The hugging procession

Every single morning, it is customary in my class to walk into school and hug every girl lining our lockers’ corridor, starting, of course, with those nearer to you and moving along, skipping she who you may be arguing with.

I am well-known for not taking part. Fortunately, I am always the first to arrive which gives me great reason to avoid the ritual and when I am offered my daily hug, I am teased by my lack of enthusiasm and very minor co-operation. Apparently, I remain stiff and simply lean an inch forward. What can I say? I’m just not the hugging sort- I accept hugs (at times enjoy them) but I do not reciprocate the action. It is not a lack of confidence, just personal preference and laziness on my part.

However, my inability to hug does not make me an unfriendly or cold person, it just means that I express myself in a different way, through different means and with different body parts. So, today as my friend quickly dragged herself along the line of uniformed bodies, stopping and hugging, my turn came and as she opened up her tired arms for an habitual hug, I stuck out my hand and offered it for her shaking. I did the same for the next few people and was pleased to see my friendly handshake trending among a few other class mates.

My new initiative has come at an excellent time, what with all of us awaiting interviews for school admissions. A debate ensued on how to give the best, firm handshake and before I knew it, I was standing in a sea of interlocked hands. Apparently, I shake hands like a fairy; I am not yet sure if I should take offence but if I were to, the time has passed for a witty comeback.

Tomorrow, I will rebel against the hug and shake hands, as I will the next day and the day after that. This will continue until it becomes an established daily action and all around me do the same. It is hard to break such an old tradition but as soon as one person starts, others will follow and slowly, little by little, the shake will be school-wide!

Out with the hug! In with the shake!

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