Banter Bites

Think Before … Hugging?!

If you had to live without hugs … would that make you sad or glad?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: How can something as simple as a hug elicit such incredibly different reactions; while it’s not surprising that Red thinks about hugs very differently than Black, it’s very surprising which one of them is supported by science.


Red’s a warm and fuzzy mom, so it goes without saying that hugs are an integral part of who she is. And how she raised her daughters. When her girls were young, she gave them lots and lots of hugs until Black, a self-declared non-hugger, pointed out that not everyone needs or wants a hug. Which, to this day, makes Red wonder,

How could I, a hug-lover, have given birth to two daughters, with neither “inheriting” the hugging gene? But having a non-hugger as my sister, I’ve realized that doesn’t mean they don’t love me, just that they don’t want hugs. Even if I think they need them.

The curious thing is, even as a non-hugger, Black will acknowledge that hugs represent affection, concern, love, appreciation, or sometimes just the joy of seeing someone. And although she’s fascinated by the science behind why some people hate hugs, she’s also read studies (she even sent this one to Red) about their health benefits, including how they can relieve stress.

Red was amused how COVID gave Black an excuse to avoid hugging for years, but now, unless you know her, you might think she’s a germophobe or being overly cautious. But it does beg the question, if hugging is good for you, why would Black avoid it,

We all know what we should do but often ignore what is best for us. I have always felt hugging seems selfish in that it is usually the person who needs a hug who insists on hugging. However, sometimes I will compromise and do it for the other person, so I guess you could say my approach to hugs is … it is better to give than to receive. Even on National Hugging Day.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

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There are many ways to resolve circumstances regarding your finances to make life bearable, less stressful, and provide you with new perspective on life. There are many resources available. There is always "HOPE." – Virginia H., Administrative Assistant