In one’s best Jerry Seinfeld voice: What’s the deal with hugging? It’s like people you hardly know come up to you and expect you wrap your arms around them like they’re family. It’s bizarre! I don’t want to hug you, I don’t even know if I want to talk to you!
Ok, the bit’s over. I seriously don’t get the obsession with hugging I see here at BYU every day. It’s honestly the de facto greeting for almost everyone here. And you know what? I hate it. Just on a personal level, honestly if you want to hug that guy you talked to once 7 months ago just to say hello that’s your life, but please oh please don’t put your arms out when you see me. Because when you do I’m forced to accept the hug, I can’t be the one guy that denies some poor soul a hug. I’m a bit cold at times, but I’m not a monster. What’s wrong with a firm handshake though? It’s not like Mormons don’t shake hands, it’s kind of a thing in the church.
Part of me is really curious about why hugging is so prominent at BYU, maybe it isn’t maybe everyone hugs each other and I’m just the really odd one out. I don’t deny the possibility, but I think it’s unlikely. I think everyone hugs people the knowledge and care about, but not just anyone they’ve ever had a conversation with. Off the top of my head, I think it’s got to be something like students at BYU are so starved for human contact because unless they’re married they aren’t having sex so they compensate by just showing affection to just about anyone. They aren’t any evidence or reasoning behind this really I just think that in the most cynical parts of my brain.
“Jeez dude, what’s your beef with hugs?” you might be saying to yourself right about now and look it’s not a beef with hugs, I’m just not that into physical contact of any kind. I’m just not really wired for it. Ask any of my friends, I’m not about that life. It’s nothing against anyone, I just really like my personal space and would prefer that only I inhabit that space. There’s a very short list of people I’m genuinely comfortable hugging, they include blood relatives and…. Uh… the pizza Tuesday crew? Y’all know who you are. I don’t know, it’s just a sorta weird part of my thinking where I see things like hugging as a show of intimacy and trust and I just don’t really like it. There isn’t any traumatic childhood experience (that I’m aware of, never know what’s buried I suppose.) that’s made me averse to it, I’m just not a hugger, and I’m surrounded every day by huggers and I needed to vent about it. Later.