Daily Archives: June 25, 2012

Rules of engagement

Oh no, not the sitcom. I had no idea what the title could or should be.

Ok, so I was heading back home this afternoon and see this guy who suddenly opens his arms for a hug and I stopped him and said I wasn’t going to hug home. Get back to home and see pings from him. Telling me how naive and proud I am; as rigid as the British he said. Asking me where they carried me from. And he can’t believe I bounced his hug. My reply, you better believe it and explained I didn’t feel we were friends enough to get to the seeing each other and hugging each other level. And then I tried lecturing him (maybe that was my mistake) on how to talk and engage with people.

Rewind. We have lived in the same house for over 9 months, we see each other and I think the max we ever said to each other was Hi. Till last week. So we talked a bit last week and exchanged pins (something I usually don’t do but I felt there was no harm in making friends).

After telling him to better believe I didn’t hug him, he replied “Don’t read meaning into ‘d hug'”. Ok, that ticked me off. I really don’t understand why every time things don’t go the way the guy wants it, he assumes the girl is reading meanings. I have seen it happen in different ways and forms. I met this guy at the bus stop once and he starts talking about how he just moved to town, he didn’t know anybody and all. And I stand there just hoping the bus comes asap. Then he asked for my number and I politely told him I don’t give people my number. What didn’t I hear. Stop reading meanings into it o. I just wanted to be friends. I ended up asking him if he preferred I was rude, or gave him a wrong number or even gave him the right number and didn’t pick his calls. Who I give my number to is my choice. Do you just give every black person you meet on the road your number because you just want to be friends?

Or in this hugging case, do you hug every Tom, Dick and Harry you see on the road? I asked him if he went about hugging people he barely knew, people he knew nothing about, their cultures and religious beliefs (yes, I could be a member of MFM or Deeper Life for all he knew). That was when the “where did they carry you from” question came and sincerely, I practically went mad. I asked if he spoke to people like that and I started getting replies such as “something your naive mind…”, “yet you are as rigid as the british. In short your action reminds me of the queen of england.. Funily she even hugged Mitchel self…” and telling me “I hug pple bcos it endears me to them n bcos I was bought up with a lot of love_ n to show it to people” (his words and spellings not mine).

Sincerely I have no idea why I even replied him in the first instance (I guess his silly reply annoyed me and I felt he needed some lessons) but it really did get me thinking what exactly has he and even myself learnt (asides school ish) in the months we have been here. Lets forget the Brits are usually individualistic and would mostly not hug people amongst other things, even if he was in the US or say France, would he also go about hugging everybody because he was brought up to show love to people? Would he be at a gathering or at work and start hugging people? Once he got rebuffed, would he just open his mouth and talk? I would have thought that by now, if nothing else, he would have learnt that cultures, views and perspectives differ. And as such be a little cautious or careful when dealing with people. Like I told him, if there is one thing he should take from the conversation, it is that people differ. As long as you don’t know someone well enough to know what they think or view or what they are like, a little caution should be applied. Not everything is acceptable to everybody or all cultures.

Was I wrong to decide not to hug? In relationships especially at the beginnings, are there rules  to follow or not to follow?

By the way, he did say if he saw me next time, he ordinarily won’t greet me but he won’t do that because he isn’t like that.

Update: he pings to ask me if I am angry…. I really can’t laugh.