Are you a hugger? Or are you a space invader? A hugger will hug you – and the episode will last just a moment or two … but a space invader will stay in your space, and violate you with their close proximity, and possibly their bad breath until you take action. [Hint – if whenever you are talking to someone, you usually are within six to twelve inches of their face – then you, my friend, are a space invader. Or – if you find that people always seem to be backing away from you … that is yet another sign that you are a space invader.]

The article below is about hugging, and was written by my dear friends, the Midlife Gals. Since is all about leveraging experiences, and learning from others – I want to make sure that the space invaders out there read the section of called the Midlife Bachelor Makeover – Personal Hygiene 101 … which discusses space invaders, and associated challenges. Whether you are a hugger or a space invader – be cognizant of what you are doing, and watch carefully about how your actions are being received … as this sort of thing is just one component of your overall success in the world as midlife bachelor.

The Midlife Gals are huggers, no question about it. We give good handshakes, but prefer hugs every time. We like to get into someone’s sacred physical space with a gesture of humanity at every opportunity. And, truth be told, we like to tweak the non-huggers by doing the same thing. We’re also shovers, arm grabbers and pokers, but those are different columns.

Someone gave me a push/pull hug the other day, and that got me to thinking about how many different kinds of hugs there are. I’m convinced that politicians are the ones who invented the push/pull. Here’s how it works: When they know they’re going to have to hug an on-comer, which is anathema to a push/puller, they steel themselves with stiff, outstretched arms. They know they can take charge of the hug-out by grabbing the person’s right shoulder so they can control how close the hugger comes in and at the same time they gently push the hugger’s left shoulder away from their body. It’s a bizarre feeling and the innocent comes away from a hug like that thinking, “Whoa, what in the hell was that?”

We suspicion that you’ve all walked up to a hard hugger. One of our dearest friends is a “hard hugger”. We’ve had to train her over the years to go easy on us with her rib-breaking strength. If we didn’t love her so much and if she didn’t have one of the world’s greatest open-mouthed smiles, we would run screaming from the room at the sight of her arms beckoning us to her bosom. And, she’s a little-bitty thing too. We don’t know where that strength comes from.

Then there is the man hug. We’re talking about the emotionally-challenged man hug here. Some men hug with abandon, especially other men in their families or great men friends. We’re talking about the everyday, painful slap-on-the-back hug that, while allowing for closeness, does not exclude their manliness. Both heads turn sideways, away from the other’s head while they continue to slap the back of their fellow hugger, and they always slap so HARD. Why do they do this? It makes us worry for their safety.

At least the African American-man shake-n-hug has some rhythm to it. It’s like a dance with one fluid movement as they grab the other’s hand, slide forward, pull in to one side (usually the left side), turning the head and sometimes even laying their heads on each other’s shoulders as they laugh, then push apart still laughing. White men should NEVER attempt this hug. It’s cultural. It’s historical, and let’s face it … white men can’t hug.

We are not going to give air kissers any shrift here because they don’t come close enough to hug at all. It does make us laugh though – doesn’t it make you laugh when you see a double-cheeked air kiss?

Every now and then, I appreciate a good big-bosom hug. This is a foreign conceptual hug for me because when I hug a man, for example, it’s flat chest to flat chest with only our breast plates or possibly my strand of pearls separating our internal organs. I always feel loved when I get a “big-bosom hug”, don’t you? Not only does it cushion the embrace, but if the bosom is big enough, it kind of wraps around you like a hug inside a hug. It just makes me happy.

However you do it, keep huggin’ it out!

KK and SalGal

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.