Monday, January 11, 2010

Synonyms: Embrace, Affection, Squeeze

I am a hugger. There is no chance you could come to my house without receiving, at minimum, two hugs. Are you coming? Going? Being cute? Looking sad? Overjoyed about something? Breathing? You're getting a hug.

I've often been told that I'm a good hugger. I don't even know what this means! What constitutes a good hug? Length? Tightness? Back pats? Whether you nuzzle your head on the left or right side?

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend. There wasn't anything particularly fascinating about it. I spent a lot of time with Aidan; we checked out the ice sculpting downtown, saw a movie (I cannot believe I dished out good money to see The Squeakquel, it was awful), went to the bookstore, went to church and, in typical Holland fashion, ran into lots of people we knew while out and about. I unexpectedly had the evening to myself on Friday and chatted with my girlfriends at happy hour and went out to dinner. Aidan and I were invited to a friend's house for dinner on Saturday night and had friends at our house last night. Busy, but low key.

I counted. I hugged over 35 people this weekend. Not 35 hugs, 35 people. And this was not some experiment, I wasn't trying to get my hug on more than usual.

I have to wonder if that's part of what made my weekend so great. Imagine if, right before you're about to let some rant loose while being tailgated that you both pulled over and had a hug. About to lose my temper over Aidan refusing to change out of his pajamas before church? Let me just hold him for 30 seconds while the frustration literally dissolves. You run into someone you know at the bookstore and hug them. Everyone feels just a little bit better and walks away with a little skip in their step. Super annoyed with someone you love? How mad can you stay when you're locked in an embrace? My guess is that the sharp words turn to heartfelt ones.

Hugs, I think, soften the heart. And I know some people aren't touchy-feely and maybe this idea is a bit uncomfortable, a bit awkward. But try it. Hug as much as you can this week. And see if you don't find yourself just a little bit happier.


  1. hmmm... i'd have to say i'm not overly touchy feely, but i believe i will take your word for this, and try it. i'll let you know how it goes! :)

  2. Heidi, you aren't overly touchy feely but you give a good, heartfelt hug every time I see you! (Which isn't nearly often enough :) Keep me posted on your progress! ;)

  3. I like hugs. Many of my friends like hugs. Some of my friends don't, though, and I still think that's odd. Though I'm fairly certain I don't hug enough. I'm working on it, though.

  4. I like touching, a pat on the shoulder or back. I like feeling a cobnnection to people. Hugging sounds pretty good also. I definitely need to do that when my son drives me crazy. Counting to 10 doesn't seem to work.

  5. Penelope - great post! So funny. Did you read the Mars Meets Venus post? When I met Jamey, I wan't sure whether I could/should hug him. I asked Doug, "what do I do when I meet him?" Doug's like: "you'll hug him." But I didn't because Jamey was a gentleman and extended his hand. Either out of respect for Doug, or because I smelled. Either way, we didn't hug. It was weird.