return from Zambia embrace, 2008. mom and I.
I am not a hugger.
Even growing up in the south where hand shakes
are a foreign language and largely an insult,
I was never one of those instinctive “girl huggers”
… arguably some could be called girl suffocaters
(you know the ones I’m talking about!)
gotta love ‘em
I will now declare this in writing.
by the power invested in me, I am now a hugger.
Ironically, it took me moving north to fully embrace this
craft? skill? language?
Language, that’s it.
Let’s talk hugging.
research studies have been conducted on the
language of hugging
and concluded that:
- 4 hugs per day are needed to survive
- 8 hugs per day are needed to maintain
- 12 hugs per day are needed to experience growth
basically, this means that you should just stop everyone in line behind you
at the grocery store and/or coffee shop every day
and hold up traffic by going down the line hugging
every person behind you before paying for your items.
If anyone tries this in Manhattan, please… do tell how this goes.
who knows, maybe we could start a movement.
a hugging-the-line movement.
If researchers are correct, we would all be growing emotionally
faster than kudzu in West Virginia.
Yes. We would be late to our engagements due
the epidemic of line-huggers.
but heck we would be happy huggin’ fools.
I’m not writing about hugging tonight just
because I was thinking of what it would be like
to create a ruckus in Gristede’s at rush hour with a hugging train.
There is of course a story.
I was running to yoga (literally) this evening
half because I was frozen to the core,
thus the only way to keep my legs moving was to create a little heat,
and half because I was… late.
I hate being a late-to-yoga yogi.
I was briskly moving along and I passed a grandma-like woman
carrying three grocery bags in her arms.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a glove drop from her arms.
For a split second I considered keepin’ on truckin’ along
because I didn’t want to lose momentum.
But thank goodness that egregious thought
lasted only a split second,
because of course I realized that I was only going to
ignore it because I was late to yoga.
ignoring a need that I was presently aware of
and one that would benefit another person
would pretty much demagnetize my soul from any
grace I was about to inhale in class, yes the class I was late to.
and it would NOT be very yogi of me to ignore this.
Oh Chloe` you’re such a sucker for conscience.
“Ma’am! Ma’am! You dropped your glove!!!”
I picked it up and ran it back and placed it in her arms
and continued to shuffle in the direction of yoga.
(though glad that I stopped because it was a rather fancy leather glove)
about thirty feet beyond my continuation in the proper direction
towards yoga another black dot caught my eye
Lord have mercy, if that isn’t the exact same glove I just picked up.
I bet she dropped the other one too.
There was no turning back now, I was commited
to keeping that woman’s hands warm.
and consequently to being late.
I heaved and bent down. I picked up the other glove and
sprinted back in the direction of the woman chasing after her.
C: Ma’am! MA’AM! Your other glove! You dropped the other one too!
Ma’am: Oh my! Thank you! I have just lost everything, haven’t I?
C: No problem!
Ma’am: pauses. You’re a doll, just a doll!
before I could turn to run even faster
to shave off as many late seconds as I could,
she reached out her very-full-bag arms towards me
and I couldn’t mistake that cue for anything
she wanted to give me a hug.
I stopped and smiled,
honored that this stranger wanted to give me a hug.
I squeezed her as tight as I would my sweet grandma,
and thanked her for the hug.
you could have guessed,
I was late to yoga.
but, I was not late for my hug.
That came just in time and I was just on time to where I needed to be.
Now it’s 11:00 p.m. and I’m in my pajamas
and I need as least 7 more hugs… possibly 11.
I have not met my neighbors yet…
I wonder if they would like a hug?
hug a stranger.
I dare you.