Hugs not Drugs? Ehh…
Because I think about these things, I’ve dissected hugs. Here are my findings.
- Both Arms on Top— This hug is when you overpower someone, placing your arms usually around their shoulders, pinning their arms down. You are the hugger (dominant) and the other person is the huggee (recessive). You’ve probably initiated the hug, and the person you hug is probably in some way smaller than you either in body mass or height or both. You gather them into your arms. Their arms either wrap around your middle or hang at their sides. You are imparting to them emotion, often strong and often dealing with like. Unless you anger hug, which is new, but hey, you do you.
- Both Arms on Bottom (1)—This hug is when you let someone overpower you. You accept the role as huggee. This could be because you’ve been trapped by that person at church who thinks that you two are best friends and they just want to give you all of their love while you cry on the inside. Or maybe, it’s a shit day/week/life and you drag yourself home (home-home, like to mom’s house home) and let your mom or dad hug you and tell you that everything will be alright. You are receiving emotion and/or comfort.
- Both Arms on Bottom (2)—You suck. Don’t be that person that grabs another human around their middle and lifts them up like a frat boy lifts a keg. Unless that person you’re hugging is your child or your niece/nephew, don’t do it. Don’t. You are better than that brand of terrorism. At least, don’t you dare do that to me because I will cut you. You have given me full access to your kidneys. Know that.
- One Arm on Top, One Arm on Bottom—This is the equal rights hug. You and the other person are both giving and receiving. No one is dominating anyone else. You’re bringing in equal admiration of the other human being, or at least you’re doing a damn fine job of faking it.
- Side Hug (1)—Hey, Voldemort. No but really. I hate this hug. Usually, someone is talking and they pull you in for this moment of pure awkwardness because they won’t stop talking to whoever they are talking to, which sort of puts you on display. What am I supposed to be doing? Do I wave? Should I acknowledge the person they are talking to? Why aren’t they letting go? I would like to leave now.
- Side Hug (2)—Someone wants to hug you, but despite your best efforts to hide from them or put genuine physical obstacles in their way to prevent them from hugging you, they well lean across two pews and latch their arm around you. And you just have to take it; unable to really hug them back either. You have to do that stupid forearm pat. What is that? What am I doing? Since when does an arm pat constitute reciprocating a hug?
- Shoulders—Neither of you feel comfortable touching each other. For whatever reason, both of you have decided that you want to hug, but you also want as little of your body touching as possible, so you both very tightly press your shoulders together and pat each other on the back. You’re lying about friendship and liking each other, yet feel compelled to make each other and everyone watching think that you are best friends.
- Body—For me, this is reserved for either family or the next person I will actively avoid in my life until I die. My parents and siblings have changed my diapers. I’ve changed the diapers of all of my nieces and nephews. Only when I have that sort of bond and comfort with another human being, am I okay with going in for that “bring it in, son” type of hug. This is a “hug it out” sort of hug, and it wields the power to either be wholly comforting or life scarring, depending on who owns the body hugging you.
- Hand Hugs—This is not a hug. I mention this solely to tell you that this is not a hug. Someone started this at my college, and I actively pray that no one ever does this again. Pressing your palm against mine and then caressing the back of my hand with your thumb is assault. You have violated that hand. How am I supposed to ever use that hand again? Either hug me or high five me. Don’t try to blend the two. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, people.
- Hugs from Behind—Why do you hate me? You’ve rendered me defenseless. You’ve probably accidentally grazed my boob. I won’t say anything, but I’ll still be weirded out. I’ll be panicked and not know what to do because I can’t see you and I can’t push you away. You have become a human barnacle, even for a moment, and I will question if we can continue to be friends. Say no.
I dare you not to think of this the next time you hug someone.
P.S. Steve, I swear to God; if you read this and try to mess with me the next time we see each other, I will kick you.