I have this reputation among my friends of being the one who is not a hugger. Often, Erin or Tiffany will feel the need to hug me (probably because I need it), but they always warn me first. One of them will say, "I know you don't like it, but I'm going to hug you now." They are not entirely correct. It's not that I don't like hugging, it's just that it doesn't come naturally to me.
In my family, we are what I like to call "side huggers." Mom will come in after I haven't seen her for a month or so and we'll each put one arm around the other's shoulder and say, "hey." Sometimes we'll go all out and I'll say, "hey, Mom," and she'll say, "hey, Stormy G." We're super-emotional like that.
Trey's family is quite the opposite. They hug hello and hug goodbye and sometimes hug because it's a commercial and there's nothing else to do. They are huggers.
I love my husband's side of our family very much. I am blessed with fantastic in-laws, and I often wonder what we'd do without them. In the eleven years that Trey and I have been together, I have become a little better at remembering appropriate hugging times, but I'm still not too great at it, and they forgive me.
Clearly, this is an argument for nature versus nurture, in favor of nature. Hugging just isn't my nature, even though I spend a great deal of time with friends and family who hug like there's no tomorrow.
The only exception is with my kids. I feel like I'm constantly hugging, tugging, loving on them. Deep down I know that some day they won't like for me to hug on them all of the time, so I'm getting in all that I can. Unfortunately, I think I may have trained them too well.
You see, the boys don't know how to sit next to me. If they are in the same room with me and sitting down, they must be sitting on top of me. I think it's completely unintentional on their parts, but it is, nonetheless, a fact of my life. Being a non-hugger, this extreme closeness is often difficult for me.
I sit on the couch, one of them piles on top of one leg, the other follows right along and curls up on the other side, and -- wouldn't you know it -- here comes the blasted dog. It's very, very sweet. For about five minutes.
Then my legs go to sleep and my arm feels like it's going to fall off and one of them is yelling at the other in my ear and I accidentally get smacked in the face and the dog starts growling and a kid's nose is running and it's the most uncomfortable I've ever been in my life, childbirth included.
Trey always notices the uncomfortable grunts coming from the couch and laughs at us. I'm sure it looks hysterical. Every once in a while, I'll remark (with absolutely no sarcasm, I'm sure) how incredible it is that three people and a dog can fit on one couch cushion. The boys think that really is amazing, and they start jumping up and down shouting about how awesome it is. Of course, this makes me much more comfortable.
As I joyously enjoy these lovely little moments, I wonder what it will be like when they're teenagers and they don't want to sit by me at all. Will Tucker think that couch cushions are made for multiple people and feel the need to sit carefully on one cushion with his girlfriend? This will be a definite problem, and it might cause me to have a nervous breakdown or, worse, start hanging out in the living room with no make-up and no bra muttering to myself in order to scare away the skanky little girls that want to share couch cushions with my boys.
There's really only one solution. Chair-only seating in my house. It seems I have some couches to post on craigslist.