Monday, June 13, 2011

{hugs}

We bonded on the playground outside of the pre-K classroom.

We were both new to the area with kids in the same class.

She was from Jordan, but was raised on an island called Cyprus, near Turkey. Her father was a successful businessman. They led a privileged life with servants and private schools. She dated princes, and had three beautiful sisters whom she was still really close to.

She went to grad school in Colorado, fell in love, and got married to a guy from Alaska. He was a few years younger than her, really smart, and gorgeous. They were a very exotic, and sexy, couple. I found her stories fascinating.

Don thought she was a spoiled, self-centered diva, and wondered why we were friends.

I was just an ordinary gal from the Midwest, a little on the prissy side. Nothing like her.

I was raised by a hard working dad and stay-at-home mom. We didn't have a servant. In fact we often whined that we were the servants.

Our different backgrounds didn't stop us from becoming friends.

We started hanging out during the week with the kids, then meeting for dinner with the hubbies on the weekend. We both owned small businesses and had a mutual love of good food and wine.

Pretty soon we were getting together almost every weekend to talk shop and drink wine.

She was an amazing cook. Her passion for life was on display when she was in the kitchen.

"This is Rawan's special sauce she would say, it's full of yum-yums." and we all believed her, even the kids.

"Americans don't use enough spice. I always double what they recommend. That's why it tastes better." she would brag.

She loved discussing relationships, philosophy, and private stuff.  My friends would lay their head on Rawan's shoulder as we all talked about life.

Their closeness was strange to me. I wasn't used to such affection with girlfriends.

"What's wrong? You're not hugging me back. Does this make you uncomfortable?" she asked once.

Well, uh, yeah it does. And confronting me about it makes me even more uncomfortable.

I lied.

"Of course not, I love hugs. Who doesn't love hugs?" I replied, defensively.

"Then why do you stand like this?" she asked standing stiff as a board with her hands by her side, and her eyes wide open.

Uh, now I'm really uncomfortable.

"Are you afraid of affection?" she asked. "From a woman-friend?"

I am now. Holy schnikes. Can I leave? I would like to leave, please.

"No. I'm just not a big hugger, that's all." I answered back wishing Don was there to save me.

"Ok. Well I'm a hugger. Hope you don't mind." she replied cheerfully, hugging me again.

And that's how it was with her.

I think she enjoyed trying to convert me to be a hugger.

She ended up moving back to Jordan with her daughter after the girls finished 1st grade. She wanted to be closer to her family.

Her husband stayed in the U.S. running their company. I didn't have a good feeling about how this was going to end.

I told her she would never come back once she went home. This upset her and she stopped speaking to me. But I knew her. Her life in California would be a distant memory once she got home.

She called a year ago and said she was getting divorced. I wasn't surprised. 

I was sad for her husband and daughter.

I'm sure she's hugging someone else now.

And I'm still a tentative hugger.

  
Today's TRDC post is about Affection.

Some of us show it easily, hugging relatives each time we meet.  Wrapping our arms around friends. Some of us are more reserved, rarely touching other people. And then a few of us hang out somewhere in the middle.  Hugging our children, but limiting our affection to handshakes with others.

This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory.

Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us.  Bring us to that time.  Help us feel what you felt. 600 words max.

14 comments:

  1. Loved how you included those inner thoughts intermingled with the spoken ones. Interesting how different we all are. You have great intuition...nice job with the prompt.

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  2. Wow Kris! I have chills- this is so very powerful. Your emotions, your friendship, what you learned from her, especially about yourself, your instincts. All of it.

    You nailed this one. Perfectly.

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  3. Nicely done! I can feel your stiff acceptance of her hugs, I can hear her talking about spices. I was greatly disappointed to learn she moved back home. You brought me with you through this piece.

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  4. I really enjoyed this piece Kris. I loved how you commented on her exotic nature and the phrase "sexy couple" made me LOL especially as you compared that to yourself as a Midwestern girl. Great read.

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  5. Oh, you somehow made me miss her, too. Lovely words for a lovely woman.
    Came from TRDC linkup.

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  6. this was very good Kris because the words and the way you set up the story for us was perfectly set.

    I'm a hugger and I know that makes some people very uncomfortable, but I do it anyway, like your friend. I crave that closeness, the way you tell someone that they matter to you. However, I do understand the parts of you that find that in talking and communicating.
    It just goes to show that it's what different that makes us wonderful.

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  7. I want to know this woman you describe. You rendered her so sensuously. And your inner dialogue about the hug, I had that same experience with an older man--not in a creepy way, a father of a friend who was Latino--he hugged and realized I was uncomfortable then he called me out on it. It's a double embarrassment whammy. I got the vibe you were sending, as they say.

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  8. It is so sad that her story ended that way.

    I also loved the way you interspersed your thoughts with your actual words. So often we think one thing, but say another.

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  9. I want to read the post where you talk about converting and becoming a full fledged hugger. I see it coming in the future. One day...

    I liked hearing your inner dialogue.

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  10. Thank you for giving us a peek inside at your thoughts and feelings here... i do this a lot in my posts as well, and its validating to read it here :) I liked learning about your friendship with her!

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  11. Great story Kris! I can totally relate to being a non-hugger. Funny thing is, Maya is a total hugger! Must be Mike's influence =)

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  12. Thanks everyone for your comments. It means a lot to me. Bring on the concrit, too.

    And believe it or not, my daughter is the biggest hugger ever. But hugging her is different than strangers.

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  13. I feel like I know her now and can smell her food. Excellent writing.

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  14. I think this is fantastic. I loved feeling like I was learning about her right along with you. Her exotic confidence is something I wish I could find in a bottle and rub on my neck, elbows... whatever. Even though she's gone from your life, it seems it was still such a cool experience to have known someone like her. She seemed so rooted to me in your story, only to up and leave like it was no big deal.

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Thanks for your feedback!

~Kris

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