Bejewell on August 24th, 2008

Since I discovered the Land O’Blogs and its wonderful inhabitants, I’ve been aching to find some bloggish people in my own community to meet, face-to-face.  I’m craving some real-life interaction with people who share my love of this crazy, upside-down, electronic world.

The BlogHer conference seemed like an obvious opportunity for that, but I couldn’t go (my anguish about that is very well documented) and even if I could, I might have met tons of bloggers from all over but it’s not likely I would have found many from my own hometown.

Coincidentally, my mom showed me an article in the Austin American-Statesman written by a local freelancer about… BlogHer!  This writer had actually gone and published an article about her experience.  I was immediately smitten and knew with absolute certainty that we were destined to be BFFs.  The article included a link to her blog, which I found post-haste, leaving a comment essentially announcing that my stalking of her would now commence, and to my surprise she came over here to The Bean and commented back (this is how “we” communicate, for those of you not in the blogging “know”), and a new friendship was born.

We made plans for lunch, and I was so excited!  A new friend!  And she was a writer, and a mom!  So Fucking Awesome!

But true to form, my nerves started showing the day before our blind date, evidenced by my babbling emails. She asked for my cell number, and I sent it with the note: “Give it to anyone and I’ll break your legs.” Funnyhaha, right?  But then I started thinking, maybe not so much FUNNY as STUPID and CREEPY.  To make things worse I emailed her AGAIN and said, “Too soon for break-your-legs jokes?  Sorry.”

(I’m one of those people that just HAS to poke the dead horse with a large stick until I’m absolutely SURE IT IS DEAD.)  
   
She emailed me back “Not too soon” – and I wasn’t sure if that meant she thought it was funny or stupid or creepy or maybe some combination thereof, and then the thought occurred to me that maybe I am a total fucking DORK and this woman already knows it before she’s even met me in person.
  
Which probably wasn’t *that* far off the mark.
  
Anyway, we did have lunch, and she could not have been nicer or more lovely, and we had a very nice conversation and I liked her very much. 
  
And I came across as a *little* bit of a dildo, sure – especially considering how cool she was by comparison — but considering what an enormous loser I really am, it could have been So. Much. WORSE.
  
Case in point:  The entire lunch I was looking at her pretty green eyes and my instinct was to shout, “You have GORGEOUS eyes and I want to pop them out of your head and put them in my own eye sockets instead!”  But I knew it would just sound weird and gross so I HELD MYSELF IN CHECK and never actually said it out loud.
  
If you knew me in real life, you would be seriously impressed right now.
  
So as we walked out of the restaurant, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I thought, “Good going, Self!  You’ve managed to NOT fuck this up royally!  Yay, you!”
  
You know what those were?  Those were something I like to call Famous Last Words.
  
Before I explain what happened next, let me clarify:  I had discussed this meeting in detail with my friend Em.  The question was raised about first-meeting etiquette – to hug, or not to hug?  Handshake, maybe?  High-five?  What?
  
Em advised me NOT to go for the hug when we first met, it would be too awkward, and I followed her advice.  I just offered a big smile, and it went off without a hitch.  Bullet successfully dodged.
  
But what Em and I did NOT discuss was goodbye etiquette.  Which is actually just as important as hello etiquette.  Who knew?
  
Anyway, here is the lesson I proceeded to learn the hard way:  When in doubt, DO NOT.  And by DO NOT, I mean DO NOT do whatever it is that you are thinking about doing.  It will not end well.
  
Did I go for the hug?  Oh, you betcha.  I went right in.  And it was, well, in a word…
  
AWKWARD.
  
There’s really no other word to describe it.  As I replay the incident in my head (which I have done now over one thousand four hundred and fifty seven times, some in real-time, others in hi def slo-mo), I can see her look of surprise as I move in, arms wide open.  It’s a look that says, “OhGodIthinkshe’sgoingtohugme.”
  
And as I pull away, the look changes to, “Ech.”
   
(It turns out that both looks occurred only inside my own head.  See post script for details.)
   
For a moment, everything came to a screeching halt.  And then we resumed talking like nothing had ever happened.  To this woman’s credit, she never even skipped a beat.  But, in my fucked up head, anyway, it HAD happened, and now it was like a big elephant in the room, except instead of an elephant it was a weird, awkward hug, and we were on a sidewalk and not in a room at all.
  
I cannot tell you how much I freaked myself out about this for the rest of the day.  It was one of those Sex and the City fart-in-the-bed moments you wish desperately to take back but you can‘t because now it‘s out there and all you can do is obsess and cringe every time you think about it.
  
