THE SPECKTATOR

Sealed With a Hug

The one national holiday I can truly embrace

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National Hug Week is over, and my personal quest to hug it out was a success. I didn't keep an official tally, but I'd say I averaged 10 embraces a day, which, according to the Hug for Health Foundation's daily hug prescription, puts me well on my way toward personal "growth."

In all honesty, it wasn't that difficult for me as I consider myself a "hugger" anyway. That's not to say, however, the holiday was without challenges, like having to hug folks with garlic hummus breath or funky-smelling dreadlocks (which I did). And then there were the people who stayed in the embrace so long it became awkward. Or the guy who said, "That wasn't a real hug!" then came at me full-frontal for a more satisfying one. (Looking on the bright side: If it weren't for these experiences, I might never have realized that "hug" is an anagram for "ugh.")

The fact that National Hug Week coincided with The Players Championship was a major bonus for a stalker such as myself since it gave me a legitimate reason to hug Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Jonas Blixt. Unfortunately, they were out of arms reach — literally — all week, so I had to fill my celebrity creeper quota by hugging other athletes, a country music star and local media personalities (check the photo gallery above).

More than anything, National Hug Week made me more aware of hugging the people I should be hugging every time I see them: my friends. Up until this week, the friends I see the most are the ones I hug the least, probably because I see them all the time. Because of this experience, I'll hug the people who mean the most to me the most.

And I promise my cats, Fonzie Ann Mildred and Puddy Frederick Renaire, that I will do my best to hug them less. As you can see in the photo gallery, they're not big fans.

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