Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let Me Say Up Front....

Let me just say up front that I am not a hugger. I don't know why, but I seem quite satisfied with a happy "how do ya do". (No, I don't really talk that way!) However, society seems to deem a hug appropriate and often expected when greeting other women, especially friends and family. So I've learned to hug. But it still feels weird to me. (I know, that makes ME seem kinda weird!)

I've mentioned that Dad has been gone for 24 years now. And I miss him. So I was a bit stunned a couple years ago as we were paying for a meal at Red Lobster to see another customer who was almost the spitting image of my father. He was about the same height, had the same hairline, the same swollen arthritic knuckles, a quiet demeanor and was wearing an overcoat similar to what my dad wore. The resemblance was so amazing that I'm certain I stood with my mouth hanging open and my eyes glued upon him. If he had been facing me he surely would have noticed my stare, but he wasn't and so I let myself watch, pretending I was seeing my dad once again.

Later I kicked myself for not going up to the guy, for not being brave enough to say something stupid like "Hey, you look just like my dad. Can I have a hug?" But I hadn't and I figured I'd missed out on a real hug opportunity. Even though I'm not a hugger, I'd dearly love to get a hug one more time from my dad.

Sometime after that scenario my hubby and I had gone to a live performance at the theater in the city up the road. As we left the building I was surprised and delighted to see this same old gentleman. He was standing at the curb, waiting for the light to change so he could cross the street. This time I thought to myself, "Aha! I have a second chance!" And so I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I turned back, walked up to him, explained that he looked just like my dad and boldly added, "Can I have a hug?"

Well, you can imagine his reaction. This very nice man looked at me as if I were some kind of weirdo. He was probably right. I mean, wouldn't you think it weird if someone walked up to you and said you looked like their late Aunt Jane and then asked for a hug? Think mugger! Or pickpocket! Or purse snatcher! Can you blame the guy for abruptly stepping down off the curb and high-tailing it across the street? Yep! I was a bit embarrassed.

Just goes to show you...weirdos come in every shape and form. I see one in the mirror every day. (She said with a slight, ever so slight, giggle.)

I'm anxious to get this chemo done and get my immune system back to normal so I can feel free to hug again. I need to hug my family and friends more often. I need to stop feeling weird about hugs.


Debby said...

My dad died of cancer 8 years ago on Thanksgiving night. My favorite client is a big gray haired guy with a rumbling voice. He reminds me of my dad so much. My dad did not hug, so I don't feel the need to get a hug, but I do love to hear Mr. M. talk. The kicker? Turns out that his wife is a relative. He's actually kin. Could have knocked both of us over with a feather.

yiddle said...

hugs are AWESOME. i admit it. i'm a hugger. i hug friends. i hug family. sometimes i even hug my friends' friends. i do mind my manners tho, and don't hug someone else if i have the sniffles. and i've only ever ONCE had someone react weirdly. and she didn't like me. which was partly why i hugged her. HA!

John said...

Well, it's too bad that he couldn't have gone along with the idea. It sounds like a reasonable request to me. If someone wants a hug enough to ask a stranger for one, we ought to give it.

cinnamongirl93 said...

Another great story. I would have loved to watch you ask the stranger for a hug. That took a lot of guts! More guts than I have. I bet he was shocked and not sure how to handle the situation. I bet you will see him again!

Glynis said...

Oh, that's funny. Good for you for 'asking.' I am thinking that sweet man that looked like your daddy is now regretting not giving you a hug! I am such a hugger. My hubby's French background has certainly fostered that over the years! And I remember well how I felt ever so deprived when I was going through my chemo 'hugless' (except for a few close souls.)Sigh. Here's a big cyber hug for you...HUGGGGGGGGGG