Road Trip 2 - Hug Life
Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen,
Okay… where were we?
Day 4 – Back in the Bay
Our first full day back in San Francisco had me working most of the day at the home base for the first time since last March… and obviously a lot has changed since then… but it was great to see so many people again! Working from home has been amazing, don’t get me wrong… but it’s completely different to be in the office with everyone, keeping up with their lives, sharing laughs, all that then when you’re even doing it over email or text. I think it’s the smiling faces… and the hugs, but more on that later.
Izzy was able to spend the day with her friend & fellow UniqueCorn Katie!!! I’m sure she’ll go more into that on her blog (insert plug for UntidyVenus) but I got to see her for a little bit after work, and then we went to Elevation 66 Brewing to meet up with some more friends. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Elevation 66 Brewing is an amazing microbrewery in El Cerrito (by SF not LA) which has incredible fine dining at affordable prices & fantastic beer! Highest of recommendations! This is also where Izzy & I had our first date, where we spent many an early mornings brewing with the owner Big D & assistant brewer at the time Big Ben, where we studied a lot for our BJCP sensory certification, and where I eventually proposed to Izzy a little over five years ago… so there’s some great history there for us.
We met up with Big Ben & his family, as well as Diana & Ryan from Happily Ever Aftermath… and just had an amazing dinner & drinks catching up! We made vows to keep in touch more often & shamelessly plugged Utah as their next vacation destination… but now, I thought I’d get into the Life Tips portion of the blog, as I share my tips on something that I haven’t always been the best at… Hugging!!!
How to Hug:
Okay, I start off with a brief history of my hugging habits & expertise. My father was a great hugger, as is my mother, so it’s in my genetic coding. However, another thing in my genetic coding is being 6’8” (two meters) tall and have been for quite some time… so there’s general awkwardness with that, as well as just being a teenager who didn’t know any better, so there was a learning curve. In my early 20s, there was also a coworker of mine who was known as “a great hugger” like it was one of the first things people noticed or brought up about him. It was quite remarkable… and so I was curious… and he shared some wisdom with me on the subject as well. Here are a few of the key things to keep in mind.
The Mindset – Look, not everybody wants to hug. Heck, you might not want to hug. If so, there’s absolutely no problem with that… entire cultures bow instead of hug, and they’re still super cool & respectful. Ninjas don’t hug. Neither did dinosaurs. You can still be cool & not hug. This tutorial is for those who maybe feel a little awkward when it comes to hugging, or are just a little self-conscious about it. You’ll know how ready you are to “dive on in there” and do it. If not, please feel free to bow, curtsy, nod, shake hands, elbow bump, vogue, whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re going to in though… be confident about it… but respectful.
The Approach – This is very important, because this is where you’ll read through body language whether the person is interested in a hug. Obviously if they come out with arms stretched saying “gimme some love, you bastard” or something then it’s easy to tell that they want to hug. However there are some stigmas out there, and especially if you’re meeting somebody for the first time, it’s not a given. So how do you know?
Well… one thing I like to do… is when you’re approaching, you put both hands out showing slightly to the palms at about waste level… just to show that you’re open to the idea of a hug, but if they put their hand out for a shake, then your right hand is there ready to give that quick, firm shake. However, it’s also a gesture similar to when you’ve asked a girl to dance… just a simple gesture, showing that you’re open & vulnerable, but you won’t be offended if they start laughing & their friends join in scarring your gentle teenage psyche for decades to come. (smacks self) Sorry, don’t know what happened there. Yeah, a simple gesture that they will either reciprocate with the single hand for a hand shake… or both hands in a similar expanse implying they’re ready for engagement… or a single hand for the shake, then pulling you in for the bro hug format… but you have the handshake there in between to… I don’t know, probably make sure you don’t accidentally touch tips or something… but also an effective showing of affection.
The Actual Hug – Okay, you probably knew most of this stuff beforehand… but now we’re getting into the gritty. How do you give a good hug?
Step 1 – Don’t be afraid – Easier said than done, but chances are if you want to hug a person, you want to hug a person.