I twittered about it.  I called my BFF for comfort.  (Her response?  “I’m sure it was no big deal.  She probably just went home and showered and was fine after that.”)  I even told my cute, British chiropractor.  (His response?  A big bear hug.  After laughing at me while forcefully cracking my back.)  Again, I had to make sure that THE HORSE WAS DEAD.
  
And the weird thing about all of this is, I’m really NOT a big hugger in real life!  I mean, sure, I hug my friends when I see them and I hug the Bean all the time (like to the point where I could crush him because I love him sooooooo much).  But a perfect stranger?  Never!  In fact, I’m kind of obsessive about my extremely wide personal space bubble.  I give dirty looks to people who stand too close to me in line at the grocery store, for chrissakes.  It’s not like I’m going around handing out hugs like candy.
  
So why the fuck did I feel the need to give this particular hug?  It was like some subliminal impulse just took over, and I was powerless to stop it.  The impulse to reveal my true, freakish self.

“No wait – don’t go. Not until you understand that the person you just had lunch with doesn’t really exist. That person is a shell created to hide the real me, who is a complete jackass. You’ve been duped! Run! Before the real me grabs you again and starts giving you noogies! Run like the wind!”

Ummm… yeah.  I never said I didn’t have issues.

Anyway, in the end it wasn’t SO bad.  She left a comment that night and said something nice about meeting me, and then she wrote this really sweet post, which left me feeling fairly confident that she hasn’t filed a restraining order on me.  At least, not yet. 

(Not until she reads this, anyway.  Or the other post I wrote about this.  Remember that whole “beating the dead horse thing?)

And also, I got a hug from my chiropractor (did I mention that he is British and very cute?).

So really, things could be worse.

Oh, shit.  That sounded suspiciously like more Famous Last Words.

—————————-

P.S.  If you haven’t been keeping up, I wrote a previous post about this post and whether or not I should publish it.  (And also, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.)

The comments were overwhelmingly in favor of publishing the damn thing, already! with a couple of unfounded but totally true accusations (MOM) and a threat or two (Backpacking Dad).

I wanted everyone’s attention opinions, of course – but the feedback I REALLY wanted from from Ms. Z herself, my new BFF#2 and the poor woman I accosted.  She had been on vacation and came back to find this mess waiting for her.   

She emailed me last night, basically saying that I was completely ridiculous, she didn’t think anything of the hug at all, and I should go ahead and publish the post, promising she wouldn’t take any offense to it.  And for that, I say “Thank you.”  And also I say, “You realize this means you’re just as cool as I thought you were and my stalking will now continue.  Right?”

   
P.P.S.  I’m very freaked out about publishing this now that I’ve played it up so big to everyone and called myself a genius and this post the best thing that has ever been written.  So you people better leave me some comments and tell me how good it is, or else I’m gonna make myself sick with that whole “they didn’t like it” bullshit that I pull on myself every time I open my big fat mouth and big-sell some post that I really like. 

For some reason the ones I play up are always the ones that get the fewest comments.  I can’t figure if it’s that (a) people figure they don’t need to say anything since I already know how awesome I am the post is or (b) I’m really not as brilliant and hilarious as I think I am.  And the reason I can’t figure that out is because (c) I really don’t want to know the answer to that question.

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35 Responses to “The Goodbye Hug I Can’t Take Back”

  1. I was waiting for you to snort during a laugh and shoot a booger on her or something else really heinous. *lol* A hug is never bad. Unless it’s from someone smelly and I’m guessing you smell amazing.

    Now, on to the important things; where can I get a cute British chiropractor?

    Re: Your PPS – it’s (a) and you know it.

    Marias last blog post..And the winner is…

  2. Never fear…you are indeed brilliant.
    “I like you….just as you are.”

  3. Geez, you’re freaking funny, and I agree with Maria, it’s (a).

  4. Are you serious??? THAT was the post you were afraid to post?!?!

    You are crazy.

    And…huggable.

  5. To address your final points:
    a)Bullshit. Sometimes, our real lives get in the way of our hero-worshipping, is all.
    b)Bullshit. Of course you are.
    c)Geez, you sound like you could use a hug…

    WaltzInExiles last blog post..Febrile

  6. Ummm, I almost didn’t have time to comment cause it took me so long to read this (3 interruptions). Just kidding. You are awesome, and I can positively tell you that I am exactly the same way about things. I’m a huge supporter of personal space, I almost decked a guy at the counter of the gas station the other day because he was standing ON TOP of me, so close the clerk seemed ot notice (but that look could have been in my head, cause I do that too).

    Keep up the freaking awesome posts, cause they make me feel more normal, and less freakish, since I can relate to damn near everything you say.

