marcy Park (Earl and Jen, I’m lookin’ at you) I’M NOT ALL BUSINESS!


At 3:01 a.m., Anonymous jen said...

lol i caught the reference buddy *high fives*.

yeah i saw this video on youtube the other day. it was a really cool thing that guy did. and the support was incredibly. F the PO-LICE!

At 11:09 a.m., Blogger Joanna said...

My mother told me a couple years ago that when I was born there was this super popular doctor who wrote a child-rearing book in Poland that all the mothers read. One of his methods was to hold babies as little as possible especially if they're crying. Fast forward 23 years and when my mom hugs me, my arms lay limp at my side and I'm ever-so-slightly pulling away. I also do the pat on the back while getting hugged by certain friends as if to say "ok, that's enough, this hug's over!!"
Strangely enough, when it's someone I'm dating I hug as if my life depended on it.

At 5:05 p.m., Anonymous Teresa said...

when i was working at hmv, i saw these two girls walking around square one, holding a bristol board between them with "free hugs" scrawled on it in magic marker. i don't think they were very successful. they looked 12 and were sporting the goth look. but i guess they were doing the cute goth thing, and not the go to hell goth thing. hence the hugs. anyway.. they didn't come into the store. no free hugs for me.


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