So I've been doing some self reflection lately and have realized that I am an awkward person. (To be completely honest, this is not a new revelation.) My awkwardness is primarily manifested in the timing of my hugs. I think, at least in theory, every conversational or relational issue, wether it is an emotional outburst, a kind word, or even an uncomfortable silence, can be fixed or made better by a hug. Think about that for just a second. Day to day, this doesn't really come up that often, thankfully in part to the voice in my head that tells me the hug equivalent of "keep it in your pants". The other day, I ran up to Agave, the Mexican restaurant by my work for a quick bite to eat. When I entered, the owner/manager of the store, Freddy, was standing behind their hostess table (might I add that this table was uncomfortably low, not nearly the same type of hug-preventing protection that is offered in the counters at my coffee shop). Freddy greeted me and was leaning forward to pick up some menus and I jut felt the overpowering feeling that the only appropriate thing to do at this moment was to give him a hug. Thank God I just told that feeling where to shove it, and I sat down like a normal person and waited for my turn.
This isn't the only time I've done this. I remember a couple years ago, I was a new manager at our Kirkland store and the owner of Caffe Ladro, Jack, still made me nervous and happened to be visiting the store. Jack is a very friendly, huggy man, so you would think we would probably be best friends, right? Sort of? I knew the hug was coming so I got very anticipatory of it (that's probably not even a word, but spell check is not arguing it, so I am going to move on). Jack hugged me hello, and everything was going just swimmingly. We were standing next to each other and I got the feeling that he was wrapping things up and was going to be leaving soon. He moved away from me and said some thing like, "Well, I'm going to..." so I didn't even give him a chance to finish, I just swept him up in my arms and gave him the best, not weird or creepy goodbye hug I could muster. And he simply responded, "Oh! Well thank you, but I was just going to go take a look at the espresso machine." Aaaagh! I still cringe now thinking of that.
And the list goes on.
Just take this as a fair warning, all my family and friends...don't tell me anything (or even come within a three foot radius of me) if you are not willing to potentially subject yourself to some Amy-Hugging.
A picture of a classic Amy hug: The "we're taking a picture together so, aaagh! Where do I put my arms?"