A two hug day

9 Aug

I am not a hugger.

And yet, Saturday found me hugging two strangers.

When I pulled into the rest area, they were already there. We’d arranged to meet at 2:00, but the dog and his dad had arrived a little early. Dad was moving and couldn’t take Cooper to the new apartment so he’d reached out to Oregon Basset Hound Rescue to help him find a good home. I’d done a home visit recently for a family I though would be perfect. The meet and greet was the Saturday before. Monday and Tuesday saw vet appointments and neutering. Today was the hand-off.

The adopting family pulled in a little later. There was some chit chat, but I could see Dad getting anxious. The new family took Cooper off for a long walk. Dad’s signal to go. He stood there for a while watching them go and the tears welled in his eye. His girlfriend who had come long for moral support, hugged him tight. I said some words meant to comfort

He’ll have two sisters.

They’ll send pictures.

I’ll let you know how he’s doing.

He’ll master the dog door in no time.

Were those words to make him feel better, or me? This is always the hard part. Tears welled in my eyes, too, watching this young man “do the right thing” but knowing how much it hurt him.

Finally, he pulled away from his girlfriend and turned to thank me for helping. And then he hugged me.

On the way home, I stopped at my local grocery store to pick up a few things I needed.  Busy for a Friday, I thought, then realized it was Saturday.  Is it this busy every Saturday afternoon? I wondered because I never shop on Saturdays.

As I lined up to pay for my items, I gleaned that a computer glitch had shut down the registers for a while, causing the backup. I’d found a line that seemed as long as the others, but full of people with small carts, half full.

The clerk at my register was familiar to me. I’ve shopped at this store for the last 18 years and know the clerks by sight, if not by name. When my turn finally came he thanked me for my patience and proceeded to tell ma about a man with anger management issues who had come through earlier. We talked about the similarities in our jobs dealing with difficult people. And then he hugged me.

I drove home remarking on my two hug day.

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9 Responses to “A two hug day”

  1. Lisa Keeler August 9, 2016 at 5:57 am #

    I love your first line. And I love this slice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lisa Orchard (@lisaorchard1) August 9, 2016 at 6:07 am #

    Ahhh…hugs are so wonderful to receive. They communicate so much that we can’t put into words because we’re uncomfortable with expressing such deep emotion. Hugs tell us you matter. We’re grateful for your kindness. Things like that that feel awkward to say. I’m glad you had a two hug Saturday. We all need those. 🙂

  3. teachworkoutlove August 9, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    good for u! its so good to hug people. even though at first it might seem awkward

  4. Linda Baie August 9, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    It may have been them that hugged, but it was you that received, and evidently made them feel so understood, Adrienne. Good for you, and for them able to thank someone for kindness. Love hearing about your hugs!

  5. Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione) August 9, 2016 at 8:52 am #

    I related to your first line since I’m not a big hugger either. When I read you second line I had to keep reading to find out what would make a non-hugger hug two people in one day. Sometimes a hug is just what we need. Maybe I should do it more!

  6. marilynyung August 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Thanks for this post! I’m not a hugger either, but know they can be the best response often.

  7. franmccrackin August 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    Adrienne, I enjoy reading your compassionate writing.

  8. Brian Rozinsky August 9, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    I don’t fashion myself a hugger either, but what a great lead for a slice! Kudos to you, Adrienne, for venturing outside when your comfort zone when that’s what those around you needed.

  9. ALR August 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    I love this story Adrienne! Hugs can be so awkward but they are often so meaningful. I am so glad you received two meaningful hugs!!!

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