I like hugs:many people do. Having said that the number of people I hug as a matter of course is somewhere between five and ten . These are people I love without question,and there is reason to believe they feel the same way about me. When I see them warmth and sunshine fill my heart and hay-presto hugs a gogo before you can say “Bacon Sandwich”. All very nice
With others I tend instinctively to follow the path of politeness without any unnecessary displays of intimacy: that had always been my approach. In the last few years I have met women who I don’t know who lean forward and give me a sort of kiss on or somewhere near the cheek. It’s not my thing but there is no need to get stuffy about it. Sometimes I find myself smiling and sort of nodding my head in a bewildered acknowledgement of the new custom when their head swoops forward and attacks my other cheek with the same brisk approach. On one occasion the head swooped forward again to attack the original cheek. “When is this going to stop” I thought to myself
This always throws me a bit and when I look into their eyes they are somewhere between blank and non-committal. Their gaze makes it clear that it is custom and implies no unnecessary levels of intimacy. Thats fine with me, but in the circumstances a nice handshake would have sufficed. I dislike pretending to be more fond of or intimate with people than I really am. It does not mean I am not affectionate or that I don’t wish them well, or even like them. It just means I don’t know them and I tend to hug people naturally when I both know them and like them. . It’s when I meet people for the first time and hardly know their surname and they swoop on me that |I feel baffled.
Recently my partner bought a lady home who works for the same firm as she does,but in their Dubai office. I met her at the front door and she extended her hand. I shook it with pleasure and thought to myself.” Thank goodness.She’s got her head screwed on correctly”.
Anyway. Chat chat chat:munch munch and the evening moves on with wide-ranging talks about shopping and holidays in Dubai and what you can do there. I mainly leave the ladies to it and make myself useful by preparing snacks and brewing tea. Always happy to do that. In between the normal chatter she makes the odd remark which indicates, to me at least,that she has good values and is socially aware. Nice to meet someone like her.
Finally the evening draws to a close and she gets ready to leave. I escort her to her car because it is a bit away from our front door and the street is not too well-lit. On reaching her car she turns and extends her hand again. I am so pleased by her decorum and generally nice manners that I could almost give her a hug,but then where would I be.
She is coming again this evening but with her sister and I look forward to some more wide ranging shopping chatter and a brace of well delivered handshakes.What could be better.