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Halfway Huggers


What’s the current status on hugging? Is there any good source of current guidance on that in light of the world’s current intensities? I feel like it’s either all or nothing. Maybe there are  two camps:  huggers and non-huggers. Oh. But there are halfway huggers too. They want to hug, but they’re not really huggers…. but they want to hug.

So yeah, including halfway huggers. I think I can be all three. At different times. Depending on the situation. And the other humans involved.

But I think personal hugging practices should be reviewed and updated, as necessary, or more frequently, and always more if necessary. Just sayin.’ I’ll look for some current guidance on this. We need something smart. Something really smart and up-to-date. That action item will be my homework. I will find something about hugging behavior post-Covid and I will focus on content that is fun if possible.

But before that, there is a topic.

And, on that topic, yesterday I attended a humor writing conference and it was really fun. There were four sessions and the presenters were amazing.

And that is my detailed presentation.

Just kidding. But please note that my prior “a little OCD” self would have provided a million links, an Excel spreadsheet and the Top Ten Ways to Maximize Your Success After a Humor Writing Conference. 

But not now. Because now I have TMS. In case I haven’t mentioned that a thousand times.

Shout out for TMS. #TMS

And under the influence of TMS, I can now,  starting very recently, just let it go at telling you to look up something if you are curious. Otherwise, we can move along.

WHEW! I heard a collective sigh of relief from two of my three readers. The third reader is still taking notes on how to spell TMS.

So yes, the humor writing conference was exceptional. It was this one here:

Writers’ Digest University Humor Writing Conference

Bob Eckstein was cool to listen to. His accent kept making me laugh. In the good way. I love everything he writes, so I am biased regarding how great he was.

But all of the presenters were dynamic and interesting and they all had great stories. And honestly, it was just so  much fun listening to people talk about writing all day from the comfort of my sofa.

And at some point, I realized I was doing what I had always envisioned my older self doing, sitting around with writers talking about writing. Although decades ago, when I envisioned myself, I saw people in a room together. I may not have a great memory, but I’m pretty sure my visions of the future involved real people being in the same room.

And actually, I’ve always fantasized about going to a Fantasy Island type place where I could be a rich writer with beautiful men walking around half naked bringing fruit drinks with pieces of actual fruit in them.

That was not happening yesterday.

But I DID want to hang out with the people after the class and talk about their writing. Or I wanted them to come visit DC and we would all go out for dinner. At some point I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we all went on a retreat together. Because talking about writing with writers whose life experience is different than yours is intoxicating. Talking about creating in general is intoxicating. I could listen to any artist or creator talk about their process for hours because the more detail you hear about the process, the more you understand where the art is coming from on a level you can’t always just see or hear upon first experiencing the art.

Anyway, I’ve been in writing groups of different sorts. I’ve been in small- and medium-sized groups. Critique groups and talk-about-a-subject groups. But the most recent in-person writing group was WritersEatingDC. For ten years, before Covid, I had this fun group that met monthly for a Friday night party in Woodley Park. That was my one social outing a month and boy was it fun. It was fun eight-out-of-ten times.  There was always a time or two when the chemistry of the group was off or someone scary showed up

OMG. I just realized we should totally have a reunion to talk about the scary guy.

OMG No. Okay. I just made that up. Ha ha ha

No, I didn’t actually make that up. It totally happened. There was a scary guy.  This was a loooong time ago. Now minus Covid. Minus like seven years. Luckily, when we asked him not to come back to the gatherings he was really super sweet about it and understood why. Whew. That went well. I think we only had ickiness one other time when someone else came and then bad-mouthed us all over town. They didn’t like something we talked about or something. All else was fun. Many good friendships formed out of that group. We should do a reunion for sure.

Anyway, now that I think of it, those social dinners, just to talk about writing and other creative projects, would be fun again if the restaurant was still in business. But Medaterra shut down during Covid. Ironically, my final social outing before the world shut down for Covid was a Friday night writers group at Medaterra.  I don’t recall now who was there. I only recall that we were all kind of freaked out and trying not to be. I remember hugging the owner goodbye. I mean, I always hugged her goodbye. But we were talking about being careful and stay safe and all that kind of stuff. It was really silent in DC. Like eerie silent. Creepy eerie silent. And it was only 10:00 p.m. or so. That was early for Woodley Park to be eerie on a Friday night.

But we hugged and I probably said “see you on email” since email was my world. Usually she and I shared a couple of emails after each time. We had shared a monthly Friday night for ten years. We had a special relationship. We liked to send email hugs in-between dinners.

Ooooh! Definite interruption of whatever we were talking about!!

What’s the name of those people we miss? Those super special people who make just the right difference in our life to make it magical. But then they just fall out of our lives?

What do we call the people who just fell out of our life? Not the ones we pushed out, mind you. I know a lot of names for them.

No, these are the people who just fell out because the world shut down. Or because you rode off with the other person. Or went to the other school. Or took the other job.  Or chose the other choice.

After Covid I reunited with some people who had fallen out of my life for whatever reasons.  And now I can see more people coming out of that Covid haze. People who weren’t in the front of the line to go back out in the first place or possibly even the second, third or fourth place, are starting to appear again. It’s happening at work. And in my neighborhood. People are learning how to reconnect after so much time being disconnected.

Some people are learning how to reconnect after thinking they were the only one in the world who felt they had no connections left. But a lot of people felt that way. Because we all started losing our connections when the world shut down. We all did.

But if we all got out of practice together, we can now get back in practice together.

We can practice connecting with each other.

Now THAT would be a great podcast. Hey! Charlie Birney! Do you hear that?

A podcast about who you disconnected from and how they are doing and how much you have missed them?

Not for love or sex or catfishing or making situations happen.  Leave that to MTV and TLC.  But a place for hearing good stories about the people who made our world magical. The people we think about all the time when we need to smile. or want to laugh.

Okay, now I just hijacked my own own stupid boring blog post. I don’t even remember what I was going to write about.  I hope it wasn’t too gloomy.

Okay, Charlie. Make it happen! Ha ha ha ha. You guys need to ask Charlie how many podcast ideas I send him. Let’s just say I send him a healthy amount of ideas.  At a healthy pace.

Charlie is my Cartoonist Buddy and my Partner in Podcasting. Maybe he’ll like this idea. We’ll see what he says.

And oh, Charlie’s a Musician too!

Yeah. He’s a good egg.

So I hope your Sunday is going well.

I need to research hugging now. It’s my homework.

Sunday Hugs for now.

xoxoxo, d and bella

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