Hugging, why would it ever be such a big deal? Everyone does it right? WRONG! One does not simply go and hug my father in law. It was at the beginning of the relationship, meet the parent’s time. We had spent the afternoon in the park. It was a bright sunny day, so it was a tremendous day since I live in the UK. We were waiting for his family to come down from the north.
They were going on holiday to a beach side caravan park, but making a stopover in London to pick up Sunny and off course to meet the new significant other in his life (point two thumbs towards me). We were meeting at their cousins’ house. They were away that day and had left them the key for the day.
As we approached, I fussed over my hair, my clothes and my face. We rang the doorbell and his sister opened. Naturally I hugged the sister, I hugged the brother in law, I hugged the mum, I waved at the nieces scattered over the house.
An older man came in view; he looked like an older version of Sunny, they referred to him as ‘Papa’ to which I assumed he was the father and went in for a hug. I felt a tight grip on my shoulder and the words were whispered in a very no nonsense tone “Do not touch my father.”
As I said before, one does not simply go and hug my father in law. It was an awkward and bewildering situation at first but as time has gone by I realise he is man who does not like to be touched. He will shake your hand if it ever comes to a situation that he cannot get out of but I still think, if no one had said anything and I had gone in for the hug, would it have mattered? Maybe it would have broken his ‘Don’t touch me’ persona and perhaps he would be a much warmer person today. Or perhaps he would have stared at me oddly, like Ross hugging Rachel’s father in Friends.