Thursday, December 29, 2011

the hugging guide

Please don’t shake my hand. I would rather hug. It’s true. There are so many advantages, for starters -- no messy germs going back and forth. And think about this, hugging has health benefits like lowering your blood pressure and raising your mood. But hugging can prove to be elusive to those who have not spend as much time as myself breaking down each variety, hence, “The Hugging Guide.”

1. Victory Hug

This hug is best appreciated with a total stranger during or after a major sporting event in which both parties express equal amounts of passion for said team. I first experienced the “Victory Hug” in Chicago during the 2006 opening weekend for the Cubs. Wrigley Field was packed with fans wanting a good show, and of course a win. And the players delivered. And then the hugs poured down. Monstrous, burly, happy, enveloping hugs. And I must say it was all quite nice.

2. Referee Hug

This hug is executed by one person standing straight as an arrow, arms to their side, and the other placing both palms on the huggers hips. The hug has a lot of hushed tones, whispering and deliberating.

3. Cheek Hug

Hands down, this is the best hug out there and easy too! Simply hug, then press your faces cheek-to-cheek. Kids naturally give cheek hugs, but as we get older we seem to shy away from our faces touching. Don’t! This hug holds heavenly harmony that a vanilla hug cannot achieve.

4. Pat, Pat, Pat Hug

The “Pat, Pat, Pat Hug” is common between men, especially brothers. This hug can definitely be partnered with a hand shake to avoid looking “too huggie.”

5. 3-Second Hug

Just try to hug someone for three full seconds. It is AMAZING. Actually, it is a tad uncomfortable at first, but then you get used to it, and see that this hug is the magic! If you are single this hug works well at the end of a 1st date to show you are interested in a 2nd. It is important that during this hug that a lot of feeling be put into the embrace. Grab hold! Tight! But not too tight! This is the way you give a “3-Second Hug!”

6. Side Hug

What can I say about the “Side Hug?” It is really just a cousin to the fist bump. There is so much awkwardness associated with this hug. Arms get all mixed up trying to get in position, and worse yet, the only way to totally free yourself from the “Side Hug” is to end it with a real hug. If you must do a “Side Hug”, it is best achieved while both parties are walking side by side, stride in stride.

7. Hug from Behind

This hug works best to let the person slaving over dishes and/or a hot stove know that you love them. The “Hug from Behind” is a step up from a casual hug, and should be respected as such.

8. Missed You So Bad Hug

Being apart and together again is much sweeter when a hug is shared. This hug should include jumping up and down, or, the hugger spin for the full effect. This hug will bring on the waterworks, lots and lots of them, so hugger beware.

9. Catch and Release Hug

The “Catch and Release Hug” is all about speed. In most cases, one party is more interested in having a “3-Second Hug” than the other. Get best results from this hug by swiftly completing the embrace, keeping at least two fists of space between each other, then firmly planting your palms on the shoulders of the other hugger, push away, and deliver a compliment. Works every time.

10. The Just One More Hug

If you have ever fallen in love, this is the hug that you could not give enough of. Filled with sparks, tangible chemistry, and magnetic energy so strong that you have got to have “Just One More.”

Whatever hug you love, and whomever you love when you hug, always remember -- never be the first to let go.

First published in the Box Elder News Journal, Atmosphere, November 2011. Read more 'Atmosphere' from Amy Wilde on her blog,email her at, or follower her on twitter @wildeatmosphere

Friday, December 23, 2011

My dad's best gift ever.

My dad's birthday falls just three day's away from Christmas. Some would think that this would have been like winning the lottery as a kid. A stack of presents for your birthday, then a new stack of presents for Christmas. But somehow that was not the case, and his birthday got pushed aside for holiday parties and events. One year, all he wanted for Christmas was a shotgun -- but his dad told him that there was just not going to happen. Times were tough. My dad understood, but so bad did he want that shotgun. Christmas morning, at 1am, he and his brother Dave snuck upstairs to the living room to see what they had each gotten for Christmas. Days before they had tested each step leading from the basement to the upstairs for squeaks, and had memorized each and ever one. So, early Christmas morning they snuck up to the kitchen without a sound. Then low-crawled to the entry of the living room, and opened the pocket door -- taking great care not to slide it too fast. When they were at last next to the gifts, Dave could not believe his eyes. A sleeping bag! Just what he wanted. He opened it up right then and there and got inside. My dad was standing next to him looking the opposite way, toward his own gift. There, tucked between the cushions in the couch with a ribbon tied around it, was not a shotgun, but a rifle. Something magical happened in that living room, at just after 1am in the morning, as my dad got much more than he ever thought possible. For a boy, this was the gift of all gifts. A rifle.My dad sat and stared at that gun, shocked and beyond any sort of emotion that he had ever felt. It took him minutes to fully comprehend the gift, the sacrifice, and the love from his dad. There was of course no plan for going back down the squeaky stairs, the boys had only memorized how to get to the family room, and not back to their bedrooms. So, they spend the night squished in Dave's new sleeping bag. When the morning light filled the living room, my dad tried the best he could to show his father the same emotion he had felt hours ago when he first saw the rifle, trying to act like it was the first time he had seen it. But, that kind of emotion is hard to re-do. My dad still has that rifle, and listening to him tell the story last night on his 65th birthday brought all of us kids (and him) to tears. He only wishes...he had waited so his dad could have seen his face that Christmas day all those years ago...the day he got the best Christmas/birthday gift ever.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Blue is my favorite color. It is the mixed in every sky, and moves every sea, and is the color of wind -- if you believe. It is the color of eyes of those I love most. And shows up in the jersey's of my football team(s) of choice. Nothing is better that the big blue sky, out the windshield of a summer road trip. Or diving into the blue ocean one last time to ride a wave to the shore. "Blue Does" is my favorite song, sung by a band named "Blue October." Blue is the color of my favorite moon boots, now gone for good, that took me to school and back each and every winter day when I was a kid. It is the color of my favorite ice-cream, that nobody else seems to like. And blue is the color I painted my office when red was too intense. The day I told my family I was going to be a mom -- now over 12 years ago-- we were eating at the "Blue Bird" in Logan, and that was a day I will never forget. I love Ford blue, blue birds, bakery shoppe blueberry muffins, blue slurpees, and blue heelers. Blue is the shirt my husband was wearing the day he said good-bye to his horse -- his best girl of over 26 years. And clear blue is the ring I wear on my left hand-- my birthstone-- that reminds me every day why I love -- the color blue.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the short list.

I want an iPad2, new furniture (big new TV cause one is just not enough), the Hudson Pottery Barn bedroom set, several pair of new MEK jeans, new running shoes, some high brown leather boots, a Coach bag, a skylight for my kitchen, a Tebow jersey, a stack of gift cards to Tona, and oh ya, 600 count thread sheets. I would like all this, and possibly more. Every day my list of wants gets longer. I can't seem to go anywhere without seeing something I MUST HAVE!

But today, all of that seemed to change.

And my new short list emerged. I want good health for my best-friend-of-growing-up who in a blink of an eye has had her life turned upside down with cancer. I want happy memories for my dear friend who's brother was taken from this life all too soon.  And I want peace and comfort for my neighbor who lost her baby last night after only one week in this life...forever now her Christmas Angel...

If dollars could buy good health, or let us rewind the past and re-live our favorite moments, or once again smell the sweet scent of a new baby...I would give all I have to pay for the "short list."