Monday, August 29, 2011

Hands Off

Growing up I lived in the proverbial two-story house, with two cars, one dog, and a huge garden in the back yard. My parents both worked. From the outside we were your typical American family.

Except we didn't go to church which was odd when you consider we were utterly surrounded by Mormons and they tried, oh how they tried to convert us!

But this isn't a Mormon story (but I'll have to write about that sometime...).

My father was a handsome man; tall, dark, good-looking - as attested to by his many girlfriends. Ahem. He was also a crier. He cried at movies, got choked up over coffee commercials, and teary over bad news. He was a toucher...again attested to by ... well, you know.

My mother...was a rock. Her stiff German exterior was more formidable than the Berlin Wall. She wasn't an ooey, gooey kinda girl. No hugs, no kisses, no love yous. She was a tad more affectionate with GC (her favorite child) than with the rest of us, but that was to be expected. She's never been a hugger or a patter. 

My family keeps their hands to themselves. We aren't touchers.We didn't go around touching other people. It simply wasn't done...except for Dad of course...

My Beloved is a can you massage my back kinda guy. His mother was a hugger. Man, could that woman hug! Beloved's family is pretty hands on, not over the top, but touchy in a good way. I've learned a lot from them. 

While my Beloved lurves him some massage action, I draw the line at any massages coming my way. I have a firm hands off policy when it comes to that. To think of a stranger putting their hands allll over me....eeewwww! It just makes me want to run screaming for the hills. It's just disgusting.

I once had a manicure, not knowing that the manicurist massages your hands. Why? Why would you do that? It was greasy and uncomfortable and I felt kind of dirty afterwards, like I'd some how had a secret liaison with this woman I'd never met and I paid for it! EWW!

My poor adopted mother would rub my shoulders and exclaim that I was far too tense. She's attempt to steer me towards Greta, her massage therapist. She even offered to pay. I finally had to ask her to stop trying to pimp me and keep her hands to herself. 

She was a little offended, but she got over it and she keeps her paws off my shoulders and Greta never comes in to the conversation these days.

And even though I cannot stand the thought of a massage, I've worked hard to overcome the non-touching way I was brought up.

I hug.

I pat.

I occasionally give the playful punch.

I hug my kiddos and my friends. I've hugged the occasional stranger... which is always awkward and uncomfortable. I know it's got to be just me, but when did our society become so hands on? Guys hugging guys, girls hugging girls, everybody hugging everybody?

It's just weird. Plain and simple. 

When the big bosses came to got it...they were huggers. These were men I'd never even laid eyes on and the first thing I know I'm hugging the guy who signs my paycheck. It was weird! I thought we were going for the good ol' firm handshake, but no! He swooped right in and hugged me. 

It was strange, but not as strange as when I had to hug the boss of my boss. He's about my height, maybe a bit taller and it was more of a shoulder bump than a hug. We both stood there afterwards feeling a little odd. I mean, we are strangers and we just hugged. Where do you go from there? 

I was so relieved when I left our dinner meeting that they were all sitting down. 

No, please don't get up! I'll show myself out! NO MORE HUGGING!

Maybe there is a support group I can join. Huggers Anonymous or something. 

Hello, my name is Annie. It's been two days since I was forced into hugging anyone...

I've worked hard to not be like my mother, but I admit that I really struggle with this hugging nonsense. Can't we all just keep our hands to ourselves? 

1 comment:

Island Rider said...

My fmaily is not touchy feely either, but my husband's love language is physical touch. I have had to learn to keep his love tank full. The church we go to now is fully of huggy people. When we first started going there, I wanted a sign that said, "Back off-Don't touch me!" Like you, I've gotten used to it and even will initiate a hug, but it's not the primary way I show affection.