Erica Lucke Dean

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

have you hugged your blogger today?

I think I had a rough day today, but Vivian (one of my best friends) took me out for a Margarita right after work, and I suddenly couldn’t remember why I was so irritated to begin with.  She made a special point to hug me before we left—something she has done every day since returning from Brazil.  This is not because she is a hugger.  This is specifically because I am not. 

And so it continues…

I have done more hugging in the last week than I can ever recall.  All because I made an innocent remark about not being a hugger.  Oh, it was a true enough statement, but not at all meant to be an invitation.  And yet, everyone I know has taken this as not only an invitation, but a challenge. 

Not that I mind the hugging…on the contrary…I feel I need to go on record with the statement that I am not against hugging, I’m just not very good at it.  Hugging, in and of itself, is actually very pleasant.  On a cold day, the combined body heat can even help to chase away the chill.  How could that possibly be bad?  Although, I think that hugging should be suspended during the hot months, as I have no desire to experience anyone else’s sweaty embrace.  Which brings up another point about hugging.  I think one reason I find it so awkward to hug people in public is that I’ve always thought of hugging as a “naked only” activity.  You know…as in, man and woman hugging, while naked, hopefully in the privacy of their bedroom, bathroom, or backyard hot tub. 

So when approached by fully clothed friends, or distant family, determined to pull me into their loving arms for a platonic embrace, I may subconsciously shrink away because I’m imagining them in their all together, and it’s not altogether comfortable.

Relationships are so complicated!  Even the uncomplicated ones. 

I’ve decided that my entire life is too complicated, and it would be infinitely simplified if I just had a genie. 

The kind that comes out of a lamp. 

The “magic” kind that comes out of an ancient tarnished brass oil lamp.

But I’ll need a few more than three wishes, thank you very much. 

I would take my genie everywhere with me. 

First off we would start with the house.  I would like it cleaned from top to bottom until every trace of dust, grime, and Henry Chow’s fur is gone (the fur not currently attached to Henry Chow, that is.)  The cabinets should be organized neatly, including the removal of every expired prescription bottle, over the counter cough syrup, and multivitamin (most of which still have more than half of the original contents remaining.) Every dust bunny trapped under my bed would be captured and set free into the wild.  And the cobwebs in the corners of my vaulted family room ceiling would be finally and permanently laid to rest. 

Once the house was in order, my genie would be happy to landscape the yard into a lush paradise complete with fountains, pools and a Koi pond.  My husband’s raised vegetable gardens would be brimming over with enough organic plants to feed the family for the entire year.  And the dogs would all be well groomed, well fed, and well behaved without any effort on my part. 

There would be no need to work, other than writing my blog, and the occasional book or two each year.  I would have time for more exciting pursuits…like pole dancing…bungee jumping…and fire walking.  My genie would see to it that I was perfectly safe in everything I decided to do.

But like anything that is too good to be true, life with my genie would cause me to grow complacent.  I would take genie for granted and expect him to cook dinner every night and do the dishes.  I would insist the he clean up after the animals, the children, and even the adults in our house without complaint.  My genie would in turn grow bitter as the resentment would fester in him until he snapped, raining his wrath down upon us like something out of a Steven Spielberg movie.

I can’t have a genie.  It would just never work out in the end. 

Maybe I could start small and hire a maid to come in once a month.

Until the next time…I’ll be cleaning my bathrooms!

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