You can tell a whole lot about a person by the way they hug you.
One thing I notice about women who really like me is that they hug me with their whole bodies. It is nice.
They do not pull the restrained upper body hug where our breasts barely touch one another and a foot and a half remains between our feet so that there is no possible way our clothed private parts might brush against each other. (Those sorts of hugs come from people who think that if their clothed private part touches my clothed private part, we have had some sort of carnal moment. Or maybe they were once squeezed by an anaconda dressed up as a human at Halloween and cannot dare to allow themselves to relive such an experience.)
I don’t know which it is for sure – but it is damn annoying. If you are going to hug me, put your entire body into it. I promise that my private parts will not think to cross the blue jeans/skirt barrier at some later date. And I am not going to think you want to cheat on your husband if you allow your breasts to crush into my sternum.
Hugs are meant to say the big F-You to personal space rules and let the other person know you are willing to be uncomfortable inside their arms.
I love good huggers. They don’t make me feel like I am half accepted and half-rejected at the same time. A good hugger hugged me the other day and I still think about how much I appreciate it. They did not give a crap what I thought about their full-on grab of my spine and they were not trying to pull away from me in 1.1 seconds. It was a five second “heart beating on heart” hug. Standing bodies with no space between them. It felt like friendship and love and fearlessness.
To those who suck at hugging by doing the BS top torso grabs, you need to know that you are actually putting yourself in greater danger than if you go all the way in. You give me space, I can kick you in the shin. I can slide my arms up and chloroform you and throw you into my Prius. I can probably jump up, wrap my legs around your buttocks and roll you into some really embarrassing Hulk Hogan move.
What’s your freaking problem people?
I’d rather someone approach me, remove my glasses and slap the holy hell out of my cheek than sucker-hug me. At least it means something and makes me feel.
Last things last: If you are a side hugger, you are my sworn enemy. I think Judas Iscariot actually betrayed Jesus with a side hug because it is so vile, impersonal, limited and Luciferian. When someone side hugs me, I usually trip them so they fall backwards and then I proceed to lie on top of them for 6 to 7 minutes so they know better than to try that method again.
Okay – Summary: Become a better hugger. Practice on a big pillow rather than on a door frame and people will love to see you coming. We all need more touch in this world and a fist bump is about as good as a nuclear explosion happening in my neighborhood.
One exception: If a guy who is wearing sweatpants but obviously no underwear approaches you for a hug, you are allowed to judo-chop his tree-limb like appendage and yell: “No hugs for you.”
That’s the relationship advice for today.
Any words of commentary, sage readers?
I think it’s a pretty normal thing for a kid to want to run away once in a while. To get out from under some sort of pressure-filled or frustrating situation – To show everyone that they can disappear in the blink of an eye and to show themselves that they have some sort of power over the mundane craziness of a culture on meth.
But is it still normal for me to want to run away? To Radiohead it, disappear completely and never be found? To become a ghost in a ghost town? A phantom sprinter from a life that has been built and managed for years upon years?
Is it responsible to actually consider it? To actually do it?
Would it be considered a Great Escape from some sort of philosophical Cave or the fearful admittance of failure within a machine I have forgotten how to operate? And would perceptions matter? Should they matter?
Does it matter if people around me cannot locate me on the rat race grid anymore? Some of them might be more inconvenienced than others – some might need therapy to deal with my sudden abandonment. But I think many would be quietly happy not to have to deal with the complex complications I bring to what they would call simple and easy and manageable (I am very high-maintenance). And I think most of the people who are acquainted with me would wonder where I had gone for a very short amount of time and then forget I ever made up parts of their scenery for a bit.
But why would I run? My therapist would probably say it has something to do with a ton of internal flaws and that to run away would simply lead me suffer because “wherever I go, there I will be.” The prisoner inside choosing physical distance when emotional closeness is what is actually needed.
But, it seems to me that there are so many places to go. And with so many places to go, there would surely be enough excitement inherent to each spot to keep me distracted from those internal flaws. Plus knowing I have the ability to re-invent myself within each location and add to that the short-term fun of new relationships that can simply be tasted rather than be digested and managed.
Couldn’t I live well as a nomad? Couldn’t I just pack out a resume with a billion jobs and a thousand references and never give in to the weights of Capitalism. I could always marry a wiser and richer older woman who would let me inherit a retirement rather than live to build a stupid green line sponsored by Merill Lynch or Fidelity. Or I could move to a tiny little country that uses a barter system where Fedoras are like gold bricks. Or I could just surrender to the waves of relative poverty and not worry about it.
