Apparently this past Monday, September 10th, was A Very Special Holiday known as Free Hug Day.
And if ever there was a time that I was grateful to be The Biggest Hermit On The Face Of The Earth, it was then. Because along with my myriad other fears (See: Snakes, Real and Imaginary, Calling People On The Phone, Going Anywhere Near The Bathroom During A Thunderstorm), I get really nervous whenever people try to hug me. And that’s kind of a problem, because I live in the South. And down here, people hug. A Lot.
I really can’t explain why, but I get really anxious whenever anyone invades my personal space, which has apparently expanded over time until it is now approximately the size of a seven figure, luxury home complete with its own gated community.
Back in my church-going days I used to get so anxious every Sunday. Because in addition to all of the religious issues, such as “Why Everything You Like About Life Is The Gateway To Hell”, I also had to endure The Greeting. In theory I can understand that it seems like a really good idea to make friends with all the people sitting next to you in your pew. But to my way of thinking there is really no need for even a handshake, much less an embrace, when clearly a brief meeting of the eyes and an acknowledging head shake will do. If you have never seen me before that day, and will probably never see me again, then why do you feel it necessary to clutch me to your breast as if I were the Prodigal Son finally returning home?
And while we’re on the subject of breasts, can we just talk for a minute about how awkward it is to be, say, a well-endowed, double D-sized babe, and have to endure a full, frontal encounter with some other woman’s “girls” in a moment that can only be described as, The Big Squish?
I imagine that if you are a guy reading this then you might be thinking, “Hey, having to get up close and personal with breasts? I really don’t see what the problem is.” But I think that if you had to regularly participate in some kind of obligatory social ritual which required you to press your family jewels up against some other guy’s cash and prizes, you would quickly be singing another tune.
So needless to say I did not participate in Free Hug Day, which for me would have translated into Free Have A Nervous Breakdown Every Single Time Anyone Even Looked At You Until You Ended Up As A Quivering, Whimpering Mass On The Floor Locked In The Fetal Position Day.
But if anyone ever designs a holiday along the lines of Free Quietly Sending Nice Thoughts To Other People While Safely Locked Away In Your Hermit Cave Day, I’m totally there.