the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Should I Hug You?


One of the bloggers I met during my trip to San Diego was Modigli.  Meeting her was particularly exciting because I’ve been interacting with her as a blogger for more than a year.  I’ve “been with her” when she lived in Cleveland, when she took a trip to Florida, when she fell in love with another blogger in San Diego, when she moved to San Diego, when she couldn’t find a job, when she took a crappy job at Starbucks, when she finally got a teaching job, etc. 

I know more about her than some of my real friends.

So, I see her for the first time as I’m getting out of my car in front of her apartment complex.  But do I feel joy?  No!   Being a neurotic person, I feel only anxiety.  Why?  Because all I could think about was, “How do I greet her?”

“Do I hug her?  And do I hug her in that fake way or give her a real hug?  Should I give her a kiss on the cheek?  Will she think I’m too forward?  Will her boyfriend get mad?  Should I just shake her hand?  Should I kiss her “French” style on both cheeks?  Will she think me unfriendly if I don’t kiss her at all?” 

Luckily she came and gave me a big hug so I didn’t have to worry anymore (until it was time to go home when the thoughts came up again).

I enjoy meeting other bloggers, but I don’t like feeling anxious.  So, please help me and tell me now AHEAD OF TIME how you would like to be greeted – in case I ever meet you in person.

Would you like me to:

1)  Hug you weakly?
2)  Hug you strongly?
3)  Kiss you once on the cheek?
4)  Kiss you on both cheeks?
5)  Kiss you on the lips?
6)  Kiss you on the lips with tongue action?
7)  Kiss you while feeling you up?
8)  Kiss you while squeezing your ass?
9)  Kiss you while grinding against you?
10) Shake your hand?

Thanks for your help. 

And remember, tomorrow is Blog Appreciation Day.   Show your love to another blogger!  If you are sending a photo to someone, and you’re not afraid of revealing your location, show the daily newspaper or something specific so the person can feel proud that his blog is being read in Memphis or London, or wherever else you might live.


A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month:  Can Anybody Find Me Somebody to Hate?


  1. Roberta

    Whooh hooh I’m first! (Unless someone is simu-commenting.)
    Something in between the weak and the strong hug… some would describe it as a ‘warm’ hug.
    But you can grab my ass if you feel the need.

  2. Rhea

    How about this option — a warm, double-handed handshake.

  3. Kevin

    Can you squeeze my ass in mid hug?

  4. Jocelyn

    Do whatever the hell you want, just don’t make me laugh right now-it hurts too much!!

  5. peefer

    I would like to be hugged weekly, thank you.

  6. Leesa

    Oh kiss and grind definitely!

  7. Leese

    1) Hug you weakly? No.
    2) Hug you strongly? Yes.
    3) Kiss you once on the cheek? Sure, if you feel like it.
    4) Kiss you on both cheeks? Sure, I don’t care.
    5) Kiss you on the lips? Mmmm, no, I don’t think the husband would appreciate it.
    6) Kiss you on the lips with tongue action? See #5.
    7) Kiss you while feeling you up? See #5.
    8) Kiss you while squeezing your ass? See #5.
    9) Kiss you while grinding against you? See #5.
    10) Shaking your hand? That works too.

  8. Edgy Mama

    Big hug initially.

    Then we’ll have to work out some kind of hand signal as to whether or not you can squeeze my ass at goodbye.

  9. Miss Eight-oh-Five

    I like to be greeted with a good old fashioned deep-tissue massage. And can you come before the weekend? I’ve got a knot.

  10. Peter

    I am new, for now a firm handshake.
    Down the road A Big Bear Hug works great.

  11. Scarlet

    What about 11) Just say hi.

    I hate shaking hands, it seems so odd.

    But #9 might work, too.

  12. Elisabeth

    Hell, all of the above works for me, Neil.

  13. cruisin-mom

    my name is “cruisin'”…you figure it out.

  14. justrun

    Hmmmm, I don’t know yet. Are we meeting for dinner? And are you buying?

  15. Caryn

    I prefer a headbutt.

  16. Melissa

    Feel free to feel freely.

  17. Charming, but single

    You can grab my ass. Whatev. 😛

  18. Tatyana

    Simple nod will do, thank you. And maybe a wave.
    False familiarity is distasteful.

