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A Hostess Who Doesn’t Like to Hug?!

A Hostess Who Doesn’t Like to Hug?!

I am apparently the only human being left in the United States of America who doesn’t like to press her body against complete strangers. You can add semi-strangers, most co-workers, and people I don’t like
to that list. This can make hosting and being hosted awkward at times.

Here’s the scenario. You’re introduced to someone in a social situation and offer your hand. Before you can say, “Get the hell away from me!” the person has pulled you into a bear hug with the oft heard phrase “I’M A HUGGER!” Well guess what? I’m NOT A HUGGER SO DON’T DO IT! I find someone I don’t know taking that kind of intimate physical liberty with me extremely off putting. But what’s a person to do? It all happens so fast. I suppose I could jump back and say, “Sorry, having a nasty flare up,” but not say what I’ve got. Then offer them a lovely snack I’ve made.

And what message does all this stranger hugging send to our kids? We spend every teachable moment telling them people they don’t know are horrible beasts who would kidnap them at the drop of a hat. Then parents demand their children hug and/or kiss perfect strangers on first reference. Words like “Aunt Beatrice” or “Uncle Chuck” don’t mean squat to a toddler. Just once I’d like to hear a little fellow say, “If you like that creepy old lady so much, YOU hug her!”

I have instituted a new tradition with my little friends. When the inevitable instruction to “Give Aunt Kiki a hug” comes, I explain to the parents that I’m against forced hugging. After I’ve gotten to know the little person—and if they’re not covered in some bodily fluid or God awful rash—I give them the choice of a handshake or a hug. I was extremely gratified last Thanksgiving when one of my favorite 5-year- old guests said he’d like both.

Now before you start calling me “cold” or “stand offish” (like my relatives do), I want you to know that I enjoy hugging as much as the next guy. But I consider it a physically intimate gesture best saved for loved ones. Is that really so bad?

Any way. I would seriously like to hear what my readers think and some suggestions from you experienced hosts and hostesses.

Thank you for visiting.


Hospice and House Guests; Godsend or Nightmare? Question of the week.

An update: I researched this question for “expert” advice. While I found a lot of information, there was very little about challenges presented by people who come to visit the Hospice patient. That’s interesting because guests have been an issue (good and bad) in almost every Hospice situation I’m familiar with.

Here’s my number one piece of advice: Don’t be a swooper! A swooper is someone who comes in and, with the best of intentions, starts giving advice and even changing things up. This is not helpful and is often a terrible burden for the caregiver who must undo what the swooper has done. It can also upset the patient who starts to question their care. JUST DON’T DO IT!

I also found some solid advice at An example is below.

Here are six steps you can take to be an effective caregiver:

  • Work and communicate effectively with the patient.
  • Support the patient’s spiritual concerns.
  • Help to resolve the patient’s unfinished business.
  • Work with health professionals.
  • Work with family and friends.
  • Take care of your own needs and feelings.

Original Post from Friday: This week’s question for my visitors to respond to comes from Dee in Virginia, and is one I can relate to after having my mother as a Hospice patient in our home. As my family was going through this difficult time, hearing the wisdom of others would have been such a gift. I am grateful to Dee for giving me the chance to offer that solace to others. I look forward to your comments.

“I would love to hear your thoughts on guests  that come to visit a family member  who is in hospice at your home and stay to ‘help’ and wish to spend  precious time with the patient.  Godsend or nightmare?  Advice  on walking that fine line on being accommodating to relatives and taking care of yourself. Thanks”

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