Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Touchy" people.

Being pregnant sure has been an experience. Not that I didn't expect it to be, but I'm learning more about myself than I thought I would.

For example...I learned that people can't resist touching pregnant bellies. I'm just now really showing "pregnant" and it's amazing how people just want to TOUCH it. People I don't know that well, people that I don't know at all, family, friends, pretty much any mammal is obsessed with my belly.

The thing is, I am not a 'touchy' person. It's not that I don't want to be. In Texas the thing to do is hug. Depending on how rural the area is (the more rural, the less time it takes), if you haven't seen the person in over 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, you will get a hug from the person when you see them. However, my timeline is more on the 5 month mark. If you are a close friend and I haven't seen you in 5 months, I'll give you a hug. And I don't think I would survive in Russia or places in Europe where they KISS each cheek, too. Ewww.

When someone hugs me my initial instinct is to pull back. It's not that I'm an unfriendly or unwarm person. In fact, most people when describing me usually say that as one of my top 5 qualities. I'll chat with anyone. But, if you want to get closer than two feet we need to have some sort of relationship. I don't know why. Maybe it is because I lived in the Northeast until I was 10 and they aren't 'huggy' there. Maybe it is because my family wasn't huggy. Maybe I wasn't hugged enough as a child. Maybe I'm just a jerk. Who knows?

In a cruel twist of fate my husband and I moved to the country due to his job. So, I went from a city of a population of 5 million people (if you haven't seen someone in 5 days you hug them) to a town of population 300 (5 minutes until you hug someone). I decided I needed to be more "huggy". After all, it's a warm thing. It isn't a BAD thing. People do it because they are fond of you. And if I am going to fit into this rural life I must try. (Although I draw the line at calling everyone "Honey", "Sugar", "Sweetie", or "Darlin'"). I'll admit I started getting good at it. Almost comfortable and natural with it.

And then, I got pregnant. And now I've reached a new level of 'touchyness'. Not only do they HUG me, they want to RUB MY BELLY. The first person that did it was my sister. Who is probably (besides my husband) the closest person to me. And what's weird is my instinct when she went after the belly was to push her away literally. It almost startled me. Was it the "touchy" issue or the "mother instict" to protect the belly? I don't know. But it was very weird. So, since that happened I have learned to make a consious effort to just stand there while people rub my stomach. I know I look like a deer in headlightes, but I'll work on that later. I have to take baby steps to this therapy.

Question: Do you hug people on a regular basis? Is it a normal thing to do where you live?

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