Hug It Out

I've become slightly worried that my husband might be doing some inappropriate hugging. Who do I talk to about this? Is there an advice columnist to whom I can write, hands a-wringin'? (Hands A-Wringin' is my new country & western band. I just decided that. Except I'm going to try and find us a Scandinavian lead singer so we can go one better and be Hans A-Wringin'. What was I talking about again? It's late and I don't think I should have added those three packets of Splenda to my Diet Coke and then chugged it.)

Oh, right. Inappropriate hugging. We have this friend, see—a male friend—and when he hugs you, it's always really intense. Not bad intense, just like a really big bear hug, which is a little disconcerting the first time it happens, I'll admit, but then after a while you sort of find yourself looking forward to it because damn, he's just so happy to see you! I mean, how flattering is that? Who doesn't want to be squeezed to within an inch of their lives? Keep your lackluster back-pat, everyone else, I want to be CLASPED. 

Anyway, I was mentioning this intense hugger to Sean this morning, and a strange look came across his face. "Huh," he said. "I think I might kind of do that too. I think I might hug our friends too hard." 

(Here Lies Sean Slinsky: He Hugged His Friends Too Hard.)

"Uh, what do you mean?" I asked warily. "How hard do you hug them?" 

"You know," he said. "Just kind of.....pretty hard."

"How hard?" I said.

"Well," he said. "When I hug someone, I want them to know that I'm telling them something. I'm saying Hey. You're safe. I've got you." 

Ladyfriends of mine—and male friends too; I feel I should add that Sean shook my former roommate's hand so aggressively the first time he met him that my former roommate spent the rest of the day glaring at me resentfully and making a big show of stroking his hand whenever I snuck down to the kitchen for more....whatever we ate in 1999, maybe fruit rollups?—please accept my apologies if my husband has ever hugged you hard enough that you've maxed out your FSA on an operation to reset your broken ribs.

On the other hand, however, I think we may have found him a new little sideline. Need to dispose of a nemesis swiftly and without suspicion? You might consider giving him a shout. The Human Boa Constrictor, they call him. Well, they will once I make him these awesome new business cards. 

1
Erika
Jun 27, 2012

Nothing wrong with a hug that says, "I've got you". He just really means it.

2
Monica
Jun 27, 2012

I think his intentions of "I've got you" is cute, and having someone that feels like that about another person is pretty amazing if you think about it.

I will take a heartfelt hug anytime over the patters (you know the ones.. right)

3
georgia
Jun 27, 2012

A solid hug and handshake are important. I think they say a lot about a persons character. Those frilly little wrap around pats are so unfulfilling I want that back crack.

4
Anna Louisa
Jun 27, 2012

"Hey, you're safe. I've got you." Haha he's going to be a great dad...and the kids will have to be pretty tough too :)

www.anna-bird.com

5
jen
Jun 27, 2012

I actually would much prefer a big hug to the half hearted why even bother hug. I find those to be like a slippery fish handshake. Ick.

6
Mymsie
Jun 27, 2012

"Well," he said. "When I hug someone, I want them to know that I'm telling them something. I'm saying Hey. You're safe. I've got you." --> Adorable! :)

7
Staci Magnolia
Jun 27, 2012

Seriously, the whole "Hey. You're safe. I've got you"
THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
So sweet, my heart smiles.

8
Lindsey
Jun 27, 2012

Oh, this is terrific! Two thumbs up, S-man. I myself have been known to leave people gasping for air post-embrace, and it can get tricky. "What? Do I smell bad?" (<--A serious worry. I don't take that sort of thing lightly.) We're a different breed, I tell you, and it's disconcerting on our end when the other person limply squeezes and then tries to wriggle away: "Come back! I'm trying to LOVE you!"

9
Chris
Jun 27, 2012

I will hug him, and love him, and name him George! :)
But in all seriousness, that is probably the best thing I have ever read. We need more Seans in the world.

10
jen
Jun 27, 2012

i'm not a big fan of hugging, but i live in the south and that seems to be protocol around here. given that, i'd much rather have a forceful hug that intends to make me feel safe. aw, sweet sean.

11
Amy
Jun 27, 2012

I personally love a good hug. Much better than that awkward half-hug, back-back pat. And that bit about them feeling safe? That's adorable.

12
Danielle
Jun 27, 2012

I'm not a fan of hugging but if I am going to be part of it, I'd rather have the rib-crusher. If you're going to hug, hug like you mean it.

