Juliet Lapidos rants against the hug:

Granted, with the right person, I enjoy a well-placed hug. The right persons include: blood relations, my boyfriend, and close friends. By "well-placed" I mean before or after a lengthy separation, as a form of congratulation (you're getting married!), as a means of consolation (you're getting divorced?), or to ward off hypothermia. That's about it (though I should specify that I waive the category requirements for my boyfriend).

So why is it that when I go over to your house for dinner, you wrap your arms around me, even though I saw you last Friday at the movies? And why do you come at me again after the meal is over, even though we hugged not three hours ago and I'll probably see you next week at that party? 

I like it, maybe because I grew up in England where a handshake was our equivalent of a french kiss (bonobos we weren't). It's close to mandatory for the homos in the US, where I picked up the habit, and I think bespeaks an emotional openness. The non-homo bro-hug (see above) is, er, evolving.

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