Last night I had dinner with Liana, her mother, and her sisters. More on that later. The topic of cootie hugs came up at one point. Lord, how I had the cootie hug.
A cootie hug (typically perpetrated by guys, although there are female offenders) occurs when friends of the opposite sex hug. My personal experience as a singleton is that it's almost always the married men who give the cootie hug. A cootie hug is the hug where there are about two feet between the huggers, the person barely put their arms around you, and then pats you on the back. It's as though the perpetrator is saying, "You have cooties, but you're my friend and I don't want to offend you, so here's the most sterile hug I can give you."
TK suggested that there might be a concern of a breast and shoulder touching. God forbid. Perhaps a married man's dad sat him down before the wedding and said, "Son, now that you're getting married, you can't hug another woman ever again." Particularly irritating is that most of my male friends consider me to be like a sister. But would you hug your sister like that? I don't have scabies, I swear! I have no communicable diseases that you could possibly get from giving me a real hug!
Are you concerned your wife or girlfriend will feel threatened if you give me a real hug? She won't be. No sane woman watches her fella give a good friend a normal hug hello or good-bye and thinks it means something. Your lady is not threatened by me at all, trust me. She might be a little threatened by my fantastic shoe collection, but she ain't threatened by a hug.
The answer now, of course, is that I frequently find myself throwing up a high five good-bye instead of receiving the dreaded cootie hug. There's something very friendly about a high five and if the gents in my life are going to insist on hugging me like I have bird flu, then a high five it is.