I’m officially in love with a wonderful couple – Chris and Mike. I first met Chris when he worked for my company, but in a different department. We would occasionally run into each other at the elevator and I was immediately impressed with his friendly nature, intelligence, fashion sense, and his good looks. Later, Chris came to work in our department, and I so enjoyed talking to him every day. In fact, Chris is one of the reasons I started blogging – I would tell him stories about my life and he was so receptive and amused that he made me feel like other people might like to hear my stories as well.
Last December, Chris invited me and a few other coworkers to his house for dinner – and that is where I met Mike. When we were introduced, he immediately made me feel welcome. As the evening progressed, Mike regaled us with stories and Chris plied us with incredibly delicious food – their home was beautiful and they were both so warm and friendly! When it was time to go, I thanked Chris and then turned to Mike – and was immediately enveloped in a hug.
Now, you need to know that I have never been a hugger. Neither of my parents were very comfortable with physical displays of affection with their children and The Loser was more into intimidation and power trips than cuddling. While I was comfortable holding and comforting my children when they were babies and small toddlers, when they got older, I had trouble with showing them physical affection. I hated this about myself – I knew how much I had craved hugs and contact when I was a child and I didn’t want to put my children through the same thing. I loved my kids! I wanted to be there for them! So, I would force myself to give them hugs, hold their hands, and cuddle with them from time to time – and I’m happy to say that it became easier and more natural for me over time. But with other people, even my husband, I had difficulty with hugging – it just seemed unnatural to me. I know that I hurt Doc a lot over the years because of this – he would try to embrace me and I would respond in a lukewarm fashion, patting his back uncomfortably and usually keeping one hand on his chest, as if to push him away. It’s not something I did intentionally – I just had never learned how to accept hugging, how to feel comfortable in an embrace. It was just awkward for me – and I hated that – I didn’t want it to be.
So, when Mike put both of his arms around me, pulled me close, and wrapped me into a big hug, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I mean, I had just met this guy – and I was a girl who didn’t even hug my husband! I gave him a brief, tiny squeeze, patted his back a few times, and started to pull away – but Mike didn’t let go! He tightened his hold and gave a contented sigh as he continued to hug me. I stood stiffly in shock for a moment, but instead of panicking and beginning to struggle – the strangest thing happened! I started to relax! Instead of smothering, Mike’s hug felt warm and comforting. He was not hugging me because it was expected of him or because he was trying to impress me or anyone else – he just exuded true love and acceptance in his embrace. I could tell that he only wanted to let me know how much he valued me as a human being and new friend – and that he truly enjoyed this sharing of affection with me.
When the hug ended – I was a little sad.
Each time I met Mike and Chris after that, I would receive a warm welcoming and parting hug from both of them. I looked forward to those hugs – craved them, even. I may have turned into a little bit of a hug junkie. They make me feel so loved and accepted and special! It is a wonderful feeling!
When Doc announced he didn’t want to be married anymore, the first place I thought of going was to Chris and Mike’s. They hugged me as I cried into their shoulders, sat and listened to me for hours, told me I was worthy of love and beautiful (despite my swollen eyes and red nose), provided chocolate and strawberries for sustenance, and gave me long, loving hugs again when I left. When Doc moved out of the house, they and their hugs were there for me again, supporting and encouraging me. I love being with them! I kidded once to Chris that I always felt so wonderful and at peace around them that I wanted to move into their house and live with them 24/7 forever and ever (I might not have been kidding).
I wanted to publicly thank my friends and let them know how much I love and appreciate them. And to also thank Mike in particular – because that first hug healed something inside me. Since then, I’ve turned into a bit of a hugger myself. So, watch out if you meet me – you might find yourself pulled in and held tight while I sigh contentedly into your hair.
Are you a hugger? If so, why or why not? Have you ever secretly wanted to be adopted by your friends?