I'm a hugger, no question about it. I give good handshake, but I prefer hugs every time. I like to get into someone's sacred physical space with a gesture of humanity at every opportunity. And, truth be told, I like to tweak the nonhuggers by doing the same thing. I'm also a pusher, arm grabber and poker, but those are different blog posts.
Someone gave me a 'push/pull' hug the other day and that got me to thinking about how many different kinds of hugs there are. I'm convinced that politicians are the ones who invented the push/pull. Here's how it works: When they know they're going to have to hug an oncomer, which is anathma to a push/puller, they steel themselves with stiff, outstretched arms. They know they can take charge of the hug-out by grabbing the person's right shoulder so they can control how close the hugger comes in and at the same time they gently push the hugger's left shoulder away from their body. It's a bizarre feeling and the innocent comes away from a hug like that thinking, "Whoa, what in the hell was that?"
I suspicion that we've all walked up to a 'hard hugger.' One of my dearest friends is a 'hard hugger.' I've had to train her over the years to go easy on me with her rib-breaking strength. If I didn't love her so much and if she didn't have one of the world's greatest open-mouthed smiles, I would run screaming from the room at the sight of her arms beckoning me to her bosom.
Then there is the 'man hug.' I'm talking about the emotionally-challenged man hug here. Some men hug with abandon, especially other men in their families or great men friends. I'm talking about the every-day, painful-slap-on-the-back hug that, while allowing for closeness, does not exclude their manliness. Both heads turn sideways, away from the other's head while they continue to slap the back of their fellow hugger, and they always slap so HARD. Why do they do this? It makes me giggle every time I see it.
At least the African-American-man 'shake'n hug' has some rhythm to it. It's like a dance with one fluid movement as they grab the other's hand, slide forward, pull in to one side (usually the left side), turning the head and sometimes even laying their heads on each other's shoulders as they laugh, then push apart still laughing. White men should NEVER attempt this hug. It's cultural. It's historical, and let's face it...white men can't hug.
Every now and then I appreciate a good 'big-bosom hug.' This is a foreign conceptual hug for me because when I hug a man, for example, it's flat chest to flat chest with only our breast plates or possibly my strand of pearls separating our internal organs. I always feel loved when I get a 'big-bosom hug,' don't you? Not only does it cushion the embrace, but if the bosom is big enough, it kind of wraps around you like a hug inside a hug. It just makes me happy.
However you do it, keep huggin' it out!
You forgot the stage hug that actors do if not trained well. I see it all the time and it makes me yell and scream at actors. They come together like they are measuring each other's shoulder widths, place their hands gingerly on the shoulder blades of the other and then touch chest bones. Meanwhile there is about a foot of air between them at the waist and their asses are sticking out like JLo's. It is so ridiculous and makes me know for certain that they are not connected to any kind of truthful emotion. It's so actory and fake that I just can't stand it. I make them stand right up to each other and HUG! I make them hug every part of the other's body and wrap their arms around each other and give affection in a meaningful way. This always makes an impact on the actor and they feel the warmth of a real hug.
Be that as it may I hate for people to hug me.