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2005-12-29 @ 8:38 p.m.
hug sluttery 2005

This last week when I went back to work, "J", the married man who gave me the really lovely, if not unexpected silver necklace, came up to me and apologized for not thanking me for my reaction to his gift last week. Huh? Not thanking me for my reaction? Gee, if I had known all I needed to give people for Christmas was my all powerful and lovely "reaction" I would have saved a lot of money! But what I think, he was really saying, was WOW, HOW EXCITING THAT YOU HUGGED ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OFFICE FOR ALL TO POSSIBLY SEE!!

Now if that sounds egotistical, consider the fact that someone is thanking me for MY reaction to their present. Can you imagine? I really don't have that much power and charisma. Honest! I'm just a chubby, little short, shy middle aged woman who pretends that she's got it going on, when in reality, I'm virtually afraid of everything and haven't dated in nearly 2 decades.

Go ME!!

But I guess its how people perceive you, or how good you are at fooling them. I had to laugh at "A" a few weeks ago when he referred to me as a "hipster". I've only been building that persona for the last two years since I've been taking my art classes. Sure I did grow up San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960's and 1970's, which was the epicenter for much of the hippie-dippie, new agey, wing-nuttie things that sprang forth into popular culture. Smoke dope? Yup. Love beads? Yup. Bell bottoms. Yup. Peace earrings? Yup. Birkenstocks? Well no, but my mom wore them. I even had my own mantra, which I used to repeat, while sitting cross legged in front of lakes, "Please bring me a man, please bring me a man, please bring me a man". It never worked obviously. I guess I accidentally mixed up mantras with abject desperation.

This last week, however, when I hugged "J", and it felt nice to hug somebody without thinking about it, I decided to go on a mission. A Hugging Mission. I decided to hug as many people as humanly possible without appearing to be a slut.

Now for people who have spouses and kids or are just plain friendly, this may seem silly. Like what’s the big frooking deal? Anybody can get a hug. Right? Well, I’ve got news for are taking something really HUGE for granted.

Because I am currently in the throes of something called HDD...hug deficiency disorder. Usually at age 47, you're supposed to have upwards of about 129,000 hugs. But unfortunately, somewhere along the way, my hugging mechanism got jammed and the parts that were on order from Taiwan got lost, and I’m only at about 1100 hugs...for like my entire life!!! So I guess you can say, I'm kinda like a hug diabetic. In fact, I think that’s why I eat so much chocolate...

Low hug sugar.

So my quest for the almighty and comforting hug, became my focal point for the week between Christmas and New Years. I figured I could kind of fly under the radar during that week, grabbing surreptitious hugs here and there, undetected if you were, since it was the holidays ANYWAYS, and I could secretly recharge my batteries. And I was right!

So, lets see...who did I nail hug?

Well, first, I guess was “J” who was the inspiration for the whole thing. Its always fun when you hug someone the first time. I know, you’re all thinking, this girl is so incredibly undernourished, that she’s getting excited about the physical contact we take for granted.

I actually think he wanted a repeat performance on Saturday when we did a group together. We walked out to our parking lot and I was telling him about the exciting fact that I had just won a $100 gift certificate to the fanciest, most swankiest beauty spa in town and I was so excited!! I was telling him all the exciting things they were going to do to my body, like massage, facials, manicures and pedicures and suddenly I was aware that it looked like he might be heading towards a repeat hug to congratulate me. But, despite my goal for AS MANY HUGS AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE A SLUT, I did veer off and put my car between us as I finished telling him my news. Phew! See, one hug and they suddenly think you’re fair game.

Anyhoo, after that, I headed for the Mall where I happened to see the Sci Fi Artist Guy from my art class. It was weird seeing him out of context, because he definitely looked out of context with the rest of the shoppers. Everytime I see the Sci Fi Guy, the first thing I always think is “Hey, there’s Riff Raff from “The R0cky H0rr0r Picture Sh0w”. Its not that he’s a hunched over monster guy in a ragged tuxedo, its just that he is tall, very skinny, slightly hunched, very long straight hair, bright blue eyes and wears an old World War II leather flight skull cap with a trailing chin strap. He’s also very cool and has always been very nice to me socially. Like when we have our art shows, he’ll be talking about some obscure German artist who had a fist fight with Jackson Pollock out in front of a bar in New York City, and he’ll look at me, and say, “You know that German artist, witty....Gustav....Adolph......what’s his name?” And of course, I won’t have a clue who he’s talking about, but gosh, I don’t want to look like a wanker in front of the Sci Fi Guy, so I’ll say, “Oh, you mean that German asshole who hit Pollock?” And then he’ll bust out laughing. He has a great laugh. Very robust.