    Danas last blog post..That silly girl….

  7. Well I laughed out loud on this one, which I usually don’t do even if I think a post is funny. I usually chuckle to myself silently. So a laugh out loud effect is extra special.

  8. You forgot (d) The First Law of Blogging, which says that the amount of time and thought you put into a post will be in inverse proportion to the number of comments you receive on the post. Something that takes you 45 seconds? (Like, say, putting up a photo of the crayon art your kid did on your cream colored chair) will net you something like 35 comments. Something you spend two DAYS writing and thinking about and polishing and editing and perfecting? Single digits, my friend, single digits. Perhaps it’s because the latter piece is so finely crafted that really, after reading it, there is nothing more to say? That’s my interpretation of choice, anyway…

    Also? I hug everyone all the time, even when I first meet them. She probably just thought you were me, and hence wasn’t weirded out at all. See? No worries.

    MommyTimes last blog post..Now I Know My ABC’s…

  9. So glad you posted that! *applause!*

    niks last blog post..Cannibalism.

  10. First of all, I love that you totally ignored your husband’s advice and published this anyway because a) what do husbands know.
    Secondly, I probably didn’t mention that I used to live in Los Angeles, which means I got hugged by casual acquaintances for a living.
    And finally, this post defines you as an absolute kook!, which is the very definition of most of my friends, which further confirms that we are meant to be the hottest mommy blogging bffs in Austin!

    Zellmers last blog post..Home safely

  11. You are awesome. I think that you gave the hug on impulse means it was perfect.

    And the comments thing? I write a stupid post about my hair and I get like 75 comments, which i *love* and is an all time high for me. I write a boohoo post about my son having his first first day of school when he didn’t freak the fuck out and have the school calling me every 40 minutes about him trying to run away from school, etc. etc. A big huge day for me as a mom. I get 20something comments.

    If you ever figure out how the commenting mind works, would you clue me in?

    Queen of Shake Shakes last blog post..Clearly I’m Not Destined to be a Famous Marine Biologist

  12. How can anyone NOT comment. You are both hilarious and brilliant. Funny funny stuff. You remind me SO much of a good friend of mine and this will be the second time that forward her a link to one of your posts.

    Kates last blog post..Withholding Love

  13. Ok.

    You need to read the very first post I wrote for my blog:

    http://backpackingdad.blogspot.....ified.html

    And also my first BlogHer post:

    http://backpackingdad.blogspot.....-fail.html

    And then you can feel better about yourself. Forever.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..Say It

  14. Great post, totally publish-worthy. This is my first visit, but you bet I will be back for more.

    Tynes last blog post..Urgent Request

  15. Just a hug. This was freaking hysterical!! I totally thought maybe you grabbed her ass or something that would require a “private spot” speech.

    So glad you posted this. It was worth every agonizing moment.

    Anissa@Hope4Peytons last blog post..My Weekend Plans

  16. Remeber that one day, when I was all, “I’m in hardcore love with you”? What about that other day, when I was all “…porn, porn, porny, porn, porn!”? Yeah, well, after that, I was sitting in my living room, and then my kitchen, and later I was standing in my bathroom and drying my hair, and I was thinking, “Yeah. That didn’t come off like I was a freak. Sure. I’m gonna guess her first instinct isn’t to block me, but to love me, too. I hope. I mean, I hope she at least will like me, but maybe, just in case, I should stop talking about my porny hair and just wait and see.”

    Well, I’ve waited. Then I’ve read this post, and I’m sorry, but I just gotta say it again. I flippin’ love ya. This experience you write about is EXACTLY how I met my best friend here. Well, minus the blogging and stuff, but when we met and made a date, we ate, we talked about all we had in common, and then? Then I totally hugged her. Then I may have begged her not to think I was a freak, and that I was just so happy to have a local friend. If necessary, I could have mustered tears. Long story short, sometimes you just gotta get your freak on, because four years later, we’re still best friends, and we totally hug on each other. A lot.

    And with that, I should end this comment before it could swerve back into that stuff I swore I’d never mention again! I’ll end by saying you’re awesome!

    foradifferentkindofgirl (FADKOG)s last blog post..‘come with me friday, don’t say maybe’

  17. I think I may have just peed my pants.

    flutters last blog post..Life is good, even when it’s crap.

  18. See, I told you I wouldn’t have to remove you from my reader.

    This is REALLY funny, and made me snort. Man, I need to get some feminine grace from somewhere.

    I always hug before it’s socially acceptable, but I’m trying to reign it in these days.

