Hugs are not one of my favorite things. I don’t know who decided that reducing one’s personal space to a minimum was a great way to greet random people. Maybe it evolved to let people know you trust them enough to allow them in the perfect position to put a knife in your back. Who knows. The following is a three part explanation of why you should just shake my hand. Or wave. That would be fine, too.
1. I’m into personal space. Maybe it’s because I prefer to judge other people, rather than be judged myself, and that’s easier at a distance (That little self-analysis was for you, Cera) In any case, my self-consciousness increases exponentially with personal proximity. I get stuck in a perpetual loop of they’re thinking that I’m thinking that they’re thinking…Thankfully, young children don’t have a theory of the mind, so I don’t feel self-conscience and I’m absolutely fine with holding them.
2. Some of the time, with some people, I’m okay with them hugging me, but I’m aware of how awkward my hugs are, so I prefer not to inflict them with it. They’re kind of like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fdO4Y8q5Dc For example, Angie is one of my favorite people, I'm totally okay with her hugging me, and yet look at how well I’m handling a semi-hug. This is one of the last times I saw her, too. According to the body language interpreters in tabloid magazines, I am pulling away, and we will be divorced in a few months. Sorry, Angie. I'm keeping Robyn.
3. The rest of my problem is my sister, Tamar. Tamar insists that she hugged me all the time when we were little because she loved me. I know differently. It was her way of attacking me in a mom-approved way. It didn’t help that I spent ten minutes trying to get away from her and that once she caught me, she never let go. You know how “Free Hug” coupons are shorthand for a lazy, cheap gift? I used to give them to Tamar, and she loved them and actually used them. I had to put time limits on the hugs, and I always ended up wishing I had gotten her a real gift instead.