I feel the same about handshakes. There's nothing worse than a limp flounder handshake.

13

I love a rockin' hug! I think I have alarmed many San Franciscans with my penchant for hugging. I also see no point in a hug that is "arms only," if that makes any sense. I'm a whole-person hugger.

14
Megan
Jun 27, 2012

Sean's Hugging Sentiments (I just feel like they should be capitalized) really are so sweet. I have a friend who gives big, enveloping hugs and holds on just a touch longer than one normally would--it's so comforting.

Of course, that tactic can also turn from sweet to creepy depending on the hugger, but for the purposes of this comment, I think hard hugs and slightly-too-long hugs are some of the best things ever.

15
Becky
Jun 27, 2012

The best! Too funny! I of course don't believe you can be hugged too hard. I find it awkward when my relations give me those kinds of hugs where you bend forward at the waist so that as few body parts touch as possible. Sean is too cute!

16
Peg
Jun 27, 2012

Dear Holly,
Your mother and I think that Sean gives the BEST hugs in the world. Of course, we might be a tiny bit prejudiced. You think? Love, Sean's mom

17
Peg
Jun 27, 2012

Dear Holly,
Your mother and I think that Sean gives the BEST hugs in the world. Of course, we might be a tiny bit prejudiced. You think? Love, Sean's mom

18
Stacey
Jun 27, 2012

That is so, so great. I love good huggers.

19
Sophie
Jun 27, 2012

The only thing I can say to Sean's reasoning for hugging too hard is this:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Double Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww actually!

20
rachel
Jun 27, 2012

awww, sean!

i LOVE big ol huggers. i have a couple of friends who do the almost-too-hard-hug, and i really do feel like they are genuinely happy to see me and...that they've "got me". i am going to start being a better hugger, from this day forth!

p.s. i also love that sean's mom commented about his hugs! hee!

21
rachel
Jun 27, 2012

awww, sean!

i LOVE big ol huggers. i have a couple of friends who do the almost-too-hard-hug, and i really do feel like they are genuinely happy to see me and...that they've "got me". i am going to start being a better hugger, from this day forth!

p.s. i also love that sean's mom commented about his hugs! hee!

22
georgia
Jun 28, 2012

Crack my spine! Its life a professional handshake among friends. Please don't do that weak shit pit pat stuff. Yay Sean.

23
Alice
Jun 28, 2012

As a delicate person, I will tell you that I get nervous when I'm greeted by my hard-hugging friends. I've got a couple of them, and I always wince when they go in for the hug. I appreciate the sentiment behind it, but I don't like remembering how to breathe afterward...

24
angela
Jun 28, 2012

that might be cutest thing i have ever read! "Hey. You're safe. I've got you."

25
jill
Jun 29, 2012

Okay, so his response may have made me tear up a bit. Think I'm in need of a hug.

26
Monica
Jun 30, 2012

After reading all of these responses... I think you got a T-Shirt in the making!
"Hey. You're safe. I've got you" sounds pretty cool to me

27
Serror
Jul 02, 2012

I prefer a good hug and firm handshake. Nothing saw "Eww..." like a light hunching chest touch with back pat, in place of a hug. Or the limp fish handshake. Both are terrible.

28
Amber
Jul 11, 2012

Funny coincidence that I'm catching up on your blog today - the same day as this headline: "Serial Hugger Preys on Women in St. Louis Suburbs" http://abcnews.go.com/US/serial-hugger-tricks-women-giving-birthday-hugs...

29
Sara
Jul 13, 2012

I like big hugs. I'd take a tight hug over a kiss on the cheek any day.

In the Northeast, they kiss you on the cheek. Sometimes both. I'm finally used to it, but I'll never like it...some people's lips are went, some go to close to the ear, some too close to the mouth. Sorry, yuk.

But hugs, big squeezes, they are wonderful. And I agree, they make you feel loved (and are far less pretentious than kisses.)

Sean sounds like a keeper, hand-crusher and all.

30
redustduro1989
Nov 20, 2012

Прошлое - это поезд,но он уже ушел. Будущее-это мечта,но еще не известно сбудется ли она. А настоящее-это подарок жизни. Поэтому нужно жить настоящим, с надеждой на будущее и с опытом прошлого!

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34
Mircea
May 19, 2016

Son of a gun, this is so helpluf!

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