Apparently. I don’t know why it is or what it’s about, but it’s clearly true. Twice in as many days, a man I find appealing who is patently off limits has made a point of hugging me. Yesterday, I kind of got it. That man and I had spent a little time together, knew each other some. Today’s man is a different story. I’d met him before but in a very formal setting, no note-passing, gossiping, secret -sharing, or joke-telling as with the first man. But still the full-on-embrace of a real hug.
I don’t mind, actually. I was perfectly happy to hug both of these men, and not because I find them attractive. I like hugging, and they both have the kind of personalities that made it clear they would be real huggers — not the kind of people who give those anemic, may-as-well-just-wave-at-each-other air hugs. And, too, I like them, feel comfortable with them, feel I can trust them.
But it’s not just these men. Students, co-workers, a creepy program director at my old job …
And that’s the problem. I’m glad the people I want to hug want to hug me, but I will be honest and say that I definitely don’t want to hug everyone. This isn’t as silly a problem as it may sound. It wasn’t at all amusing at my old job when that program director would come looking for me and ask if he could give me a hug. It was something other than silly when a man I hired (same job) began to hug and kiss me at the start of each work day, against my explicitly expressed wishes.
My friend Grace once told me the rampant embracing was my own fault because I am “huggable.” Am I? I don’t know, but the evidence would seem to support Grace’s assessment. It makes sense, of course. I have a cushy body. Who wouldn’t like to lean for a moment into something as warm, soft and giving as this body?¹ Still, “this body” is my body, and sometimes it’s just really strange to have people touching me. I’m not sure I want to lose my “huggableness” entirely, but I do wish I could learn a way to turn it off at will.
I didn’t want to sully my “Affirmations” post with negative talk and bad poetry, hence the second post in a night.
If the speech I wrote about was one of the high points of my day, one of the low points was the strange, corporate trainer-man who did some training/motivational speaking to open the day. The fact that he swore within three minutes of starting his “act” turned me right off. Not because I’m so delicate and prudish, but because it really showed his lack of understanding (and lack of caring enough to take the time to understand) who his audience was and that we weren’t the kind of group that needed him to curse at us to get his point across. He turned me off enough that I wrote today’s poem about him.
Behind my heart, my brain races in
reminding: “You have to listen
to the words he says. Don’t react
to his annoying, brusque presence.”
And my heart knows that that makes sense.
but my heart’s slow, likes grace and tact.
This man’s words could have real value.
I need to try to take a cue —
ignore the feel of being smacked.
¹ Well, fortunately, there are plenty of people who have no desire to hug me. Otherwise, I’d have to keep indoors. Or hire a body guard!