Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Greetings Gone Awkwardly Wrong!

I'd like to bring forward a serious issue going on in conservative Christian circles around the world. If we don't talk about it, then how will things ever change? Yes, I'm speaking about the greeting known as the side-hug, most commonly seen in church groups and communities among all denominations. The side hug is a form of greeting to say hello or goodbye in which two individuals make their approach facing each other. Once the two individuals are close enough, one of the parties does a 180 degree turn so that now both individuals are standing side-by-side and facing the same direction. At this point each individual extends an arm around the other to perform the the side-hug.

The side-hug was invented to prevent the "full frontal hug" which could cause some type of excess physical hugging stimulation. I don't know about how you give a normal hug, but for me it is not ever a sexually provocative experience where I feel my chastity is being put on the line. In fact, if there are guys out there that are so pathetically desperate that they are hugging a girl to get some type of physical arousal, then we have a bigger issue. In this case, it is not the hug that needs to be redirected to some other angle. Instead, we need to kick the crap out of our pansy Christian men out there, and tell them to go on a freakn' date.

The side-hug can also create awkward moments when one person thinks they are getting a real hug and the other person wants a side-hug. In this situation, the person intending to offer a full hug ends up feeling a deep sense of rejection. Other issues are where a guy tries to side-hug a girl and he reaches around too far by accident. Suddenly, the side hug is becoming inappropriate, and defying the very logic that created it. All in all, the odds for an awkward moment with a side-hug are much higher than a traditional hug. I'm sure that Lucas and Steve (both avid Theology of the Body readers...especially Steve) would agree with JPII that our bodies are incredibly holy and good. When something as simple as a hug turns into something that has the potential to be morally questionable, it's time to take a step back and think about how we view the world. As it turns out, the side-hug is more than an issue of etiquette, but a greater issue of examining whether we are living our faith under the law, or whether we are living our faith with the law of Christ written on our hearts.

So the next time you see me, and begin to make your approach, think about what you're really doing before you start pivoting your feet to get in side-hug position. If you can't get over yourself to hug it out, then it's time to bring back the high five or a good old fashioned handshake and call it a day.

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