Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

he’s always after my lucky charms!

I woke up at seven thirty this morning (my day off), not by choice, but because I had a client appointment at nine.  Yes…on my day off.  Funny thing about that—the client didn’t show up.  Nice, huh?  I could have slept in.  Oh well, I still had a lot of day off left.

Interesting thing about having my day off fall on Patrick’s Day—I didn’t have anything green to wear. This left me open to frequent pinching.  Woopeee!  Who came up with that little nugget?  “If you don’t wear green today we get to pinch you.”  I think I should come up with a random day and call it hot pink fur sweater day.  If you don’t wear a hot pink fur sweater on that day I can pinch YOU.  I’m not sure what day I’ll pick, but it would be sort of funny if after I picked the day, I forgot to wear my hot pink fur sweater.  It would figure.  

After my imaginary client appointment (I sat at my desk for an hour reading emails and doing other assorted busy work) I set out to find exciting things to do on my day off. 

There wasn’t anything overly exciting to do for the morning.  I had a prearranged lunch scheduled with an old friend, so I busied myself until noon. 

Lunch was nice, if not overly exciting.  We caught up on our jobs and kids in the forty minutes we had to spend, and at the end she went in for the hug.  She was kind enough to preface it with, “give me a hug.”  And she added, “I know you’re not a big hugger,” for good measure. 

Was it that obvious that I wasn’t a hugger?  And exactly why am I not a hugger?  I had to ask myself that question.  We hugged, and it wasn’t horrible to hug her.  There was nothing untoward about it.  Friends hug all the time, right?  I’ve hugged people.  So I felt compelled to break it down for her…and myself.

I don’t hate hugs; I just never know what to do.  Which way do I turn my head?   Are you supposed to make eye contact?  And what about your hands?  Do you pat their back or rub it…or just keep your hands perfectly still?  How tight is too tight?  Are you supposed to say something while you’re hugging?  How long is too long to linger?

These are difficult questions!

I have a history with hugging.  While serving as her maid of honor, I once almost ruined my best friend’s wedding gown after a hug that went terribly wrong.  I mistook the signal and turned my head the wrong way, catching the padded shoulder of her white taffeta dress with my bright coral lips, getting lipstick all over her.  It was a near tragedy salvaged only by a quick thinking bridesmaid and a piece of white bread. (I have no idea how the bread helped, so don’t ask me what the trick was.)  It all worked out in the end.  The wedding was a success—the marriage…not so much—they were divorced eighteen months later.  But she looked beautiful!

So what is it about me and hugging?  I don’t know.  I hug my husband all the time with no difficulty.  I hug my children.  I think I’ve hugged my mother recently.  The cat doesn’t count, because he ensures his hugs by digging his claws into my skin so I can’t pull away.  I think Henry Chow may have developed an unhealthy fixation on me.  He scratches on the door when I’m in the bathroom.  I think he would sit in my lap if I let him.  But that would be weird.

So I figured it was worth delving into my hug phobia…and I think there is an actual name for it, but I got to the H’s in the list of phobias and gave up looking.  There are a whole lot of phobias out there.  I think they may have gone a little overboard with naming every fear.  I would say that the fear of dirt or of the color white is probably a little strange, but some fears are just smart.  Merinthophobia is actually the fear of being bound or tied up.  That might not be a bad fear to have!  Especially if it involves strangers!  Lachanophobia, on the other hand, is the fear of vegetables.  But, I think that may have been something cooked up by a really smart kid who just didn’t want to eat his broccoli.  Amathophobia is the fear of dust, and if you have that, you can’t come to my house! Unless you’d like to help me get caught up on my vacuuming! 

I could do an entire blog on phobias!

But as for my hug phobia…I have no answers.  I suppose I just need a lot more practice—you know—I should start hugging everyone until I get over my fear.  It would make for interesting blogging I’m sure.  I wonder if my dentist would object.  Or my gynecologist?   Or maybe I should just rethink this whole thing.  I’ve made it this far without hugging the whole world.  I’m going to need to take this on a case by case basis, I think.

As for the rest of my day off?  I didn’t find any leprechauns or pots of gold.  No rainbows at all, just lots of rain.  I didn’t drink green beer (or caffeinated beverages) I didn’t even buy a lottery ticket.  I did have a craving for a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast, but just my luck, we were totally out!  Mike and I tried to go out for dinner, but the wait was so long we left the restaurant and ended up at the grocery store buying frozen pizzas and one lonely can of beer.  After all…it was St. Patrick’s Day…and according to ancestry.com, we both have just a dash of the Irish in us. 

Until the next time…I’ll be picking my hot pink fur sweater day, so you’d better go find one or you’re going to get pinched!

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