In case you are unaware, Saturday, January 21, 2012 is National Hugging Day. I want to share this with you so you know come Saturday when you are approached by random huggers that you don’t need to file a police report. Those hugs will be qualified as acts of goodwill.
Of course there is an expectation that those huggers that celebrate National Hugging Day will comply with the etiquette of full frontal hugging. Yes…sorry to dash the hopes and dreams of those of you who were planning on finally putting the squeeze on someone who you’d love to convince to be your main squeeze…but there are social rules and expectations in play here.
According to Janice Taylor there are 10 basic rules to follow in regard to such hugging. I share them here as a public service to huggers and hugees everywhere.
1. Ask First: Not everyone is into hugging. Go figure. Who knows why. Maybe it’s because they previously experienced a hug from someone who wasn’t familiar with the Rules of the Full Frontal Hug, who hadn’t practiced oral hygiene (see below). Whatever the reason, we must respect each other, so ask first. “Want a hug?” -or- “Can I have a hug?”
2. Oral Hygiene: When was the last time you brushed your teeth? Gargled? Flossed? What did you last eat? Is the smell of onion still lingering? No matter how advanced a hugger you may be, no matter how good your style, onion-breath is a deal breaker. Good Oral Hygiene is an absolute must!
3. Body Hygiene: Do you smell good? Did you workout and you’re all sweaty? Something to consider, no?
4. Eye Contact: You definitely want to make eye contact with someone before you hug it out! Friendly hugs require a brief eye-to-eye. Romantic hugs require a long-lasting simmer and a bit of a raised eye-brown.
5. The Gentle Lean: Best to lean in gently and slowly as you wrap your arms around the ‘huggee,’ lest you overwhelm them.
6. The Positioning of the Arms: Either above or below the other person’s arms is acceptable. Needless to say, if their arms are hanging by their sides, straight down stiff, get out quick.
7. No Squishing, No Bear Hugs: Remember, this is a gentle, sweet hug. Firm is one thing, but squishing is another! And bear hugs … for goodness sake, we’re not trying to knock the breath out of eachother!
8. No Back Patting: Back patting can lead to burping and it’s just not good feng shui. Breaks the loving energy!
9. Let Go, Already: When the huggee begins to let go, you let go as well.
10. This Is NOT Sex: The hug is a way of communicating friendly affection, concern, and support. Leave it at that!
So play by the rules and hug your ever-loving hearts out this Saturday. And if someone files a police report against you, hug the responding officers. Just make sure that you ask permission first – never surprise someone with a full frontal hug when they have a gun on their hip. Perhaps Janet needs to add that to her list of rules before an unfortunate hugging incident occurs. Imagine the headline – Officer Disharges Weapon During Unexpected Full Frontal Hug. Can you imagine what Jon Stewart would do with that?
Day nine hundred and twenty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da