Is it guilt that makes us all sit tight? Fear that influences us? Fatalism that tells us that we have to be exactly where we are? Attachments that we think might bring on guilt if we detach?
Admittedly, I’m wondering these things on a day when I took my Lexapro a bit later than usual. But, these are not questions I ask in self-pity. My life is fully grand and I am sure could not be improved on in any other situations or within other relationships. But I still wonder what it would be like to run away.
To go poof. Abracadabra. Be conversational in every language on the earth. And to die somewhere else having done everything I wanted inside everybody else’s hometown.
I’m just not living for a crowded funeral service. That is uninteresting to me.
If I was found dead with a smile on my face and a cool hat on my head in the middle of a Shanghai city street, that would be ok. Old age or tire tracks on my forehead.
Ecclesiastes can be a dangerous book, baby.
Self-sabotage or Selfishness or Self-Preservation?
Does anyone else ever think such things? Do I just need to TiVo more?
Comment away fellow humans…
I am not sure what my problem is anymore.
I had fifteen years of perfect attendance growing up at one of the most boring churches in the world.
I went every single week and I was a Bible Bowl master. And I got a great nap in the pew during the sermon plus a really good meal at Furrs cafeteria (3 pieces of pie) every Sunday.
Then when I hit eighteen, I became a minister and for fifteen more years I was at church almost every week. But during this time, I could not pewcrash because I was the one delivering the nap-sermons.
Still for 30 years I have been in church and never really minded it.
But now, after quitting the professional church world and becoming a mad man media guy and full-time author, I cannot hardly stand the thought of attending church. It’s not an ethical thing. It’s not a political thing. It’s not a bored to death thing. It’s not a hypocrite thing. It’s not a loss my faith thing.
I still think Jesus was super cool. I still believe God kicks ass. I still know the Holy Spirit is who the Bible says He is.
But I just cannot seem to get myself to church unless someone (wife) makes me go.
So, what is the deal?
Am I just so burned out on the typical process of singing, praying, listening and leaving?
Is it that I know so much about the Bible already that I am mega-bored with a sermon I’ve already preached ten times?
Is it because the church system as we know it in America is really not what God had in mind when He put it together in the first place and I am pissed about that? (I am quite an angry idealist and iconoclast.)
Is it because I can get better entertainment at home?
Is it simple laziness?
Maybe it has to do with the fact that I don’t like being in big crowds of people.
I’m not trying to gripe and say “Church is bad.” I’m not into those broad generalizations anymore. And I’m also not saying that I’m right to feel the way I do about not wanting to attend.
I think I am really in a season of “leave me alone.”
And churches are not in the business of leaving me alone.
What do you think
I was taught to never talk to strangers when I was a child.
But now that I am an adult, I have fully rebelled against teacher and parental advice and I go out of my way to converse with as many strangers as I can find. If I see a stranger driving a old black van with mega tinted windows, I hail the driver down just to prove that the “long-bearded stranger in a bloody wife beater T-shirt that reeks of chloroform and who drives a van” stereotype is unfair.
Anyway, I like talking to strangers because they are intriguing in their unknownness. I know nothing of them and they know nothing of me and this allows me to use my sensory powers to figure out what sort of person I am dealing with. It does not take me long to realize that most strangers are total liars with huge facade layers that I would not be able to peel back in a million years. They are trying to make a good first impression, which gives me power over them, because I am trying to make a terrible first impression on purpose.
Anyway, the other day I had a fairly deep conversation with a stranger; one which went beyond the normal dance.
We talked about life, love, failure, pain, garbage trucks, sandwich rights and Jimmy Carter. All of this happened at a Starbucks, which is really just an extension of social media communities. It is Facebook with flesh and blood avatars drinking coffee.
What did I take from this conversation?
Stop talking to strangers again.
They make me super tired. I have to acknowledge them the next time I see them. They think I ought to give them Birthday presents. I have to recall their name and something significant they told me from the last conversation.
All of this makes me want to dive into bed and never get out.
My parents were right. Strangers kidnap your peace.
I made a small joke the other day in a public place referring to someone’s sandwich. It was not gross. It did not involve me putting my fingers inside of it. It had no cruelty in it. I was not wearing fur while telling the joke. It had nothing un-PC in it at all.
But the guy who was eating the sandwich (with his hands gathered around it like he was its fortress and guardian) heard my comment and abruptly turned toward me and with an offended look and tone to his raised voice said, “Don’t say that about my sandwich!”
