Hearts and Hugs

February 23, 2011 at 6:00 am 2 comments

The older I get, the more I feel like Andy Rooney. You know, the likeable old curmudgeon with the wild eyebrows from the television show 60 Minutes. He appears most weeks at the end of the show whining about something or other that used to seem trivial to me. However, as I get older, I agree more and more with his whining. I also note the passing of things that seem insignificant in today’s rush but nonetheless are a notable marker of change in our world.

Valentine’s Day has recently passed and this year it felt different. The consensus in our family is that the occasion was noticeably diminished this year. broken heartWhen questioned about Valentine plans, most people’s reaction was a noncommittal shrug. Is Valentine’s Day petering out? The hippy days of the sixties and seventies planted the seed for the daily love of all things. Maybe we don’t feel the need for just one specific day dedicated to love.

If this is true, it marks a memorable point in time where the masses are becoming resistant to the big advertising machine. The chocolate, jewellery, floral and greeting card ads were out in force again but they seemed oddly hollow this year as if they expected a lesser response. The economic times are casting a shadow over everything too, so maybe that’s the reason. I don’t know, but I sensed less excitement.

A bubbly writing colleague sent her son to school armed with a load of valentines and goodies. When he arrived for the big day he was one of only five kids in the class who bothered to recognise the day. This makes me think it ain’t just me. I remember seeing heart shaped boxes of chocolates everywhere but I can’t recall seeing those packages of cute, cheap kiddie valentines that you took home and cut or punched out and made sure you had one for everyone in your class … yes, even for that girl everyone called a ‘cootie bag’ or that boy who always smelled like egg salad.

I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. I’ve always seen it as a festivity trumped up by industry to sell product. Bah, humbug.

Now usually, as one thing declines, another advances. I notice more and more people hugging nowadays. Even man to man hugs!

I was never a hugger when I was little. I had no objection but it always seemed that the only hugs that were ever passed out was by some boney old auntie in a pillbox hat who had drenched herself in cheap toilet water. (Hmm … do they still sell Toilet Water? – TOILET water?) A quick in and out was all you could stand. However, hugging seems to be on an upswing nowadays.

I’m a recent convert. When I went to church in the early nineties it was the custom among many of the women to hug anyone and everyone. I soon got into the swing of things and enjoyed the brief personal contact that was more than a handshake. It went to a whole new level when a friend of mine, Barb, explained about hugging. She had undertaken a ministry of hugging and hugging properly and she taught me how.

Barb was a good person for me to hug because her and I were close in height and we fit together very nice. It works for all sizes though. What you do is this: approach each other with your right arm up and your left arm down. When you come together, the up arm goes over the other’s shoulder and the down one wraps around the waist. You should aim to be cheek to cheek which brings your hearts close. No touch and go here, you settle in for a time. You linger until you feel your Spirits meld. This sounds ‘woo-hoo out there’ but try it and once the unease or embarrassment goes away it’s a great feeling.

The most common hug around is the touch and go, usually with two or three pats thrown in, but there is an upsurge in real hugging. On the news a few years ago there was coverage of hug campaigns being held in different cities of the world. Toronto was one such city where a bunch of young adults held up signs offering free hugs. There was some embarrassment but many smiles and probably some folks had improved days. In Uxbridge there is a clown who goes around town and appears at many events offering hugs. Her clown hugs are Barb style too, definitely not touch and go. Smiles trail behind her like the fragrance of freshly bloomed flowers on the breeze.

There are still a number of people who bristle at hugs and I feel sorry for them. Perhaps they have had bad experiences with bony aunties drenched in toilet water or drunk uncles with roamin’ hands. I hope they come around so they can feel the love and share the oneness of our Spirits. Namaste anyone?

My hope is that Valentine’s Day is in decline. It’s a silly celebration. Hugs are much more meaningful and the best part is that one size fits all.

Peace and hugs

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

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Entry filed under: Articles.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa Llamrei  |  February 23, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Geez, not more huggy-touchy-feely crapola. If this really starts to catch on, I may have to start a protest rally. If anyone tries to break through the line to give me a hug, I can always whack ’em with my placard. : )

  • 2. Dale Long  |  February 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

    HAHAHA!! Lisa, that is hilarious and I can absolutely see you doing it.

    Dave, what a great image “Smiles trailing behind like a fragrance”!

    Maybe Valentine’s Day IS on the decline and I would hope it is for the reasons you mentioned, but I’m also afraid it is because of an increased desensitization of our populous.

    I have to admit, I wasn’t much of a hugger. I’m coming around.

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