THE MAN-HUG, I ABSTAIN

I don’t really hug my male mates. I’m not a man-hugger. Some blokes are, some blokes aren’t. I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an under-hugger at all. A hug from my daughter, my son, my wife (though rare), my family or any female friend of mine, is gold. I just don’t get anything out of the man-hug. I love my mates, but the hugging thing I can really do without. I’m fully supportive of the rights and feelings of my mates who are man-huggers, but I’m just not.

The issue came up a few weeks ago when I was at the Hornswood RSL with seven blokes. It was past midnight and out of the corner of my eye I see Mac, a really good buddy of mine. Before I knew what was happening he had dropped a man-hug on me with a drunken “I love ya mate”. It was all over in a few seconds so I just put up with it, slapped my friend on the back and on he staggered.

No worries.

However, within five minutes another good friend of mine is stumbling and hovering. I thought I knew what he was thinking, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then he came swooping in with an arms-raised “maaaaate”. I put up an open hand against his face and halted his forward progress, squishing his nose to the side a little.

“No, sorry Phil. Thanks for the offer, but you’ve forgotten, I abstain. LISTEN UP FELLAS.” We were standing around the pool table so I had no problem getting all the lad’s attention.

“JUST SO YOU KNOW BOYS, I’VE JUST BEEN PROVIDED WITH A MAN-HUG, COURTESY OF BIG MAC OVER THERE.” Mac smiled and waved.

“I KNOW IT’S NEARING 1:00 a.m, THE MAN-HUG HOUR, BUT I JUST WANT TO REMIND YOU ALL THAT I ABSTAIN. CAN YOU MAN-HUGGERS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR SOME FLESH TO SQUEEZE, ALL TRY TO CONFINE YOUR MOVES TO EACH OTHER.”

“NOW MAC (Mac put out his arms in a hug preparation motion) AND YOUNG PHIL HERE, ARE MORE THAN KEEN TO SNUGGLE IN WITH ANY OF YOU LADS, ALL NIGHT. BUT PLEASE REMEMBER, TO LEAVE ME OUT.”

“AS DISCUSSED PREVIOUSLY, DON’T MISUNDERSTAND ME PHIL. IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL. I’VE BEEN LOOKING AT YOU STANDING OVER THERE AND IF I WAS GOING TO BE HUGGED BY ANYBODY TONIGHT, YOU’D BE MY MAN. I KNOW THIS WILL COST ME ANY CHANCE OF ANY FUTURE MAN-HUGS WITH ALL YOU LADS, BUT I CAN DO WITHOUT THEM. CHEERS BOYS.” 

The boys went back to pool game, they’d heard it before.

I think it’s time that us non-man-huggers speak out. We have done nothing wrong. We should not feel uncomfortable for an aversion to a mate pulling an unsolicited man-hug. I think man-huggers should be required to develop some sort of hugdar (like a gaydar), as the onus should be on them to confirm if we are up for the hug, before they go for it. I am also thinking of the man-huggers here, because I’m sure they don’t want to be wasting their time on a bloke who is getting nothing out of the entire process. They would want to focus their efforts on lads who are much more… accommodating.

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