  19. Thérèse

    Not that I forsee it being an issue, but I know exactly what you mean. And it’s just… argh!

    Kiss on both cheeks, if you please. Then if you’re feeling it, move in for a nice hug. Not one of those pussy hugs that just shouldn’t happen. You know the ones I mean. I know you know.

    What about you? Wait. Let me guess. If you have the choice, you’re going for a combination of 6, 7 and 9, aren’t you, you sly thing you.

  20. Heather B.

    I usually hug other bloggers when I first meet them. On occasion, they might also be the recipient of a tap on the ass, but that’s pretty rare.

  21. e.

    You should buy a round of drinks. Then our hands will be all nicely tied up and unavilable for awkward hugs until later, when hopefully we’ve figured it out.

  22. e.

    Aww, and Smitten’s your crush of the day. I love her, too!

  23. Sarcomical

    i pick a. definitely a.

    is this some sort of psychological test? what does that say about me?

  24. V-Grrrl

    I’ll take a #2, you can supersize it, and yeah, I’d like a coke with that.

  25. Alexandra

    I like huge, warm hugs. I really have an aversion to handshakes, even in the workplace most of the time. Why shake hands when you can hug it out?

  26. Erin

    Hug me strong…Weak hugs are like clammy handshakes. Awkward and unpleasant.

  27. paperback writer

    You forgot one: the wave. And that’s for the terminally shy of us. In my case a wave will do if we are meeting for the first time, then afterwards a hug – medium will do. And when saying goodbye (depending on the situation) then we can hug.

  28. elle

    Yes, I would like to be greeted in all those ways….

  29. Neil

    Paperback — do you mean the wave of the hand, or the Wave like at a baseball game?

  30. Akaky

    Dammit, I dont have a digital camera; I still use film…rats! Consider yourself appreciated anyway, Neil. Did you eat something healthy today? Did you take your cholesterol medication?

  31. Neil

    Akaky, you still use film? I know you live in upstate NY. Do you work for Kodak? That’s the only reason I can think of…

  32. paperback writer

    Both if you want.

    Though, doing a one man Wave would be funny.

  33. sara lee

    Did anyone notice how long the fingernails are on the guy on the right? Very funny! 🙂

    Neil you can definitely grab my ass! 🙂

  34. sara lee

    OK, maybe it is a woman… but the suit and shirt look like a man’s! oh well!

  35. M.A.

    I would like a firm handshake and a kiss on three times on opposite cheeks. We could pretend to be diplomats from the Hague. Woohoo!

  36. Serena

    Let’s go with strong handshake or strong hug. We don’t want weak anything around here ; )

  37. Tara

    I’m with all the people who think handshakes are weird and too formal. As far as anything else is concerned, I’m into reciprocity. So, how far are you willing to go, Neil?

  38. jenny

    I would like us to move in and grab hands like we’re just going to shake, but then we pull each other in like cool hip-hop guys do, kind of bump shoulders, and at the same time lightly pound each other on the back with our free hand.

    Then when we release each other, we say, “Much love.”

    Got that?

  39. Brooke

    Just give me some cash and we’ll call it even.

  40. jessica

    this is too funny…hmmm, that is a weird predicament to be in…you feel like you know someone but you have never met…i don’t though…i think i would do handshake…but then i don’t really feel like i “know” any of the bloggers as close as you did with her

  41. 2nd Pearl Past the Post


  42. better safe than sorry

    i’m all about the big hugs, but that bump and grind action sure sounds interesting!

  43. Viscountess of Funk

    I prefer to be hugged while both of us are bent at ninety-degree angles so as our privates aren’t near each other.

  44. Karl

    I’ll take some of #4 and #7, please. Just don’t tell me you love me until at least our third date.

  45. Roberta

    Are you going to provide a statistical breakdown of the results?
    Seems like ass-grabbing is a mighty popular preference and/or alternate option.
    I hope this exercise provided the relief to your anxiety that you’d hoped!

  46. femme d'espoir

    I would like something a bit different. How about you give me a lustful once over, grab me by the waist and draw me to your your chest making me gasp from surprise, then proceed with #s 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. There could always be a #11… other.

  47. Amanda

    this is all very interesting…i felt our hug was very natural…good work!

