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Everything has a rhythm.
My childhood music lessons taught me this.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Stealing my sister’s cranberry juice and then having her throw the entire bottle at me taught me this.
Public displays of affection require a precise and accurate sense of rhythm in order to receive an equal and opposite reaction that is to your liking. Unfortunately, I have no sense of rhythm and my social skills leave much to be desired. As a result, I cannot, for the life of me, give a good hug.
I always manage to mess it up.
Whenever I make a new friend, I’m always dreading the day when we get close enough to hug. It’s not that I hate the contact. I’m not particularly averse to touching my friends. What I’m terrified of is that they will introduce the hug into our friendship too soon, they will discover I have no hugging rhythm, and then they will no longer want to be my friend.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
When one lacks hugging rhythm, one is not often hugged.
I feel as though there are certain criteria inherent in the definition of a “good” hug.
1) Arm placement- If you are the shorter person, you must aim low.
2) Pressure- Pretend like the other person is a melon you’re testing for ripeness. You want to apply just the right amount of squeeze.
3) Release- Average hug duration is 3 seconds (Don’t ask me how I came up with that number).
Everytime I hug a new person I always manage to screw it up.
I’ll think they’re shorter than me and so I’ll aim high and then our arms will collide and the moment will be ruined. Other times I’ll nearly crack the other person’s ribs because I squeezed too hard. I forget to start counting and then I realize that the person has been giving me the “please get off of me” back pat for about 5 seconds and I’m still wrapped around their middle.
Or even worse, I’ll be the one that introduces the hug into our friendship too soon and the other person will side hug me.
I’d rather be punched in the throat than given a side hug.
Even though I give terrible hugs, full frontal ones say, “We’re buddies! We’re pals! I enjoy you as a person so much that I would like to be in extremely close proximity with you for 3 seconds!”
Side hugs say, “Piss off.”
My lack of hugging rhythm is the reason why I high-five people so much. They think I’m really excited about life.
The truth is that I’m incredibly self-conscious.
If I can delay the hug in our friendship then there’s a chance that they’ll see my lack of rhythm as one of my cute and endearing quirks. There’s a chance that they’ll come away from our first hug and think, “That Gyasi is so darn cute and endearing. She can’t even hug correctly! How droll!”
Rather than, “What the heck just happened? Did she just stroke my hair?”
Yes, that happened once.
I’m not sure how or why.
But it definitely happened.