Today in America it’s National Hugging Day… yes, you did read that right, it’s a day that celebrates hugging. [*shudders*]
I can hear all British expats in the USA right now actually cringing. This is going to be a day to stay in bed, I think, or at least not venture out of the house just in case you are suddenly accosted by some random stranger who wants to hug you. [*gulp*] How absolutely appalling.
This is just Not British! I don’t understand why there needs to be a whole day of celebration and I’m sure I’m not the only one with that British aversion to hugging. Why hug when a good old “How do you do?” and perfectly fine handshake will suffice. But then Americans find us a bit standoffish and rude if we don’t hug.
It has taken me a long time to get used to the fact that I will be hugged whether I like it or not. To compound the fact, my fiancé is in a motorcycle club and their culture is to take anyone into an embrace or bear hug to say hello. For the first few years, I would stand stiffly with my hands at my sides and kind of grimace. It was a bit like being hugged by an ancient uncle whom you had never met, who kind of smelled like mothballs, and clutched you to his chest a wee bit long for your liking. So very uncomfortable.
I have tended to get over my phobia a little though, I pretty much had to, being around bikers so much. I was once informed I was a bit of a snooty b*tch, to which my only reply was, “Well, I’m English, that’s how we are.” [Sorry England]
So I’m just going to say once and for all “I’m sorry America that I don’t hug as much as you would like, go ahead and have your Hugging Day, but please, please, please do NOT include me!” [and certainly don't try to touch me]