    Razs last blog post..Mythical Motoring

  19. ok, you didn’t ask for my opinion, before or now. But hey, there was nada wrong with what you did. Its what honest people do. Glad you got it out in the open and now you feel better.

  20. Girl, you are something else.

    But this?

    “(I’m one of those people that just HAS to poke the dead horse with a large stick until I’m absolutely SURE IT IS DEAD.)”

    I couldn’t relate to that statement more if it and I shared DNA.

    I’m glad you got this off your chest. :)

    maggie, dammits last blog post..Elephant in the room acknowledged

  21. See! What did I tell you! Just like in my email when you asked me about it….

    “It was pretty fucking awesome! And I’m being serious. Your voice is strong, witty and resonates your own personal uniqueness throughout the ENTIRE piece. And you can’t help but seriously feel for you and the awkwardness of the situation. Because we’ve all been there, we all just aren’t as gifted as you are when it comes to the written articulation of an experience that is as funny and momentarily uncomfortable as that hug may have SEEMED.”

    And in the end my dear Beej, you were worried for nothing.

  22. ok, the breaking your leg e-mail, plus follow-up e-mail? I would totally do that too. The pre-lunch nervouseness and akward hug? Yup, I’d do that too. SO as you can see You are not the only dork around. I’m pretty sure we are in good company.

    Elisas last blog post..The road to mess is paved with good intentions

  23. Ha. See, this is particularly funny because I know I’ve made that face when I’ve been unexpectedly hugged. I am, by nature, culture, and upbringing, fairly reserved. When my personal bubble is violated I totally get that oh crap Oh Crap OH CRAP look. But I don’t mind being hugged. Really. It’s just an initial reaction. Then I tell myself to not be so damned stuffy all the time and I move on. But, yeah. I’ve made that face.

    If we ever meet you totally are allowed to hug me. And I won’t make the face. I’ll even lick you just so you can see how completely comfortable I am with the entire bubble-violation experience.

    Alias Mothers last blog post..Stay at home moms, feel free to completely disabuse me of this notion

  24. Glad you kept your balls and published it. You are awesome. Glad you can still be her stalker–err, friend.

    KD @ A Bit Squirrellys last blog post..Penis Envy

  25. I LOVE this post….. as someone with the social skills of a carrot it’s SO good to know that there are others who freak out over this kind of stuff.. and that it really turns out ok in end…. and in case you’re wondering, I’m the one right next to you poking the horse :)

  26. LOL.

    It’s the blogging…it turns us non-huggers into people seriously needing validation. ALSO, after you read someone’s blog everyday and pretty much know all about their sex life and what they really think of their mother-in-law, you feel like maybe a hug isn’t so weird…after all, you KNOW them, right?

    Dooce should watch out for me! Since we live in the same town, she is so ready to get drooled on next time I run into her at the grocery store.

    The BDs last blog post..Going for Gold One Ass Cheek at a Time

  27. I love that you managed to throw in a ‘Sex and the City’ reference into this fabulous-even-without-it post. I would put Sex and the City references into every one of my posts if I could get away with it.

    I’m not much of a friend hugger either. I don’t usually initiate one…not even on my last day at my prior job when I was saying farewell to my best-work friend whom I still miss dearly. She’s not a hugger either, so I just gave her a wistful look instead. That being said, I kind of like it when huggers make a move on me. Makes me feel liked (and only a little uncomfortable).

    Allisons last blog post..If Pooty Pootwell Took Pilates

  28. Um, that ‘last post’ thing is awesome.

    Allisons last blog post..If Pooty Pootwell Took Pilates

  29. Talk about the perfect stream of consciousness post . . .

    I’m not much of a hugger so when I go in for a hug, it is always an awkward moment. I’ve gone in for the shake, but that is worse as my hand ends up hitting various parts of their body as they . . . well, go in for the hug, of course.

    LaskiGals last blog post..You Can’t Beat Me

  30. This was hilarious! Girl, you are so funny.

    that girls last blog post..Road Block

  31. That was brilliant! I’m so glad you posted it. Now I kinda have a little crush on you though – you’re awesome.

    Karelles last blog post..Serious fun

  32. I am laughing my ass off. I’m a second-guesser too, and many decisions are made by committee. Many favorite quotes here, ut “Sex In the City Fart In the Bed Moments” is top 5.

  33. Hi,

    I wish I could write so well. I came here via bustablog which I just start using a little over a week ago.

    My blog is Think Forward

    I would enjoy both your comments and criticisms.

    Especially your criticisms, I’m kinky that way.

    I’m adding you to my links. …the more you eat the more you toot?

    ken anthonys last blog post..Russian Hostages

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