According to my google research there are over 7,000 varieties of tomatoes. Today I bought some strange and unique brown tomatoes called Kumato. They are very mild and pretty good but require a fist full of salt to get any satisfaction.
While buying the strange new tomato I was thinking about hugs. There are probably 7,000 different types of hugs but in my day to day life there are a hand full I can count on. I guess your family, friends, life style and activities dictate what sort of hugs you run into every day.
First there is the “Ladies’ lunch”/ client embrace. It’s not really a hug, unless somebody is going through a divorce or a big sleazy cheating scandal. It’s quick, fleeting, cheerful and pretty superficial. But women don’t really shake hands much and this “ladies lunch” hug covers all bases when you greet people who are almost good friends. There are folks you know you’ll eventually be buddies with but you’re just not there yet. Older and socially mobile women might add their cheek air kisses, with big sound effects but that kind of creeps me out.
The “happy hug” happens spontaneously when something very good happens very unexpectedly. It’s strong and sloppy and might include a squeal. The “happy hug” might happen when your boss gives you a ten thousand dollar account you never expected. Suddenly you hug a man or woman you really don’t like and never wanted to touch. But it happens, you wrap them up like a hot dog in a bun, then stop just as quickly. It can be awkward. The “happy hug” might also happen in school, when you’re reading the list of students who will appear in the school play. You find you got the lead so you suddenly “happy hug” your music teacher or a dweeby little guy in 7th grade. Surprise!
Of course there’s the “bro hug”. I actually still get these every once in a while, generally when I’m announcing an MMA event and a fighter doesn’t really know what to do with me. The “bro hug” is a cool hand shake, cross shoulder bump and slap on the back. There’s even a little chest bump involved too. It’s warm and heartfelt and very manly. I feel super cool when I get one.
Buddy hugs are pretty great too. Great big, sometimes silly hugs but they are sincere. I get “buddy hugs” from true friends and a lot of the teenagers in Taekwondo. Usually, the “Buddy Hug” is followed by a joke about them being too skinny or smelling bad. Guys who work out like to pick up girls and women after a ‘buddy hug” and that’s a fun way to say hello.
But the best are “love hugs” and they come from family. When Alex has a brutal day and he hugs me, I feel him heart and lungs, they almost relax and I try to hive him some of my remaining energy and strength. When Sandor or Lex, Mary or Jack hug me, I melt with love and faith. I understand the universe and for a moment all is right in the world. A “love hug” like the perfect home grown tomato. It’s the best we can ever hope for in this life.