Hug It Out


There’s something mildly hilarious about Sarah Kershaw’s New York Times article on teenagers who hug each other as a greeting and the adults who think this is weird. The whole piece seems to have been constructed as if never previously in the course of American life have teenagers picked up a social custom that many parents and school officials deem weird. Or as if it’s unheard of for teenagers to start doing something non-customary in order to mark themselves off from the behavior patterns of older people:

Comforting as the hug may be, principals across the country have clamped down. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal of George G. White School, a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., who banned hugging two years ago. “It was needless hugging — they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day.”

I remember when all the kids had slap bracelets and then schools across the land started banning them.