  48. ms. sizzle

    you know my vote!

  49. thepsychotherapist

    Depends on attachment levels. Hypothetically, since I’ve been here less than a week, we meet for drinks because we are both be nervous. I extend my hand in a warm greeting. You respond in kind. We spend time laughing and connecting and by the third adult beverage I will so want you to do #7 to my 38D’s I will do #6 to you and make you beg for more.

  50. maitresse

    a kiss on each cheek followed by a barbaric yawp

  51. Paris Parfait

    Hugs are always good, as are kisses on both cheeks, a la the French!

  52. Fitena

    I think I’deinitely be happy when we do meet! We can french kiss on both cheeks! If I like you a little bit more when we part we might hug!


    PS: I love you but no one loves meanough to lend me their digi cam! 🙁

  53. Mr. Fabulous

    I have met three bloggers so far. One was a man and we shook hands. The two women I hugged, but I let them initiate it.

    As for for when you and I inevitably meet, I always assumed we would have sexual intercourse.

  54. kristen

    I’d offer my boobs for groping but they aren’t as lucscious as Sophia’s (I’m sure) and I don’t think my husband would like it much so I guess you could do the NY thing and air kiss my cheek (one or both)

  55. berrie

    I’ll take a number 2! and then maybe a 3! meeting is awkward ey? but fun!

  56. Tuck

    Just snap my raw butt with a wet towel and I will be happy to plant a big juicy on ya.

  57. Bre

    I’m most decidedly a hugger. shaking hands? eh.

  58. sarah

    I’m a notorious hugger, but ya gotta hug like you mean it, two armed.
    But, seeing as we aren’t even acquainted and i’m relatively new here; we’ll have to do the drink thing. The handshake is too formal business like.

    And whilst I don’t have my camera today, (because whilst is a fun word), you are ‘up’ in Pennsylvania today….obviously I am visiting your blog..hence my comment 🙂

  59. Nics

    I’ve only ever met one blogger before and as far as I can remember we hugged. I’ll have to check. But yeah, I think a hug would be grand! I’ll send you a pic later of my honey monster hair and the Belfast Telegraph(exciting stuff)

  60. modigli

    I think we did just fine, Neil! I’m all for a hug. I felt like I already knew you, afterall.

    I’m loving your blog photos. Makes ppl seem more real than just the words in their comments. Well done on that creative idea! Maybe I’ll take a picture of COTM on my computer here in SD.

  61. akaky

    I like film, especially Kodak’s Tri-X 400. I’m thinking of moving on to Kodachrome, though, but I havent actually shot any yet. It’s just inconvenient when everyone else can digitally appreciate blogs while I analog away waiting for the prints to come out of the soup.

  62. trouble

    I hug EVERYONE, and sometimes cheek kiss, but I save the french kisses for my baby.

    And meeting bloggers is just teh awesome.

  63. EEK

    I’m new to all of this, so I haven’t had an opportunity to meet a blogger yet, but I’d imagine it’s a little like meeting up with a friend that you used to be really close too (maybe in college or something) and haven’t seen for years.

    I think I’d go with the kiss on the cheek (not both, just one) for the greeting. It’s both unpretentious and affectionate at the same time.

    If all goes well, I’d definitely end with a big hug (especially if I’ve been drinking).

  64. Jim McKee

    Let’s go with any combination of 1, 2, and 10. Could also throw in a “high-five”…

  65. deannie

    Hugs and kisses will work for me anytime. Drinks anyone? 😉

  66. Heather

    wow neil, all those choices are so exciting! When can we meet????!!!

  67. Heather

    okay now I have read all the other comments, and i think the diplomats meeting in the hague kiss is a nice way to start off in public? Naturally, it would come after the one man wave…because that would make me laugh.

    And please none of those 90 degree angle hugs, those are so moronic.

    Then after that, anything goes–can we include some dental floss in the mix somewhere?

  68. Dating Dummy

    Oh, I bet you were talking about how to greet women, huh. Because otherwise, it’d be kind of awkward.

  69. Neil

    Dummy — having seen your abs online, I thought of grabbing your ass, too, but I didn’t want Modigli to get mad at me.

  70. Priss

    Lollerz, before mine you had 69 comments.

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