Here in the touchy-feely offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we are huggers all. I suppose this is because my erstwhile crack staff takes their cue from me. I am a touchy-feely guy, due to my upbringing and young adulthood in show business. Us performers are huggers, and are quick to touch a woman’s hand or shoulder, or offer a hug, at least to a pretty woman. That must be a burden for the lady, guys compelled to touch or hug her constantly, but maybe she shouldn’t be so attractive? Okay, that’s not fare, but C’est la vie. It is different with two Males however.
There was an art to two males hugging. First, you must make sure that the other male is also a touchy-feely guy. If he’s not, best not to do it. There are times and people with whom it is appropriate with or not. In addition, the male hug, unless you’re very good friend, requires what I call “The Barrier Handshake.” That is first shaking hands, keeping that grip, and then the brief hug while your hands and arms are in between you, to prevent too close of contact.
So that’s the history of my hugging experience in my time. What intrigues me about the current fad among teenagers, is the frequency of hugging, the frequent hugging of males, and these massive group hugs. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, and probably quite the opposite, representing a non-sexual closeness that has been lacking in our society in the past. Oh, perhaps it happens with too much frequency and casualness, which thereby lessons its meaning and intent, but harmless nevertheless. What is really surprising to me is the majority of adults freaking out over the new hugging trend.
What’s their problem? For starters, they don’t understand it. They haven’t any experience in this area (unlike yours truly) and therefore view it suspiciously. After all, if they don’t get it, then something evil – or at least dirty – is afoot. This fear in ignorant adults (the true meaning of the word ignorant being applied here: Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid; they just are uneducated on this subject.) but these misconceptions have actually caused some schools to ban hugging. As though surely there are orgies going on in secret from which this hugging epidemic springs.
Perhaps a little compromise is in order here. Do it less during school, and less publicly. You know, sometimes compromise can work greatly in your favor. The adults will chill out a little, and you may actually gain more freedom.
Rest assured though that Crusty is on your side, especially on this matter. Sure, sometimes I may tell you things you don’t want to hear, but I truly believe I am speaking the truth, but my only regret in the hugging craze is I can’t get in there for a hug or two.