Dear Amy: I have an acquaintance, who every time I see her wants to hug me.
I don’t mind an occasional hug with someone, but this is almost like a demand.
This person is a neighbor. We are friendly with each other, but I wouldn’t characterize our relationship as a close friendship.
Since we have had our vaccinations, she uses it as an excuse: “Now we can hug!”
I do not want to be mean or alienate this person. I would like to stay on good neighborly terms.
Do you have any suggestions of how to curtail all the hugs?
— Need Some Space
Need Some Space: I believe the pandemic has had at least one small silver-ish lining for a lot of people: Liberation from unwanted hugs.
Please, take advantage of this temporary break and assert your preference — and right — not to be hugged. Do it honestly, nicely and quickly.
It is not “mean” to state your own preferences regarding being physically touched by another person. Try saying, “Honestly, experiencing the pandemic has made me realize that I don’t really like to be hugged. So, I hope a hearty ‘hello’ and air-hug will be enough.” (c) Ask Amy
Someone at the Washington Post’s Ask Amy column left this comment in response:
My husband once had to give a speech about his difficult and abusive childhood, where he revealed that he had never experienced a hug until the age of nine. Much to his alarm, after he finished he was approached by a huge number of people in the audience who all wanted to give him a hug! He has vowed never to mention that particular aspect of his childhood to strangers ever again.
Which led someone else to reply:
Your poor husband! That sounds like a horror movie scene.
And that’s so funny that I can’t help but share it. I’m picturing huggy zombies descending upon the poor man, arms outstretched not to eat his brains but to hug him. It’s too funny. I think instead, the speaker should’ve said, “My abusive parents never gave me an allowance, and all I ever wanted was twenty dollars.” That would’ve worked out better. I’m laughing out loud now.
I love to hug people, but mainly in a romantic or friendship capacity. Either one is great by me. But most of my friends are online, so I almost never hug anyone. I’m not huge on casual hugging. I find it odd that a neighbor, like in today’s letter, would be insistent for hugs. There must be something strange going on there, but I have no idea what. I also don’t like hugging family members. (I’d feel different about a husband.) It feels awkward to me and forced and… I don’t know. [Shrug.]
I’ve been feeling better lately, which is great. I’m totally primed to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s already my birthday! YAY!
My mom sent me some birthday money, and I’ve ordered a few fun things for my second-floor rainbow paradise up here. I bought a rainbow tray to put all my Tarot and oracle cards into. Society6 makes too many fun things with nifty artists’ designs! I also ordered a T-shirt from LL Bean because I had reward points that removed $15 from the bill. I’m a total LL Bean fanatic, and I generally buy winter clothes from them more than summer clothes, but this T-shirt is so pretty!
Every year when winter comes, I love getting out my LL Bean clothing collection. Ohh, it’s a special experience, going through all the nice clothes and remembering what I have, and waiting for colder weather! It’s not the same in the summer. Cotton T-shirts, yay! Eh.
Please pardon how materialistic I’m being today! Well, my birthday’s tomorrow, and as a Taurus, I love having a stable, beautiful environment around me.
I still love the pillow I got for my birthday last year, and the pillow that Emilia got me for Christmas! Both are in this photo respectively:
What fun!! Do you all like how I tripped out my file cabinet with shelf papers and blue handles? I’m still sort of in love with it. (I have this bizarre love of colors, for those of you who don’t know.)
Speaking of colors, I can’t remember if I blogged about this, but my life coach wanted me to wear something colorful to think of rainbows and thus not react in anger. This is what I chose, and it’s coming from Amazon today!
I also still love and regularly use the tea maker I got for my birthday last year! I love it! It’s in great shape, and I use it about three times a week so I always have a pitcher of this lemon dessert tea in the fridge! (I’m not affiliated with any of these. I just love material things!)
I swear, my life coach is a genius. She did this thing with me where she got me to start visualizing rainbows, and within, like, thirty seconds, I felt giddy as all get-out. It seems so obvious now! I mean, I’m a rainbow fanatic.
Oh! That reminds me. I entered my rainbow poem into a contest by uploading it onto a site called vocal.media. I felt as if the contest had my name on it. I don’t have high hopes of winning because it’ll all have to do with what they’re looking for. I’ve learned that about contests, like when I submit my novels. But hey, the 15 winners get $2,000 apiece. Sign me up!
I’ve still been eating canned foods. Corn! Yum. I also got some muffin mix for a late-night dessert. Two muffins have 300 calories (total) and are very yummy.
My mom sent me a generous birthday check, and my dad said, “There she goes, upstaging me again with a huge check,” and I replied, “There’s still time! You’re totally in this, old man.”