It’s a question that many have pondered from time to time: what is it like to be in bed with George Clooney? Well, ponder no more. When George and I are in bed together and it’s time to sleep, there is limited touching, minimal cuddling and definitely no spooning. We kiss goodnight and retire to separate sides of our Queen sized bed. Occasionally on holidays we get the luxury of a King size and can go a whole night without so much as touching. As part of a healthy, loving and committed relationship, I actually don’t really like him even facing me…though I promise that I am delightfully low maintenance in a number of other ways. He always sleeps on his left side and I sleep on the right side of the bed and hence always have his face sleeping near my face, staring at me all night through his eyelids. Creepy. Twin beds may be on the cards for my 40th.
Generally I am not a fan of most physical touch, particularly with those outside my ‘friends with benefits’ circle (see May 20 blog post if you’re confused). I couldn’t agree more with Jerry Seinfeld when he wanted to abolish all ‘kiss-hellos’ from his life. I am totally on board. I can tolerate a kiss hello from family, close friends or from my kids but the obligatory kiss and hug hello from acquaintances…please no! I have actually gone to lengths to avoid them much like my small screen hero Jerry, who has been my role model in this area. For example I can try sneezing or ‘accidentally’ looking the other way or having my head stuck in the fridge…that type of thing. But those excuses can only get you so far…there is always next time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I can be keen for some touchy-touchy. I have some dear friends who have been travelling the world for nearly 3 months now and I am really missing them. When they return I will bestow on them both a huge bear hug that may even linger just a little too long – and I will enjoy it. But that is the exception that proves the rule.
Recently I did the 5 love languages quiz and then made every member of my family over the age of 3 also partake (If you’ve not done it, give it it a go. It’s based on the great book by Gary Chapman and is very insightful. Go to http://www.5lovelanguages.com/). Chapman tells us there are 5 love languages: Physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts and acts of service. My lowest score out of all categories was physical touch. Unfortunately, both my older kids had physical touch as their highest scoring category. I have been spending 6 & 9 years giving them unconditional words of affirmation (which incidentally is what I discovered that I want) when all they wanted was a hug. So that day we had a Mummy sandwich and their little love tanks were replenished, temporarily at least.
So moving forward I have 2 issues:
- Giving my family the love they want in physical affection, which often isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind.
- The social air kiss/hug hello from randoms.
I can easily suck it up and become the ‘Hug Santa’ for my kids, it’s just a matter of remembering to do it. And bedtime with George is all sorted as he shares my distaste of sleepy-time cuddling. The greater problem is how I can get out of having to touch other people. One friend I have made in the past year actually told me that she doesn’t like to be hugged or kissed hello. Brilliant! Thanks for letting me know and I wish it was all as easy as that. But there are certain people in my life who have just landed square in the ‘air kiss hello’ region and set up camp there. How do I remove them from that place? Probably writing this post may weed out a few of you but for the stubborn cling-ons, I am not sure. I think the problem I have is the perfunctory nature of the kiss hello. If you are doing it because you think you have to to be polite, it would be convenient to me if you would pretend you never read this post and just phase it out over the next 3-5 times you see me. But if you are kissing/hugging me because you genuinely love me and I am an important part of your life, I can get on board with that.
So please, my friends and acquaintances, reach into the depths of your heart to gauge your affection for me. If you are still unsure where you stand, let M.C. Hammer’s wise words be your guide…‘U Can’t Touch This’.