I’m not a hugger. Never been one. Don’t think I want to be one.
Nothing makes me want to take cover in a bag of M&Ms more than someone lunging at me open-armed.
And let’s face it (or arm it?), 99% of the time, hugs are given and received out of politeness because it’s what we feel we’re supposed to do in a given situation.
I blame the Americans. They love a good pointless hug. And, as with Black Friday sales, general enthusiasm and pretty much everything else, the freely given hug is being adopted on our shores now too.
My family have never been huggers. We’re more of a ‘high five’ kind of collective. Did well in your exams? High five! Been dumped? High five! You get the picture. Invasion of personal space was never our thing.
For me, a hug from anyone other than my kids is something to be suffered rather than enjoyed. I worry about the possibility of catching head lice if I’m honest. Sometimes the smell of B.O. arising from the hugger is overpowering. Sometimes, if the embrace is particularly uncivilised, there is actual cheek touching, and that opens a whole can of hygiene related worms for me. There is also the probability of make-up transfer to consider; no one needs the gruesome orange streak of Linda from down the road’s foundation across the shoulder of an otherwise clean jacket.
Am I cold and unfeeling? Perhaps. But do I have nits or am I battling a contagious skin rash? Nope.
There is hope, however. We don’t have to hug each other. Why not try a simple handshake next time your tearful friend is mourning the loss of a pet. Or if the guy at work has lost his great-great-Grandmother in a mobility scooter related incident on a cruise liner, an appropriately somber pat on the back is plenty. No need to go overboard.
So let’s all calm down and stop hugging each other needlessly. And if you happen to see me for the first time in ‘aaaaaaaaaaages,’ or you come to visit me and find me waist high in baby wipes and partly eaten biscuits after one of ‘those’ days…don’t even think about it. A decent gift voucher will do instead.
Unless you happen to be Tom Hardy. A hug is OK if you’re Tom Hardy.