My Hugging Dilemma

(A repost of some of my earlier blogging on other sites.  I am occassionally re-posting ones that I think are interesting.  Originally posted February 6, 2009)

(I still struggle with this – 2015)

Today is National Hug an Episcopalian Day.

Having hugged my favorite Episcopalian, my lady wife, I feel I have filled my quota.

Of course there is that other thing.

HugIt’s really rather embarrassing.

But here goes…

I’m not a natural hugger.

Which is NOT to say I’m some kind of UN-natural hugger.

Oh dear, this does get complicated doesn’t it?

Let me try again.

I am a relatively shy person who grew up in a house where we were not real physically demonstrative. So hugging doesn’t come easily for me.

Now at this point some of you are thinking “Well then great googly moogly son just don’t hug! It’s not like there’s a law requiring it. Heck, some of us would prefer that all this hugging nonsense toned itself down anyway”

But you see you miss the point.

I LIKE hugs.

The problem you get into is the whole “Do I know you well enough?” and “Are you one of those anti-hug people?” and “Oh my God,I’m going to mess this all up!” and “Is this too long a hug, is this too short a hug, am I offending them?” stuff.

Maybe you don’t want to be hugged cause you don’t like hugging.

Maybe you don’t want to be hugged cause you don’t like ME.

Maybe you would love to have a hug but wonder why I seem to be rather reluctant and what does THAT mean?

(Bet you never knew that hugging was so complicated, did you?)

I envy folks who can just hug the stuffing out of life.

I’ve gotten better over the years. Most of my best friends, male and female, seem to be into giving me (and getting) a big hug. My brothers still hug a little awkwardly but we hug. My youth are big huggers. I don’t have to do much, just wait for it from them. My bishop is a BIG hugger. You meet my bish, you’re gonna get hugged.

There was a great moment late last year in my hugging history. A male adult leader that I was just getting to know better was at a meeting with me (and a bunch of other folks). At the end I was caught in my hugging dilemma and stuck out my hand to shake hands as we left. He looked right at me and said:

“I prefer a hug”

Now I know exactly where I stand with him.

And that’s SO cool!

So I’m willing to practice my hugging with willing partners. (I’ll shake hands with anyone else. Heck, I’m easy) Just let me know.




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