I had apparently touched a nerve. My words had punched a trigger deep inside of this man which led to him knee-jerking a response which revealed several possibilities.
1. This man is easily offended and needs little more than a comment about an inanimate object in front of him to turn him into a vocally assertive human.
2. This man is socially awkward and can not recognize quick wit nor let it go if it has to do with something in his possession.
3. This man is experiencing PTSD from some sort of event involving an explosion or war dealing with sandwiches or terrorist sandwiches.
4. This man is a defender of global sandwich rights and was not about to let some West Texas Punk get away with an obvious sandwich slight.
5. This man is a maniac who will kill someone soon and is really looking for any sort of angry response from someone so that he can justify cutting their throats with his plastic sandwich knife.
6. This man is a serious introvert who does not even want to be indirectly included in human communication.
7. This man is a new member of a Fight Club and was hoping to draw me into a brawl so he could complete one of the first requirements of membership.
I’ve got a lot more but we will stop with those.
Here is the deal. When this man directly commanded me to stop talking about his sandwich, I noticed that my anger levels rose to an unhealthy level. Here was an innocent comment made by me and this guy felt like he had the right to directly engage me in a forceful tone – basically ordering me as to what I can and cannot do.
Did he think he was my master? Had someone from another world given him directives to punch me in the gut with his demands for my silence?
I don’t know. But I do know I still had the desire to backhand him off of his stool, rip one of his ear flaps off, tell him to watch out who he gives orders to in the future, advise him to quit being so offended by tiny things, knock him out of the conscious world and while he lay silent, eat his precious sandwich.
It really took a lot out of me not to become his violent counselor about proper life etiquette.
And I am a pacifist. And a Jesus-guy who really tries to do loving things.
But it was super hard not to scream “F-you, dickhead!!!” and then use my drunken boxing skills I downloaded from the Matrix to seriously injure this diner.
What does this say about me?
I want people around me to act the way I want them to act so bad that I would go against all I believe to control them. To make them do it right next time. As if I am a Kill Bill-style guru and federally funded social mediator who has been given the right to bust up people acting beyond what I consider to be normal behavior.
Woe be it to someone beyond me if they order me around. How dare a stranger command me.
Anyway, who is the messed up person in this story? I thought for days that it was this other man.
But after peering into the darkness of my desires, I realize that I am the one deserving a Van Gogh ear-style.
So, what actually happened?
I furrowed my brow, fought off my dark desires and simply let it go.
The letting go part was correct. One point for Behavioral goodness.
My own knee-jerk jerkness was frightening. Negative two points for slaughtering a stranger in my mind over a sandwich comment.
There’s always two sides to every story. And usually both sides have plenty to work on.
What makes you rage? Do you ever knee-jerk? What do you defend as an entitlement? What do you do and then accuse as healthy assertiveness?
Am I the only asshole in the room?
I’m certainly one of the biggest.
Since I was born into this world, it has been telling me what to do in some way or another. When I was forcibly made to join its 20-year educational process, it taught me who to kowtow to and it taught me why seemingly unimportant things still had to be done in the name of a progression toward success. All along the way, I learned how crucial potential, survival of the fittest and money-making is to becoming a memorable man. I have been given the keys to being remembered. I must be remembered. I have to be significant in some way or another. Impressive. A stand-out. A dependable but charmingly manipulative impressive climber. A man who knew how to rightly prioritize tasks. A man who knew what he had to do and a man who also knew how to ignore or evade those things which he did not have to do.
But today, I realize what I have realized on many occasions: That this process towards progress will not take me anywhere I ever want to be. I don’t want to be remembered. it’s a foolish try anyway. No one is remembered after a few generations. So, why would I go for that? And why would I care if I am dead?
Truth is, I don’t have to do anything the world tells me to anymore. Sure, I will stop at red lights and not siphon gas from your Volvo. You don’t have to worry about me choking the life out of John Locke’s Social Contract. I’m just finding rest in the realization that peace is found in a refusal to do what “has to be done.”
And I don’t need Walden Pond.
Just a blog and some coffee.
Not that much deserves to be elevated to a place of grand importance. Yet everything is marketed as if it were deserving of a top floor ride to the penthouse floor. Shall I market myself that way? Shall I insist the world hold the door for me and force it to press the highest number? Will I ascend? If I do, I will take the stairs to appreciate the climb and probably limit the number of floors I reach.
I’m not sure I am made for high altitudes anyway.
My lungs and my ambitions are smaller than they used to be.