I hate being touched. Unless you are my Hubby or my daughter, please stay at least 2feet back from me. I have a very defined sense of personal space and if you cross that, I get edgy. I'll shake your hand briefly, but I don't want to sit there and hold it for longer than the perfunctory 3 second greeting.
I have one friend of about 6 years who is a hugging menace. She hugs everybody- church members, her school kids, even homeless people she comes across, complete strangers. She knows how I feel about hugging, but grabs me anyway. I hate it, but I allow it because she has been a great friend over the years and accepts my quirks, so I try to deal with this particular one of hers.
This new church is lousy with huggers. There's even one 94 year-old woman with a cane who, when she sees me, makes a slow, decrepit bee-line for me so she can plant an old, dry kiss on my cheek. I try to slip away before she gets to me, but she hunts me down. She insists on doing this every Sunday even though I try so hard to avoid her. For someone so old, she has an amazing radar for finding me.
This past Sunday one of the new members (who is also a mom) cornered me, grabbed my hand and said, "You are such a wonderful and light spirit. I'm just so blessed to have you in my life. I would love to have some time to get to know you and learn more about your spiritual journey." WHAT THE HELL DO I SAY TO THAT???? I stuttered out a stunned thank you but didn't offer anything more. She persisted and asked when we might talk. I told her I am always at church and she was welcome to sit down with me here, all the while I was trying to extricate my hand from her death grip. That's all I said. I didn't invite a phone call or a lunch date, nothing. I have no desire to "share my spiritual walk" with anyone. What am I going to say? Well, I have a pack of tarot cards that I used to be pretty good at reading...oh yeah, I speak to dead people...and I believe in the Native American religion more than I do hers? Something tells me that's not what she wants to hear.
But the worst part about this anti-hugging battle is this is such a small town that I run into church people everywhere. I was at the Y this morning and an old woman who had just exited her exercise class, came up to me and asked "You're LIMW aren't you?" When I said yes, she grabbed my neck and squeezed. A sweaty, old woman whose name I didn't even know was perspiring all over me. ICK!!! Thank goodness we weren't in the locker room!
I've tried telling people how I feel about hugging. I think Hubby has even talked about it in one of his sermons. Sometimes I think people believe that Hubby and I have some kind of magic pixie dust on us that, if rubbed on them, gives them special access into heaven. Well I've got news for them, if I did have magic powder, I sure wouldn't share it with the huggers!