The End of Casual Hugging(?)
Over on Twitter today, my pal Sharon Stiteler posted this, with regard to the possible return of hugging after the COVID vaccine is widespread. She is not a fan, as the image of the hiding cat representing non-huggers being dragged out of a corner by huggers shows:
I reposted it with the additional comment: “To be honest, pretty sure I’m not going back to casual hugging after all this is over. Gonna be work to be added to the ‘hug’ tier from now on.”
I’ll note that in the before times I was a tolerably huggy person; I like hugging friends, and as a notable author who is known to be fairly approachable, I was used to people wanting to give me a hug. This usually wasn’t a problem for me as I have decent tolerance for people in my personal space, and inasmuch as I’m a dude whose major vibe is “middle-aged dad,” no one ever overstepped the hug boundaries (which has not always been the case with other authors I know). Hugs were fine.
But now I feel like we’re in a period of personal boundary reset, and I’m going to be fine with that. So: far fewer hugs in general, and in particular with people I don’t know well. While we’re at it, I’ll be fine with a lot fewer handshakes as well. “Fist bumps and waves” is, I think, going to be my public mode of welcome and acknowledgement. I don’t think I’m going to be going too far out on a limb here with these — I’ll be vaguely surprised if everyone wants to go back to the era of handshakes and hugs.
Having said that, I’m curious: If you were a hugger before, do you expect to be a hugger after all this? And more generally, how do you now greet people, and how do you expect you’ll greet them in the future? Tell me in the comments. I want to know.