by Adam Zack — November 15, 2023
The 70s and 80s were pretty much emotionless decades. Actually, all the preceding decades were too. I don’t mean that there were no emotions, I mean that they just didn’t get shared publicly like today. When we were growing up, guys greeted each other with a handshake, or maybe a high-five. Our dads didn’t say “I love you” every time we talked on the phone. They rarely said it at all. I don’t think my dad told me he loved me until I was in my 40s. Man-hugs were pretty much non-existent. Brothers didn’t express any affection, especially publicly. We loved our friends, brothers, sisters and dads just as much then as now, too. We just didn’t show it.
Especially over this holiday period, I try to take a step back to take stock of all the things – and people – in my life that I love and am thankful for. I am especially thankful that it’s OK to show it and say it. How great is it to get a real hug from your brother without any uncomfortableness? To see male friends and be able to say I love you or I miss you without worrying that someone is thinking that you two are maybe a little more than “friends’? [Not that there’s anything wrong with that!] It’s especially tricky in today’s #metoo culture. I really missed giving and receiving hugs during the height of Covid when everyone was supposed to keep their distance. Guys are just becoming comfortable expressing honesty in their emotions and public displays of affection, something that has taken centuries to evolve, and today’s uber-legal culture threatens to push it back 30 years. Hugs are good. I love ‘em, man.
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