During the pandemic, I hugged people through the medium of interpretive dance. It was great crack. I'd sway to one side with my hands up in the air and the other person would sway to the other side, hands in the air.
This helped us break through the yawning gap created by not being able to touch each other.
Virtue Signalling Hugs
But the pandemic did do us one favour – it got rid of the virtue-signalling hug. Before the pandemic, I regularly encountered a species of person who hugged every person they met. They would hug me within minutes of meeting me.
Sometimes they would even ask me if they could give me a hug. And afterwards I would wonder why they bothered.
The hug would be a wet fish hug, like its cousin, the wet fish handshake. Or they would hug you with one hand, body angled away from you.
Getting Hugs Right
A hug is a tricky beast. If you do it right, then your body is skin to skin with that of another human being. There's more intimacy to a hug than we think.
I grew up in an affectionate family, but it's still hard to read the cues that tell you whether someone is up for a hug, or that that they're about to hug you. It's a very intimate gesture. And that's why, if you're going to hug people, you have to mean it.
Photo Description: In this picture, two people are giving each other a hug in a sunlit field. It is a proper, deep, intimate hug.
It helps if you have a bond, of family, friendship or shared experience. But what really matters is that it's sincere, that it's not being done to prove to yourself that you're a good person.
I'm not talking about a rib-crushing bear hug where you squeeze the life out of someone. An honest to Jaysus, two-handed hug will do nicely. A hug that lifts you up, that heals, that fills you with warmth. A hug like that is a gift.
I'd be delighted to give any of ye an honest-to-Jaysus hug, and to hear your thoughts about hugs. You can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0876959799.
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Depends on the hug - and the hugger.
What a beautiful piece! Thank you for sharing this with us! I grew up in a family that was mostly touch averse so I was prone to bottling up the crave for any sort of physical intimacy. This post certainly helped me envision how cathartic and relaxing it would be to hold and be held in a sincere embrace!