Saturday, 25 December 2010


Christmas day is nearly over and I'm back home in time for delving my face into the Quality Streets whilst watching Poirot's Murder on the Orient Express. Had all the usual pressies and christmas meal trimmings and feel thoroughly christmassed-out. My favourite present I received this year was from funnily enough my 14 year nephew. Knowing his auntie very well, he'd been to the shops and purchased a rather inspired choice of very fetching snuggy and warm red and white polka dot pyjamas. As I opened them he just said something like 'you'll be able to give really good hugs in those'. You see, the onset of age has turned me into a bit of a serial hugger. Not with any old Tom, Dick or Harry it has to be said, but with those I'm very close to. It came late in life I'm afraid. I have my previous life of being rather aloof, slightly unemotional and held myself rigid at the prospect of anyone venturing into my personal space. I then became friends with a couple of people who turned into my best friends and they hugged me to death at every opportunity, beating any resistance out of me and turned me into this tactile, freely hugging and more sensitive person I no longer recognise. My godsons, nephews and nieces and my best friends are mostly on the receiving end of this new-found hug-fest. Thankfully, they are very good and don't put up too much resistance with the words 'Oh shit, she's coming towards me with one of those Godforsaken bearhugs again'. I recently find this new unashamed need to tell my nearest and dearest that I love them and find no embarrassment in doing so. It's particularly lovely when they genuinely say it back which warms the very cockles of my heart.
Yesterday at work, one of my colleagues and I were having a heart to heart about christmas being an emotional time and then we got chatting about hugging and how she dreaded people throwing their arms around her during the christmas festivities. She went on to reflect that her own mum had never been tactile and this had passed to her and her inability to hug or cuddle her husband or her own children. I found that very poignant and perhaps even a little sad but was also quite humbled that we'd had that talk and that she'd been able to share this with me. So as we were leaving work to go and enjoy some much needed R&R, I gave her a very private and very big hug and although it felt at first like hugging a dead horse, I was pleased to see that she let her guard down and actually hugged me back with genuine warmth. And then we shared a laugh at her guard being chipped away by someone who completely ignored her momentary awkwardness. I texted her this morning with christmas wishes and a cheeky promise of a big fat hug in the new year when I next see her. Exposure is a great thing you see and so is a genuine hug for someone who might just need it...

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