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Thank you for not hugging me

News of Very Narrow Interest

My time has come. Unfortunately, it took a global pandemic to make it happen. Social-distancing, sheltering-in-place, self-quarantine. We now have a name for what apparently has been my lifestyle. I like being at home. I really don’t enjoy traveling. Vacations? Like fresh fish, I’m good for three days.

I’ve never been very touchy-feely. Was always uncomfortable being coaxed into hugging my old aunts (Do I smell like that now?). Frankly, wasn’t into high-fiving. Never went in for the hug, definitely not the bro-hug. The fist bump? No. The elbow bump? I don’t think so. Forget the jazz hands. Who am I, Al Jolson?

Sure, in the past, I was shamed into kissing my wife’s French family on both cheeks. But that was rewarded with plenty of champagne.

Why am I like this? Is it because I never had a stuffed animal as a child?

For years, my parents maintained that was not true. But a photo with me and a plush companion? Never saw one.

People have suggested that maybe I should “see someone”. But why should I pay for something that I already know? I’ve always set limits on my personal space and I’m OK with it. Ironically, I’ve been accused of being a “close talker”. The exception that proves the rule? Maybe.

Some would say that I’m not in touch with my feelings. But why do I cry when it looks like Shadow is not going to make it in “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”? And when he comes limping over that hill . . . I need to wipe off my keyboard just thinking about it.

I’m not a germophobe. I’m not anti-social. I shake hands during non- pandemic times. I’m just not into hugging.

The Zoom cocktail party. Now there’s a concept I can get behind. You’re not physically there and you can walk away at any time.

And no hugging on the way out.


M. A. Duca is a resident of Twin Lakes narrowly focused on everyday life.


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