Step 2 – Don’t just jump in there, take your time! – If you’re reading this, you’re okay with observing the situation, reading the room, and lord knows if you both just jump in there then somebody could lose a tooth. As a tall man, I make the effort to come down the foot or so to meet at shoulder level. Timing is key so that you don’t come down with a shoulder rush as they’re jumping up to meet you and it ends up looking like some weird wrestling bump. Personally, I start coming down when they’re about six feet out, slow & steady, no injuries.
Step 3 – Positioning – Now, this can get a little awkward if you don’t know somebody or even acquaintance level. Now if one of you is taller than the other, it’s natural to think that short goes low with the arms & tall goes high… but that’s a quick way to the lover’s embrace & you may not be there in the relationship. So the obvious & easy thing to remember is Right Arm High! If you both go in Right Arm High, there’s minimal fidgeting & awkward things going on, no incidental bumping or grinding, and when the hug is complete, you just got the right cheek to right cheek facial touch instead of direct facial contact whether by kissing or face-butting. Quick, easy, simple… Right Arm High!!!
Step 4 – Take a moment, realize the moment, savor the moment – Now, how long does the hug last? A second per year you’ve been apart is probably good. Haven’t seen that person since the pandemic started? Give it a good few seconds. You’ll sense when they’ve had enough after that. Seeing your long-lost mother? Okay, take a quick 15-seconds. Unless it’s something like that, about a second is probably good.
Step 5 – Pressure – Go ahead and give it some pressure. Don’t break anybody’s back or neck or anything, but good second of high & tight squeezing shows that you appreciate the moment. It’s like saying “Hey, this is a hug… and I’m enjoying it. Hopefully you are too.” Which then heads me to another very important tip.
Step 6 – Don’t be a creeper – Ladies, can I talk to the guys for just a moment? Thank you. Gentlemen, especially the younger hormone-driven gentlemen out there, I know you’re probably reading through this information and taking notes about how you’re going to finally cop that feel on a cheerleader or something… and look, I know it’s hard (like all the time) but relaaaaax. Look, you get the reputation of being a “great hugger” then it may be implied that you’re also a “great fugger”. Now do I have your attention? Hear me out. You don’t go in there all grabby & awkward & “oops, I don’t know how my awkward face ended up there” because that’ll be THE LAST TIME they let your Axe Body Spray smellin’ ass near them… and word may get around… IF they even care to spread word about you. Now, alternatively, since you’re a smelly teenager, maybe each morning you take a light dabble of something cool & manly… I recommend Bvlgari Blue. It’s clean, crisp, but manly… and surprisingly affordable for what the name implies. How? BECAUSE YOU DON’T NEED A LOT!!! When the opportunity arises, casually use the tips that I’ve been giving above… and when they realize that you know what you’re doing… this is when you get REPEAT hugs in the future. They’ll think “Oh man, Dakota didn’t sweat all over me nervously & rub up against me when he hugged me the other day! He’s a real gentleman! I wonder if he’d make a good boyfriend!” Seriously, that’s all it takes apparently nowadays… because most teenagers seem to be trash. You don’t want to be trash, do you? So you get the reputation of being a good hugger… and the ladies want more hugs in the future. Willingly. Heck, they’ll be longing for the moment they see you next so that they can get some of that sweet, sweet huggin’ on their bodies. True story. BUT the way to keep it that way… is to not be a creeper and hug for that extra second or two where it gets awkward… read the room & let her lead the way. You’re welcome. Now just name your first bastard Steve.
Okay ladies, you can come back now! Where were we? Oh that’s right, remember guys, nothing but respect for their minds & always listen to their feelings! Well, I guess that about does it. If you have any further questions about hugging, definitely feel free to hit me up in those DMs on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @EILFMovies and feel free to share your stories… or if you have any insider tips on what makes a great hugger.
Until next time, keep it safe out there & enjoy the moment!
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Steve and Izzy
Steve and Izzy are the hosts behind the EILFM podcast, are BJCP beer judges and have terrible to questionable taste in movies. Along with the PodCats Pickles, Cameron and Poe they will justify why these movies are amazing