Friday, November 19, 2010

what the hey hey is wrong with a hug?

I love hugs. I love to give them. I love to receive them. To me, a hug exemplifies the characteristics of the best of the human race. It knows no language barrier. It can console, express gratitude, love, lust, friendship, mend broken relationships and is the simplest way to say "I'm glad you're in my life" or "I've missed you" -  even if you just saw them that morning. A hug can say so much, without ever having said a word.

However, something seems to happen to hugs once a person enters into marriage. I am uncertain of it's origin or what seems to break in a man's mind, but something overpowers a male's sense of reality and logic in the hug-giving realm. Let me give you an example.

I have a good guy friend that I have known for years and years. I knew this person before they got married and have been good friends with their wife for ages. We used to hug all of the time. Like, full on hugs. Nothing was weird about it. I didn't think, "Hey, he's single, I'm single, I bet this hug means something..." I took it for what it was - an expression of our friendship. But suddenly, after my friends got married, there were no more legit hugs. I would go in for one, only to be swooped to the side for the dreaded side hug.  Nothing says "oh, you're awkward" more than the side hug. I hate them. But worst of all, when I inquired about the sudden dissing of our friendship hugs, I was told it was because of my chest. WHAT?!?!?!?! WHAAAAA?!?!?!?! Seriously?????? The chest that I've had for almost 2 decades, the one that did not develop the moment you said your "I do's".  UGH.  And then I began to see it - the paradigm was shifting between good friends who were now married. It seems that everywhere I looked, a secret man-code had been exchanged.

Back when we were all single, I never thought that giving any of my guy friends a hug was something dirty. So why is it now that we're married? I have good guy friends, I mean good friends, some of whom I would consider to be like family, who will not give me a real hug. It's depressing. When I hug my girl friends, I never think, 'hmm, I wonder if they're a lesbian?"  So why should it be any different with a man? Because honestly, the way that I hug Isaac is TOTALLY different than the way I hug anyone else. It lingers. I smell his shirt, I kiss his neck. He holds me.

The downfall of the American "real hug" has seriously has been bugging me for years. I've been wanting to write about it for months. To be able to freely say that there is nothing wrong with me or my chest. In lieu of my annoyances with my guy friends, I've created a short list of weird hugs that exist. So just man-up and give me a real hug, dang it.

* The Rodeo- This refers to one of the many hugs that you don't ever see coming. Here's how it works- you're on your way into another room, you're brushing past people when suddenly, in one swift pivoting motion, an arm becomes interlocked with your Adam's Apple and your back is thrust into the rib cage of of one of your closest man buddies. Very similar to the way police men catch alligators on Discovery Channel or the way animal control captures stray dogs. It's like a backwards real hug. It's confusing, but somehow you're still thankful for it.
* Shaken, Not Stirred- This is a creepy kind of hug. Could be instigated by a man or women. It's a full on hug, but with a death grip and lots of bouncing and/or shaking. It's like being stuck in the blender of all hugs. It's awkward and you want a drink afterwards.
* Humpty Dump- You see this a lot at sporting arenas. Typically occurs after a big win. Grown men will run and literally leap with all of their nasty sweatiness onto another man's back or neck. Sometimes even their chest. It all simply depends on the way the person is facing. It's a domino effect, with the whole team soon joining into this celebration with loud cheers and eventually jumping. It's a weird entanglement of hormones and Leap Frog and Tone Loc and Barrel of Monkeys. Usually followed by showering together.
* Side Hug- The deceiver of all hugs. It says, "I like you, but I don't want my wife to see me hugging you". Can be done as a pass by, a swift motion that leaves the hugged stunned for a moment, since they were unaware it was even coming. I consider this to be the most insulting hug, since it seems to say that a real hug would mean something dirty.
* Oops, I Did It Again Hug- Typically occurs at large family functions or reunions of sorts. You're passing out hugs like candy to a fat kid, when you realize in your moment of bliss, you hugged the one person you can't stand. Could be similar to flipping off your Grandma, you're not sure how to take it back.
* Pillow Talk- When someone of short stature walks up to you and buries their head in your chest multiple times until they find a comfortable spot. Had this happen to me recently. A-W-K-W-A-R-D.
* The County Fair- You've seen this technique at fairgrounds when individuals leap after pigs and goats in order to capture them. Most frequently found at large parties when someone comes from behind, captures you, covers your eyes and yells, "Guess Wwwwwwhhhhhhhhhooooo??????"
* Karaoke Choke Hold- Could also be referred to as the Drunk Chic Hug. Usually happens after one of more people become inebriated and decide that singing old '80's hits into a microphone will cure their ill. Upon completion of song or songs, one arm is swung from behind and wrapped across an unsuspecting friend's neck. Must be followed by a white-knuckle choke hold on the person and a good shake-down. May or may not be followed by a kiss on the cheek and one or more, "I love you man(s)".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

leaving on a jet plane....

Tomorrow Isaac and I are boarding several planes on our way to Nigeria. If you don't have any idea on what I'm talking about, just click here and maybe it'll help clarify a bit.

For those of you who are interested in following our journey while we're there, check out this blog. I don't know exactly how often it'll be updated by the leaders, but well, here ya go.

Wish us well.