So I run into him in the mall, and he was rushing towards Penney’s. He seemed happy to see me and he caught me up on a board meeting I missed. He then reached into a plastic bag he was carrying and got out one of his hand drawn cards he does every year for both Christmas and Halloween and signed it for me. He then did something totally unexpected. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. It was so sweet and gentlemanly. It was not a hug, but hey, it was the next best thing!

And then on Tuesday I went to see “A” for our final appointment of the year. Now it may seem weird to some folks, but “A” and I have been hugging buddies for over 10 years now. I remember when I first starting seeing “A” we were about three weeks into therapy when one day as I was leaving he asked, “Would you like a hug?” and to myself I was like “WTF?” I had never had a therapist ask me that before and even though “A” seemed harmless, I immediately said “no” and scurried out the door. And then about three weeks later, when I was feeling particularly depressed, and had decided that “A” seemed very kind, I told him that I was ready for that hug. Since then we have discussed hugs at length. He, of course, does the married man hug, which is to say, a light touching of shoulders, with the pelvic area turned slightly to the side, because after all, you don’t want your naughty bits touching in any way. We used to argue about this all the time when I was hanging out with Married Guy...about what was touching and what wasn’t. When Married Guy was pissed at me, he’d do a sidey pelvic thing. But then when things were good, we’d do what I called a Full Frontal. I guess you probably know which one I liked.

Next up was Christmas at my Aunt’s house. That was like the Academy Awards for hugs. Unlike my immediate family, who would rather sulk and recall slights from 1962, the nice side of the family were all friendly and happy, so I scored about 9-10 hugs and even a few kisses. Its a shame I am related to my one cousin “C”, because he is such a gorgeous example of manhood. My gawd. How did he get into OUR gene pool? And amazingly he is a very nice young man too. His mom is my Born Again Christian cousin who is mysteriously repelled by my wiccan necklace. But now I have my new necklace from "J", so we turned over a new leaf, I think.

And then my final round of hug sluttery was Wednesday night at my art class. I really only had one shot at a hug, and it had to do with rather Charlemagne the Obnoxious French Guy was going to be there. Fortunately, as I climbed the stairs at the Center, I could hear his loud, obnoxious voice ringing out. Yay! As soon as I opened the door, he pretended to be angry with me because I had not attended the board meeting the week before, but within seconds he had run over to me and said, “I’m sick too, I have a detached retina, ya wanna see?” and then he sticks his face right up to mine and pulls the skin down from his eyeball to show me. Gah! And then he said, “I’m gonna play lots of Neil Young music for you tonight, ha, ha, ha!” Well, that was nice of him, except it was actually Bruce S, “The Boss”, whose music I had told him not to play, because it reminds me of Married Guy. But I guess its the thought that counts.

He then went back to what he was doing, as I went to put my stuff down and then suddenly I feel this rush of air and feel these hands on my shoulders and it was Charlemagne whirling me around to give me my new weekly Frenchman kisses on each cheek. Its our new thang, I guess. And then he’s laughing again. “Witty kissed me back!” And then he ran back over to whatever he was doing saying, “I’m French! I have to kiss all the women!”

We did flirt chat briefly during the break. I have no clue how we started on this conversation. Oh, I know, we were having a drawing (contest), and when we ran out of prizes, he said he would auction himself off as a French maid. So I said, “Well, would you be willing to wear a short little costume?” Because frankly, as much of a flake as he is, he has a awesome body. And then he’! I don’t need a costume! And I’m like, yes, yes, you do. I was trying to indicate, something short and sexy and revealing of the naughty bits area, like maybe only wearing an apron or something. And then he says, “Well, I might consider wearing something from a lady’s closet.”

Oy! Well, that’s a new one, isn’t it “A”? Because this guy is like so totally into women. I was pretty much struck speechless after that. But I guess, as long as I still get my hugs and Frenchman kisses, why the hell not.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty