3.23.2006

The Side Hug

I think its time we eliminate the side hug. Perhaps we should replace it with the enthusiastic high-five.

You see, you have your two types of hugs: full-frontal and side hug. The full-frontal communicates care, concern, and closeness. The side hug seems to say, "Nice to see you...now be on your way." Its almost like the proverbial question of "How are you?" asked merely out of politeness.

Now I realize that the side hug probably started occuring because of two main reasons. First, there was some concern amongst churchfolk that full-frontal hugs could arrouse sexual tension between a man and a woman. It might send mixed signals and confuse both parties, thus we should clearly communicate with perhaps a few pats around the shoulder, "Hey...you're...a...good...friend." Thus we came up with the side hug to avert this all together to show people that we're close, but not that close. The second reason is because somewhere along the way guys were educated to the point that they realized that giving hugs showed they had some degree of emotional depth. However, going in for the real deal posed too much of a threat to their masculinity, so they came up with the side-hug as a worthy compromise.

Here's what I'm proposing. The high-five can send a much stronger message of warmth and concern then a 3-second side hug. So if you can't come to terms with a full-hug, than the high-five will suffice. This would work particularly good on dates that doesn't go as expected. Recently I was on a date and I was given the side-hug. I'm not ignornat, I knew this meant that I was now her new "good friend." Wouldn't it have been such a better story though if we ended on a high five?

9 comments:

alayna said...

So are you saying that you would be less insulted by ending a date with a high five than a side hug or that they are pretty much on the same level so we should stop kidding ourselves? I don't know... ending a date with a high five says to me, "I have had such a lousy time with you, that I can only stand for this 3x4-very-non-intimate-area of my body to touch that 3x4 area of yours." Where a side hug says, "you are a gentleman and I really enjoyed hanging out with you, but I cannot be a jerk and lead you on by holding you in a face-to-face embrace." Wouldn't you rather have those distinctions than be confused about where you stand?

But outside of the end-of-the-date context I think I give side hugs because I am not sure if the other person would be comfortable with a full frontal "confrontation". Some people are just not comfortable with hugs. Or they act so ackward when you are giving them one -- not knowing where to put their hands or how long they should last -- that you are fairly sure you shouldn't ever do it again for fear they might have a nevious breakdown!

I am glad you are posting again, by the way. Give me a call this weekend if you have some time.

Huggy Bear said...

Next time I see you, you get the 300lb., "I'm secure in my manhood", full frontal. Scared? You should be... ( -:

I'm with you bro, lets knock off the PC, mamby pamby bull.

Gimme a hug people!

mgam said...

As a lifetime side-hugger I slightly resent your suggestion that we eliminate my gift. I've been side-hugging for years. I resist hugging altogether if possible but if I'm forced into it then I can drop off a good side hug with the a double shoulder pat with no problem. If, on occasion, I'm forced into a full-frontal I am quite gifted at maintaning proper crotch separation in order to achieve minimal discomfort with the participant. My recommendation, however, is to avoid it at all costs...

bonn said...

Whereas most of the commenters have concentrated on the "side-hug" position, I think I shall reinforce your suggestion of the "high-five" (HF.) What happened to the HF? Even in basketball games, the players gravitate towards the butt-pat instead of a HF these days. It just isn't right. HF held a position of status to be reckoned with in the 80's. Even duriong the 90's, HF were showered over good achievements, encouraging moments, and just general pick-me-ups. I think HF are a great ways to and evening jammed packed full of fun times. Now, I would say that the HF is not appropriate for a couple whose dating relationship has already reached the point of the DTR talk (this is where a kiss would possibly be more appropriate - but make sure you have permission first, and that breath-spray has been used.) But, I admonish you all to use a HF in full force when celebrating those fun times. A good HF can even be the sole basis for a great friendship! HF will get you far in life. Next time you see your boss, give him a good ole stinging HF, then sit back and watch the bonus' role in. HF to the world, friends, HF to the world!

bonn said...

I apologize for the spelling mistakes, and poor usage of grammar. Living in a foreign country does something to ones abilities for the use of their native language.

chigbee said...

Oh I agree with the writer. The side hug may have great intentions, but it is equivalent to a slap in the face. You go on a date, you had a good time...you don't expect a good night kiss. No you're not greedy...just a nice hug to end the night on a good note with the possibility of another good night yet to come. You go in for the hug...her body take a 90 degree turn and all of a sudden you're smack dab in the middle of an embrace that reaks of a 'one and out' date.

A high five at least doesn't make you feel that there may be be some amount of sympathy implied by the girl.

Gabe said...

One thing side hugs are good for is for ministers. We actually learned this intro ministry. Ministers always give side hugs.

ann said...

It has been enjoyable to watch the hugging evolutionary process of the Blakewell species... from non-hugging, to side-hugging, now to big hugs. :)

The son of the guy who played Huggy Bear said...

Some argue that the high-five is the lowest form of communication known to man. See the first season of Scrubs for greater discussion of this issue. (The character "The Todd" is an example of high-fiving run amok.)