There is no better time to say hello
Monday, June 1, 2009 - FEATURES
graciousness is a very subtle quality, not likely to be remembered after a brief encounter. but those who practice it and infuse it into their entire lives will find it is the quality of their lives most remarked upon by those with whom they have worked or played.
Monday, June 1, 2009 - FEATURES
Supposedly, saying hi is the best way to approach a stranger. hi. No fancy lines, no uhhm, you look familiar. No. All you need in your arsenal is hi. Personally, I like hello better, but that's because I have a mental disorder that makes me want to be different all the time (in neuro-linguistic programming parlance, it makes me a mismatcher). But that's not the point. The point is, there are a few things I need to tell you, and it’s very important that you pay attention. But first: hello.
I am an underkissed, underloved, underhugged man, and I don't have anywhere near enough sex. (And, for the record, I kiss a lot, love a lot, and hug a lot.) Most people I know are underkissed, underloved, underhugged as well—and don't have anywhere near enough sex, either. I know this because when I try to kiss them, love them, hug them (not sooo much when I try to have sex with them), they shudder and their voice trembles as if it's something they've been waiting to feel for a long time.
You should be able to tell if I'm talking about you. If you sit on trains and stare at people's hands in their laps as if they're the most interesting things ever … If you get a little jolt, a thrill, throughout your body when your hand touches another person's in the line at Starbucks … If you recoil quickly during those moments and smile as an apology, but really you’re ablaze with the feeling of momentary skin. If this is you, it likely means one of two things: (1) You are underkissed, underloved, underhugged, and don't have anywhere near enough sex; or (2) You may have just met the (newest) love of your life.
What this means is we have a problem, you and me. We really do. (And yes, most people I meet are in the same boat.) We cannot easily distinguish between a healthy respect for a member of the opposite sex and a romantic attraction. We just want to be hugged and for someone to pleasantly whisper in our ear things like, do you want some tea, sweetie? In search of that, we get sexual. Sometimes, it's good enough to make us feel wonderful for a few days; other times, the moment it ends, you feel a sharp release of acid in you stomach, and your hands get fidgety, and you think to yourself: i. am. sooo. alone. right. now. It happens. To me. (And probably to you, too.)
Clearly, there's a gap in the process. Something that's not being said that could change everything. I don't mean just in words—words are weak. I mean something that's not being communicated in the widest sense. I mean love. (You knew it was coming; don't act surprised.) It is a communication of words and of body parts. Of bellies rubbing together and foot rubs and lips to breasts. It is a communication of gifts, of silences, of hieroglyphic eye-stares. It is a communication of souls.
The communication of love binds us for one conversation, for one evening, for one lifetime. It’s the gravitational pull we sometimes feel to someone. But I'm mixing words. What do I mean by connectivity? by love? by gravitational pulls? What do I do about all the other feelings that words are not strong enough, not worthy enough, to represent?
We'll sort it out here together. All of it. The words. The feelings. The stories. Let's break it down and look at all the parts and processes. I want to talk. I want everyone to walk in the streets and have wonderful conversations with strangers. I want us to feel connected and respected and appreciated. I want us to laugh out loud at nothing and sit on park benches telling our life’s tales to one another. I want us to hold hands. To kiss in cars at red lights. Over dinner. On couches. At the movies like when we were 16. I want us to hug and make love and communicate.
Let's start by saying hi to people like crazy.