"But remember, while today it is me, we all shall fall..... In other words, I'm quitting." - D. Schrute, 1/11/07
Please tell me Dwight is not leaving The Office! Surely he will come back. If not, I may begin www.bringbackschrute.com.
24 starts Sunday night!!!
Since I was old enough to remember, at holidays and other family gatherings, Bone family tradition has called for the men to hug the women and shake hands with the other men.
I'm fine with this. Never had a problem with it. This plan works for me. It's just how it's always been. Unwritten protocol, if you will.
Until this year.
The fun started Christmas Eve when I was approached by Cousin #1. Expecting a handshake, I was completely caught off guard when he lunged in quickly and extended his arm out to the side. Before I knew what was happening, we were locked in a one-armed full-frontal man hug.
As I pulled away (thinking to myself, what was that?), I made the decision that Cousin #1 was just overzealous, or not familiar with the family protocol, or something. And that this incident was an exception to the rule.
So I made the rounds, hugged a couple of aunts, played with the kids. Then I was approached by Cousin #2. Now, I don't think I've ever hugged Cousin #2 in my entire life. Ever. And saw no reason for this time to be any different.
I stepped in slightly and began to extend my right arm for the manshake. At the same time, he took a deep step and began to extend his arm out to the side for the one-arm embrace. By that time, this was becoming an all too familiar scene for me.
Seeing that I was going for the shake, he stopped his hug mid-lunge, adjusted his route, and shook my hand. "Uhh... Merry Christmas," I managed. Talk about awkward.
Although if I'm going to find myself in the middle of a mis-greet, I'd much rather be the undergreeter than the overgreeter. To me, it's better to be considered standoffish or aloof than to be lunging in for a hug with a guy who only wants a shake.
The other thing about this is, as humans, it's difficult to turn down a greeting. Whether it's a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. When someone offers, it takes a bold person to pull away and refuse that greeting altogether.
Back to our story. Finally, I encountered Uncle #1. Much like Cousin #2, I don't think I've ever hugged Uncle #1. At least not since I was like four. Still, by that time, I figured everyone must be hugging each other this year.
As Uncle #1 approached, I stepped in deep and extended my right arm out to the side, preparing for the one-arm full-frontal embrace. Well, as you probably guessed, this appeared to catch Uncle #1 by surprise. So we ended up in an awkward hug where one shoulder is touching but the hips are four feet apart.
By that time, I had no idea what was going on. So I planted myself on the couch for the rest of the night where I wouldn't be forced to make anymore greeting decisions.
In closing, I am not opposed to hugs. Hugs are, after all, a handshake from the heart. Besides, it beats that most primitive of all rituals of punching each other in the arm that guys do between the ages of 13 and, um, indeterminate.
Most of the time, I would even rather have a hug than a kiss. Especially if it's from a hot girl who I like, and think I might be able to gently coerce into kissing me later.
So see? I'm pro-hug. Heck, we can even greet each other with an holy kiss for all I care.
I'd just prefer a little warning, that's all.
"I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. They're really saying, I... love... you..."