Monday, November 29, 2010
Cuddle Parties? Would you go?
I like to think that I'd try just about anything once... well, as long as it didn't go against my values. I like to experiment with unusual, funky things, especially when it comes to relationships or communication. And, of course, I love a good theme party. So, when I was invited to a "cuddle party," I was intrigued. If I were still writing The Laptop Dancer Diaries, it would be just the kind of thing I'd do as an "adventure."
But, I have to say, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed mildly creepy! I wouldn't know anyone at this party. I barely know the person who invited me.. just met her once at my writing group. And to be honest, she's not a person I particularly feel like cuddling with. I mean, the best thing about cuddling is enjoying the person you're cuddling with. Cuddling with a complete stranger? This does not sound appealing to me. It sounds embarrassing and weird.
It's funny that I'm having this reaction because not too long ago, I had a big debate with my family about a Free Hugs event I was attending. I was a member of a Random Acts of Kindness Meetup Group and at the event, we were hanging out on a street corner with "Free Hugs" signs offering these hugs up to strangers. (This originated from this popular Free Hugs YouTube video.)
I, of course, was arguing in favor of giving "free hugs." It's been proven that we all need touch. What's the big deal if it's a stranger? My parents thought it was weird. My mother warned me of all the dangerous people out there, telling me of some story where a poor woman was accosted. I assured her I would not be in any danger and told her that the trouble with the world is that we're all so afraid of "strangers" that we don't even smile at them. If we could all just trust one another, the world would be a better place.
My Dad just thought it was stupid. He wasn't really concerned about safety. He just thought there was no point in hugging strangers. I told him that's probably because he had plenty of family and people who hug him all the time, but if he didn't, he may think differently. No, he assured me, it's just stupid.
Of course, now that I'm thinking about this cuddle party, I'm finally getting my Dad's point. Cuddling isn't that far off from hugging. I can't say I get cuddled with nearly as much as I'd like, yet still, I do not have any desire to cuddle with a stranger. What's next? Kissing strangers? (Actually... There is the whole mistletoe tradition which I don't really mind as long as the person under the mistletoe is somebody kissable...) But... cuddling... That just seems like it should be reserved for kids and intimate partners and maybe cute pets or pillows.
What do you think? Is cuddling too intimate to do with a stranger? Would you go to a cuddle party?
What about hugging? Would you give a free hug? Would you take one if it were offered to you by a stranger?