They say that converts are the worst. Reformed carb addicts have been known to snatch a piece of still warm baguette from your hands while shrieking, “You’ll THANK me for this!” Reformed smokers complain the loudest when a whiff of a stray puff so much as crosses their nostrils. And I may be the worst convert of all – because I, too, am reformed.
I’ll admit it; I’m a former Hug Hater. Now without warning I may embrace you in a bear hug like Joe Biden on the campaign trail.
This conversion is particularly noteworthy because I was not raised by a family of Huggers. My tribe has never been prone to displays of affection. Not that we were Luddites or lacking human emotion, but all of us would agree our personal space needs are bigger than most. Hugs were an expression deemed acceptable only on special occasions.
Most of my life I wished I could deploy an Anti-Hugging Vest. Much like the airline safety floatation device, I could pull the rip cord on the AHV which would inflate in the event of an unexpected hug. The AHV could provide that body space buffer zone to make that awkward encounter a little more tolerable.
I was perfectly content with all acknowledgements expressed in the form of Hug Substitutes. An animated wave, a hearty handshake or even a high five were totally acceptable. But when anyone attempted to breach my space bubble by coming in my direction with outstretched arms, I’d freeze in place, most likely with my face frozen in a look of complete horror. [Read more…]