Sunday Things: Hannah’s Horrible Hugs

By Annette Marie Hyder

“I don’t think I’m good at hugging.” she said.
I asked her why?
I hold my self stiffly and hug hard.
I give hugs like I am pushing the other person away
instead of drawing them in.
I never know where to put my hands,
what angle my head should assume,
how long it should be,
and then there is the separating —
I don’t know how to pull away gracefully.
I end up patting the other person — involuntarily
or lingering far too long in extra hugging
and there have been a few times when I
hugged the other person again
spasmodically rather than spontaneously
and that was especially awkward.
Imagine — they thought the ordeal was over
and then I went in for an added dose,
an extension,
and they my unwilling accompanist.”

“Hug me. Let me see.” I said.
And she did hug me. Awkwardly. Horribly.
Even a little bit creepily (of course not willfully so).
“Well?” she asked me.
“Well. You do hug atrociously.” I admitted.

“But it doesn’t matter.” I said.
“I think what matters is what you ARE good at.”
“What’s that?”she asked.
“I think you are good at caring. I mean really caring
about the other person you are hugging and the hug itself.
Things like connecting with others are fraught with,
made up of,
mattering — to you.
You are very good at caring. I like that about you.”