“Oh, my God, you are going to LOVE Janna”, my friend Amber said as she was telling me about all of the new people she had met over the past year or so that I was living in India, “Actually, you guys are going to love each other … you both are the same, you know, REALLY happy.”
Well, my friend was right … Janna and I loved each other from the start. It’s so fun to meet someone and then instantly, you can’t imagine not knowing them (this has been happening to me a lot lately, which I think is a good sign). Janna is so full of life, and yes, as a big fan of laughing and smiling, having someone around that likes to do both those things as much as I do is a beautiful thing.
Not only have I become a fan of Janna, the person, I have also become a fan of Janna, the writer. Super funny, smart and ridiculously honest. Here is one of my favorites … enjoy!
The Awkward Hug
By Janna Irons via Strange Musings, Awesome Humans, and Nonsense Spewing
I’m usually pretty good at dodging awkwardness. Or maybe I attract it. Here’s the problem: In places like Hawaii, I run into people from all over the world, who I know with varying degrees of intimacy, who all have a different preferred greeting. People from Hawaii= one-cheek kiss (sometimes accompanied by a post-kiss hug, sometimes not). People from France or Tahiti: two-cheek kiss. Close friends: hug. Work-related acquaintances: sometimes a hug, sometimes a handshake, depending entirely on the situation.
So I run into someone from Tahiti, who’s been living in Hawaii for a while. I go in for the one-cheek/hug, while she opts for the two-cheeker, we kind of have a few awkward half-movements, we almost kiss, then simultaneously try to anticipate what the other will do next, end in a nice “Uh, oh, uh…sorry”, and try to move on without drawing too much attention to that weird excuse for a hello.
Then there’s the I-know-you-from-work-but-we’ve-known-each-other-for-a-while guys. The ones where I go in for the handshake, while he goes for the hug, then feels weird, extends his hand for a shake, while I switch over to hug-mode and he pokes me in the stomach with his outstretched fingers, and we do the weird what’s-going-on dance. It’s all very awkward.
Oh, and then there’s the group introduction to the person who I know pretty well, who I’d normally hug upon greeting, who is being introduced to my co-workers (which is accompanied by firm handshakes), and then it gets to me and I go for the hug, because a handshake seems too formal, but he has an arm outstretched, so I switch over, leaning back an extending an arm, but then he decides a hug would okay, and we do the weird ass-out-hug thing, and then, since we’re in Hawaii, he goes for the one-cheek kiss and it’s strange and ends up misplaced, landing somewhere near my ear, as I turn my head away. It’s usually inelegant and uncomfortable, and everyone is watching and wishing they weren’t, and then we all collectively try to pretend it didn’t happen.