Several months ago, I ended up at a coffee…hmm…date? The person is an acquaintance of mine. We met, by accident, he said let’s do coffee and we did coffee, call it what you will. At the time, I found the conversation stimulating and refreshing. We discussed companies and bailing out companies with cash flow problems. Afterwards, he walked me to my car, I don’t know why he did this, because I knew where I had parked it, and wasn’t so intoxicated on caffeine to warrant an escort, but I assume it’s one of those things people do, so whatever.
As we got to my car and we said our final goodbyes, he pulled me in for a hug.
It was one of those moments that destroyed a perfectly good evening. Like a fighter jet whose engine failed and was left hurtling down to earth at terrifying speeds, only to go up in ball of flame and smoke. He’s about 5’9″ – 5’10″, where I’m 5’3-5’4″. As he pulled me in, he pulled too tight, so I was squished into his chest in a manner that is strangely and disturbingly reminiscent of a bad romance novel. His arm must have been locked around my shoulders, so I couldn’t wriggle out. It was awkward for me. I don’t like feeling physically awkward. And then, the coup de grace, as he lets me go, he says, “I can feel your heart beating – is it beating for me?” and I’m all kinds of, “what in the actual fuck? I’m going to need to bathe for a month after that comment.” It was a slimy situation.
Skip forward several months to a separate incident. I met another human, this time, someone I don’t know, he’s a friend of an acquaintance. We spoke for ages about… a lot of things, cartoons, relationships, music probably, goals, personal history in a vague way that revealed nothing. At the end of the night, he hugged me, shoulder hug, drawn in, so I was pressed against his chest, but I could wiggle out if I wanted to. He also kissed my cheek, in a friendly-ish, maybe one too many whiskeys, kinda way. But, it wasn’t creepy. It was, nice, the context made sense.
As someone who generally doesn’t hug humans, I’ll hug suitably friendly dogs, I don’t necessarily deal with the nuances of hugs. But so much is conveyed in hugs. I am not a large person, I find people being in my personal space to be somewhat intrusive unless I know them well or trust them. I suspect on a purely instinctive level, I don’t want to be in a physically compromising situation that I can’t get out of because my size prevents me from tossing a grown male off of me. But besides that, I read into hugs. If it’s too light, I think it superficial and fake. If it’s too hard, I think there’s something in the hugger’s personality that is obsessive and/or possessive. Coffee-guy’s hug just struck me as being an excuse to cop a feel, even though his hands didn’t stray. It was a strange precursor to something sexual in a context, which to me, was anything but sexual. Whiskey-dude went the extra step and kissed my cheek, but there was nothing overtly sexual in his conduct, it came across as being friendly if a little alcohol-informed.
Coffee-guy cannot for the life of him understand why I’ve gone cold on him. Whiskey-dude doesn’t fully understand the brownie points he earned with that hug.