Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I am a "No Contact Zone"!

I get mocked often for not liking to hug.  I don't know why I don't like hugs. I just find them awkward and mostly unneccessary. Maybe it's because I'm not all touchy-feely. Maybe it's because my sympathetic/empathetic gene is still developing. But mostly...I just plain don't like 'em. It doesn't matter who you are, friend, strange, family member... whether you live near or far...I prefer to commune without the physical touch.
At my wedding, the thing I feared the most was the recieving line. So, ...we didn't have one. After our ceremony, we hung around the church to share cupcakes with our guests, at which time, multiple people tried to hug me. I was given sage wisdom from a friend who, going through a similar situation at his nuptuals, said: "Just keep moving." Here's one picture of that unfortunate event where I didn't follow that advice quick enough:
My solution? I picked up a tray of cupcakes and started walking around with it. People can't go in for a hug if you are holding a dozen cupcakes!
In fact, even hand shakes make me feel awkward on occasion.
What do I like? I find fist pumps a great alternative.
When Scott and I were first dating, I was explaining how gross I found the "meet and greet" portion of our church service. Multiple handshakes and points of contact spreading germs like wildfire throughout a room of 200 people.  As Scott  was a Pastor at our church at the time, he would often encourage the people to shake hands and greet each other. (Once or twice through the service, the pastors might say the regular line of "shake 4 or 5 hands." Do the math. If one person in the room has spreadable germs on his/her right hand...how many have it acquired that germ unknowingly by the end of the hour and a half you spend there!) I knew Scott loved me the day he suggested to everyone to shake it up and give each other fist-pumps instead.
But it's not about the germs,...because I wouldn't consider myself a germaphobe. I've lived in foreign countries. I don't wash my grapes one by one. I've eaten things off the ground. No, I'm not a germophobe.
People always ask why I don't like hugs.
I can't give you an answer other than I just don't feel it neccessary to be that close to another person. It's not that my parents didn't show me enough affection as a child. They tried to be affection, I promise you that. I've been told since I was little I was independant, wanting to walk on my own as opposed to being held or carried. The only person that I can handle being close to on a regular basis is my husband. Which I suppose is a good thing. (Except for first thing in the morning when he rolls over to curl up with me in bed...I still find that a little constricting.)
At Easter, my grandparents were leaving our house to go home and I waved good-bye. My grandma laughed at me and said "You are just like your Aunt Elly." Mom will only get a hug on special occasions. I think my dad is more like me and doesn't care. That's probably why we get along so well. So given my dad isn't a hugger, Aunt Elly wasn't a hugger...I'm guessing it runs in my Dutch genes, which kind of makes me happy!

So if you go in for an embrace, and get a side hug and a roll of the eyes...don't take it personnally, it's not you...it's me, really.
*virtual fist pump*

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 27, 2011

    Hey Laura,
    I'm sorry for hugging you last time I saw you. I come from a family of huggers and kissers, so as far as I'm concerned, you got off easy last time you saw me.
    Haha. Just kidding.
    On a serious note though, as a pastor I stopped getting people to shake hands in church during the service, due to germs...and I think there are more people that don't like it, more than people think.
    Fist pumps are great alternatives.