Is it hug-worthy?

I’ll admit it. I’m somewhat of a hugger. But only to a certain extent. Mostly with family and a few close friends.

As you might know, we’re new to Texas, and we don’t yet have a lot of friends here. So I was a little stunned when I saw my wife hug someone I believed to be a total stranger while we visited my son’s new school during Meet the Teacher Night.

My son and I were exploring the school’s very awesome library and its array of mystery and adventure books when I heard a loud, giddy “Hey!” I looked up to see my wife approach another woman and hug her — like they were old friends!

Somewhat perplexed by the scene, I inched my way toward the mysterious embrace. Rin promptly turned and introduced me to the woman. I was expecting to hear she was some long-lost friend from college or a distant cousin, maybe a new acquaintance from church. I was not expecting: “We met last week. We have the same stylist!”

Now I ask you: Is such a relationship hug-worthy?

I have been in the Baptist Church for more than ten years, and I understand that people in our particular denomination tend to be demonstrative. In fact, I now always carry my Bible in my left hand so I can readily extend the “right hand of fellowship.” And I’ve grown used to people giving an impromptu side hug at church. Or even calling non-siblings “Brother” and “Sister” — mind you, these are all things that were not practiced with regularity while I was growing up in the Catholic church, so it’s taken me some time to get used to this.

All this to say: I don’t think having the same hair stylist is hug-worthy.

Can you imagine if such a thing happened at the barber shop? Or the mechanic shop?

I guarantee you if some guy comes up to me in Best Buy and tries to hug me just because we get our oil changed at the same place, someone’s going to the hospital. A handshake is more appropriate.

Now, I will admit that I’ve hugged people at celebratory events: New Year’s Eve parties, weddings, and following Game 4 of the 2006 World Series when the Cardinals beat the Tigers. And I’ve even done “ring-around-the-rosie” with some guys when Yadier Molina hit a home run in Game 7 of the NLCS that same year. But….school library hugs with a same-stylist person you’ve only met once hasn’t come up yet.

Was I surprised by the hug? Sort of. But my wife is a sweet and caring person, so such a thing is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Will I campaign against such hugs in the future? No. I’m just chalking this up to being another “girl thing” and a learning moment.

It’s up there with saying “I love you” to people who are not family members. But that’s a subject for another day.



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