When I meet someone for the first time, I usually shake their hand. There have been a few occasions, when I’ve heard enough about someone ahead of time to “pre-like” them, that I just have to hug them instead. My joy in meeting them exceeds my courtesy of honoring personal space.
I am a serial hugger.
I have no tolerance for fish handshakes and half-assed hugs. Seriously, what’s the point? A good handshake indicates confidence, willingness to connect, a strong intention and presence. A good hug offers affection, welcome, comfort, open heartedness and a sense of belonging. There is an art to a great hug, each unique in its expression.
One of my friends, I will call him Drew to protect his privacy, lights me up the minute I see him. No matter what I’m doing, I drop it and run to hug him. He always laughs and wraps me right up and holds on for a second or two and makes my heart smile. I don’t see him often enough, but he knows coming and going how to give the best hugs. He’s like a second son to me.
I call this hug The Original.
Melanie, who shall remain nameless, has been a sister/friend to me for over 20 years. Every visit together ends, no matter what our topic of conversation, with a head to shoulder hug, resting together for just a few moments. We often joke that we could nap like that, like horses in the field, while we gather strength.
This one is The Restorative.
Kelsey, who I will refer to as Anonymous, prefers knuckles and calling me biznitch to make me laugh. But because she loves me, when the days are extra hard or extra happy, she’ll hug me tight for a second when she’s on her way out.
This is the Hug of Valor.
My invisible friend Ruth Ann is about the size of a #2 pencil, so small that you can barely feel her in all her huggyness. Her tiny and frequent hugs are given super powers from the size of the heart behind them.
These hugs are The Hummingbird.
My Boi, who practices the art of Jaroditzu to blend with his surroundings, is in his own category. No one else qualifies, as I trained him personally from birth. His hugs are joy.
I call this one The Reason.
I hope you have enjoyed this entry level training to The Academy. Should we ever meet in person, you will be tested.