Public Display Of Affection

When I was little I use to love hugs. Giving them, getting them and even sharing them. Then I grew up.

We moved when I was 7 and somehow to me hugging didn’t seem as natural and part of me thought: ‘why bother, if you get too close to people you’ll end up moving again’. But I had this one friend in High School who wouldn’t give up long after everyone else stopped trying to hug me because they knew how uncomfortable it made me. My friend didn’t seem to notice the expression of ‘get it off me’ every time she hugged me but I sure noticed the expression of joy on her face every time she hugged me. So logically I drew the conclusion that something that could give her that much pleasure couldn’t really be that bad…

Anyway, I became a hugger again and had no problem with showing emotion that is until I moved to London. It’s like the rush and chaos has a way of closing you up. Like if you let your true colours show for even just a moment, you would immediately be vulnerable to the judgement of 2 million strangers. So I learned how to be stoic around everyone except my 10 closest friends and it seemed pretty sane and logical. That is of course until I moved to Zimbabwe and wanted to greet JS’s (my future husband) grandmother with a handshake.

In my defence, I honestly didn’t know who she was and for all I knew she could have been a random stranger who was just buying chickens but still: a handshake? I guess to some extent that is a reflex I picked up working in the hotel. It’s not like you’d hug a random guest right? But here’s the thing: I want to be the hugger again. When it’s just me, JS, his brother and parents its ok, I’m all affectionate and lovey-dovey but as soon as we’re out of that comfort zone it’s like ‘what? Holding hands? In public?’ and that’s weird!

Seriously, I love this man more than words could express and I hate having to get up in the morning because I’d rather spend the entire day in his arms. So why is any public display of affection such a challenge for me? I really don’t know. I’m still working it out…

I’m just glad our whole lives aren’t lived in the public eye. I’m glad for those moments when it’s just the two of us and we’re watching some Disney classic while our heartbeats try to find its sync.

AM

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