I see on the Cyburbia calendar that today is National Hugging Day. No doubt many of us will both give and receive hugs today (and but for this thread also completely unaware of the act's significance on this particular day).
Because of my radio show group, I associate with many actors, directors, and writers - lots of different folks involved in the arts community. One thing I have found is that people in the arts community love to hug. They pretty much hug everyone if it's been longer than two days since last seeing you. They hug hello, they hug goodbye, they hug after a successful show, they give conciliatory hugs if the show didn't go so well. At first all the hugging took me by surprise and I was a little uncomfortable, but right off the bat I have to confess there were certain people you wanted to.... hug ...more than others. Hey, I'm human and I guess that's the part of the whole exercise. Yes, all the hugging going on in the arts world is ostensibly platonic, but I can't help but wonder if the practice originally got started for less altruistic reasons (probably some producer whose wife caught him in the arms of Another who lamely suggested 'oh Honey, it doesn't mean a thing - everyone in the theater hugs').
At any rate, hugging introductions are seen as perfectly normal and will no doubt continue to be considered so in the forseeable future in the arts community. Now hugging in planning circles......much less common. You might see I little hugging going on at conferences where colleagues meet up who haven't seen each other in months or years, but for the most part, our business seems to have a highly impersonal focus. Maybe that's borne of necessity because of the focus on maintaining an appearance of impartiality is so strongly ingrained in our profession?
Are you a hugger? When your friends see you approach do they roll their eyes and mutter under their breath 'here comes Leo Buscaglia Jr.' Do you know or work with anyone who is a hugger? Would you say that some families are bigger huggers than others?