WHAT a blissful year it’s been, not having to hug your parents’ creepy friend Roy who seems to turn up whenever you visit. And who else?
Your parents’ friends
Roy still treats you like a child and asks if you’ve got a boyfriend yet, while giving you an overlong boob-squeezingly close hug. Even when you’ve been married for a decade Roy persists and if you complain to your parents they say reading the Guardian has ruined your sense of humour.
Other people’s children
You like your friends’ kids in theory. But after 13 months of wiping down Frosties boxes with Dettol, a ball of snot, nits and general stickiness heading in your direction triggers your flight reaction. Tell your friend you’ve developed severe germ phobia and arrive at their house in a Zorb.
Some colleagues think they’re friends, rather than people you’re contractually bound to spend time with due to the terms of your employment. Tell them that you’re paranoid about being MeTooed and have vowed never to touch a workmate again.
Total strangers you’ve just been introduced to
Hugging people you’ve only just met had become kind of a thing pre-pandemic, even though it’s legitimately uncomfortable. Hopefully that’s deader than skinny jeans and we can return to awkward little waves or, if forced, brief handshakes followed by liberal application of hand sanitiser.
Your partner’s nan
Your partner’s smells very strongly of Lily of the Valley and cats, so you haven’t missed pressing your face to her dry, papery cheek. Luckily, you can legitimately claim to be worried about killing her until she actually dies, so you’re out of this one forever.
A big skinhead on E
When a big loved-up skinhead lurches towards you in the pub, determined to hug anyone who crosses his path, you won’t be getting out of it. Hope he doesn’t shatter a rib.