Sometimes you’re just lonely on a Saturday night when you ain’t got nobody. The LLC had you covered this time, with an event titled “How to Hug.” And if you have to ask who doesn’t know how to hug, the answer is Bwog’s hug-phobic Britt Fossum.
Apparently Columbia is so devoid of warmth and basic human decency that we need to be taught how to hug. That was the premise, at least, of this Saturday’s how to hug event. Some may wonder why this event didn’t happen before Valentine’s day in order to better comfort yourself and other single folks, but nonetheless I decided that if all else failed, at least there would be free cookies and Andes Mints (presumably for good pre-hug breath).
The room smelled like hot chocolate, and the Frozen soundtrack was playing. “Let it Go” indeed: I surreptitiously looked around the room to see who else would admit that they had a bit of a problem with hugging, cuddling, and other physical contact. One person made eye contact and said bravely, “These are all the people at this school that I’ve desperately wanted to hug since I came to Columbia.” I’m pretty sure he was feeling just as awkward as all the rest of us.
Once the hugging actually began, taught by Dr. McNeil from Alice Health services, that awkwardness didn’t really go away. But at least we all got a lot closer. Literally, as one of the 20-some different types of hugs was called the “pretzel” and involved intertwining limbs and struggling to stay upright. Other advanced hug techniques hardly count as hugs at all: the dance hug, the piggy-back hug, and the “hand hug” where only the hands embrace.
Anyways, the point of the evening was hardly to actually teach people how to hug. Dr. McNeil emphasized that hugging for 20 seconds a day lowers blood pressure and kindly divulged a secret: if you come by the Alice offices after hours and ring the doorbell, someone may be available for a nice hug and some kind words. This was more about making new friends and bonding with the old, and like most LLC events, was full of familiar faces for LLC residents. At least it was better than sweating over a hot computer alone in a lonely dorm room.
Bwog and Bwog’s daughter via Shutterstock