There are times when I wish I could just give someone a handshake instead of hugging them. And what about the tipping of the hat? Now that was a good idea.
I honestly don't know where girls get the idea of hugging everyone. And I'm not exaggerating when I say everyone. You meet them once at a wine and cheese and have a half-decent, humourous conversation, and the next time they see you, they bombard you with a suffocating squeeze, making your personal space virtually non-existent.
I do realize that I am only specifically referring to girls around my age at this particular university, but I also do know that girls in many places have a tendency to shriek, do the "omigod" thing, and hug like there's no tomorrow.
Now, let it be known that I have absolutely nothing against hugging. I think it is a very comforting and warm act. It is sometimes very nice to be in an embrace with someone, but I tend to only reserve hugs to people I am very close with, such as my family, my colleague, and a select few of my close friends. I am not one to hug an acquaintance. You will have to climb much higher on my social list before you can even think of getting a hug.
In terms of hugs, though, the problem is that you can't always be the one to initiate them. If someone is coming up to you and you can see the budding hug in their eyes (and the way their arms are parted), then well, you're done for. Might as well just accept it.
As I mentioned in a previous entry, I am not very touchy-feely; human contact has to be carefully used and not just thrown about. I think hugs have lost their meaning because of the way they are overused. I'll only hug a friend when I'm really feeling like I want to physically feel close to them. Maybe I haven't seen them for awhile, or maybe I am just very happy to be with them. It depends on the moment, the mood, and the general environment. The family, of course, always gets free hug passes.
I will, however, hug someone that maybe isn't a close friend of mine, but someone who is going away for a while. I will hug those that I miss, and I will hug those that I admire, and I will even hug people just for being superb.
So, perhaps the real problem with hugs is not the act of hugging itself, but incorrect hug timing.
There are times when a hug can really complete the moment, but there are other times when a hug is awkward and simply too much. Hugs have to feel special and feel right in the moment and not just something that all girls do when they say hi and bye.
A few days ago, I was around two drama guys who were departing (two whom I don't know particularly well). The girls went up and hugged them, the guys gave them handshakes, and when they got close to me, I stuck out my hand and smiled sweetly. I lowered my voice and said something about seeing you late and good luck with future endeavours or something else just as ridiculous.
Parting is such sweet sorrow!