There are basically 4 types of huggers out there. Actually, there must be 7, if my Venn diagram means anything. I hate when I screw up a good Venn diagram. I’m pretty sure I make a Venn diagram at least once per day and this is the first one I’ve screwed up. You’ve got to give it to me that I get so many Venn diagrams right.
Actually, I think there are just 4. If a screwed up Venn diagram is what really sets you off, then this is probably where we should part ways. I have never been able to be really close to people who have really high Venn diagram standards.
Here’s how I see the huggers:
The Back Patter: A pat is essentially a “there, there”. So, I think a hug from a patter can sometimes make you feel like a preschooler. “There, there. It’s okay that you peed on the circle time rug right in the middle of our ‘hot potato’ game. There, there.” You see, that kind of statement is always followed by a Back Patter hug. If you get one of those kinds of hugs as an adult, you might have flashbacks to that time you peed on the circle time rug. It can be very uncomfortable. I think a patter also wants you to know that they have somewhere to be. When the last pat has been given, it is time to move on with life. I guess this can be said of all the hugs, but that last pat just seems sort of final. “THE HUG IS DONE!” it seems to yell out.
The Back Smoother: I can only take so much smoothing. I had an opportunity to watch a doula/midwife in action recently. She wasn’t mine. No babies over here. No, ma’am and no, sir. I was just watching the doula/midwife lady in full swing. This doula was a Certified Smoother. The Soother Smoother is a good nickname. She wasn’t giving hugs. She just did a lot of smoothing movements on the arms and legs of the person having the baby. I would not have been able to take that. I do not like to be smoothed on the arms or legs and especially not during a hug. I mean, one swipe? Okay, one swipe. If you must swipe, FINE. More than one swipe is a full-out smoother. Maybe you like to be smoothed. We’re all different.
The Back Squeezer: I am a fan of the light squeeze. I know someone who is a fan of the super-tight-almost-squeezed-your-spleen-out squeeze. That kind of squeeze could stand to scale it back a notch. I like to keep my organs. (I once lost a spleen at a family picnic after being greeted by some Back Squeezer family members.) I become less a fan of the squeeze the longer it lasts because oxygen. In general, though, I like Back Squeezer hugs and I give them.
THE SHOW-OFF: One minute she’s squeezing and the next second, patting. Before you know it, she has put a smoothing in there. She squeezes-pats-smooths and then switches it up to a pats-smooths-squeezes. The finale is a squeepatooth and that can really blow your mind. This person makes you feel like you’ve just been thrown in a dryer.
Hey, they’re all hugs, I’ll admit. Hugs are nice and connect people with each other. Some people love them. Some people don’t like to be hugged. Some people squeeze out spleens.
Which one are you?
(We talk about things over on Facebook so the spammers don’t win.)