Thursday, December 10, 2009
No Hugs Allowed - the Holiday Exemptions
So I don't think I developed an aversion to hugging, I assume I was born with it. It's not a phobia or anything -- it's not like spiders. It's just not my thing. I have a good firm handshake that'll see me through most any social situation (and a well-timed BJ will see you through most any other).
It became kind of a running joke throughout college, where my friends amused themselves with "immersion therapy." My college BFF Helen would not just hug me, she would pick me up and twirl me around too. It was a very Owen Meany kind of thing. I just learned to kind of go limp and submit (don't worry, I don't make a habit of it... see also: the well-timed BJ). The same practice pretty much followed me to every workplace post-college.
Then one time about 10 years ago or so an Intern put his hand on my arm to reinforce a point during a story meeting, and as a joke, I glanced down at his hand and said "don't touch me," and then kept on with the meeting. I really was kidding, and I told him that, but he was spooked. He told everyone after that that not only should they not ever touch me under any circumstances, they also should refrain from looking me in the eye.
This week (holiday spirit and all), everybody's been hugging more than usual, and I've been caught in the crossfire a few times. I suppose maybe the immersion therapy might eventually take.
It better. Because after a casual exchange about the topic on Facebook today, my friend JD wrote, "she's like a daggum basket full of puppies. I say pick her up and smooch her." (I'm bracing myself.)