I have absolutely no problem admitting I like to hug people. I would say I like to hug my friends, but it doesn’t exactly stop there. I like to hug just about anyone I’ve met at least once. Once I know you and consider you a friend, get ready to be suffocated. Sometimes I look at a friend and just feel the overwhelming compulsion to hug the shit out of them. Not literally, obviously.
I think I’ve always been a hugger because of my family. We’re not like backwoods Alabama close but we love each other and make it known. Hugs and I love yous were the norm for me and without them I feel like a wilting flower. Every day I don’t get a hug from someone I know, I die a little inside.
When I was younger, hugging everyone I knew was comforting. Instead of deciding on whether or not I was mature enough for a handshake, I just attacked them with a hug. Alternatively, it was also a way for me to avoid not hugging them. I didn’t feel like it was fair that I was the sole decision-maker on who did and didn’t receive a hug. Rather than awkwardly waving at them from a 3-foot distance, I would embrace them.
But at twenty-seven years old, it’s starting to be concerning. The once thoughtful behavior of coiling someone into my body space is not as appreciated by other [sometimes non-consenting] adults. Is there such a thing as hug-rape?
I recently started a new job and happen to adore nearly everyone within a 20-foot radius of my cubicle. At first, I was excited to greet them with a massive grin. But over a short period of time, my hugging urges became more difficult to restrain.
The job isn’t difficult but it’s complex so there are little victories to celebrate everyday. When a breakthrough in my brain happens, all I want to do is Rocky fist pump in my cube then immediately hug someone. Quickly, I realize that would be “frowned upon” and celebrate silently
I wonder if withholding from a behavior that comes so naturally to me will cause another one to replace it. Like, will putting a halt on my hugging habits create a pterodactyl war cry just to get the energy out of my body? It’s still a hypothesis at this point but that’s the urge I feel when I’m encouraged to keep my hands to myself.
Left to sulk in my cubicle, I often wonder what has kept me ignorantly arrogant for so long. In other words, why am I assuming everyone even wants my hugs? Finding out people don’t like hugs is traumatic enough but realizing people might not want my hugs…devastating.
I think this is a lot of the reason why adults are so sad. We grow up to realize no more nap time, no more recess, no more Pop-tarts and NO. MORE. HUGS.
The problem is, people are more disgusting than ever before and Ebola is lurking on every keyboard. Spreading germs is hard enough to prevent without hugs so I get it. But when germs aren’t the issue, sex always is. If you’re not a completely grotesque human being, you probably just can’t control your sexual desires when someone hugs you. Maybe that’s why adults also cheat on each other. We’ve been denied the ability to hug each other for so long, one friendly “happy birthday hug” turns into sex in the supply closet.
I suppose it’s appropriate to keep workplace accomplishments accompanied with “attaboys” and a dorky thumbs up. It will certainly help the CDC reduce the number of flu deaths each year and keep that divorce rate at a steady 50%.