Thoughts of a Woman Who Hugged Someone Goodbye, but Then They Kept Talking

  1. "Bye, Melissa! So great running into you."
  2. Hey, it actually was kind of great running into her.
  3. I never say that earnestly.
  4. But Melissa is super cool.
  5. Go for the hug.
  6. Her hair smells good.
  7. "See you next week at Carol's goodbye brunch!"
  8. Ok, walk away.
  9. Oh no.
  10. Melissa is asking if I'm getting Carol anything.
  11. But she's doing that talking while walking away thing.
  12. Keep walking. Don't let this become a post-goodbye conversation.
  13. "I was going to write her a cute letter and promise to visit her in Boston!"
  14. Ok, keep walking.
  15. GODDAMNIT, MELISSA STOPPED WALKING AWAY.
  16. She's mulling over different ideas.
  17. No. No. No. We already said goodbye.
  18. Oh boy, we are having a whole second conversation.
  19. Do I hug again?
  20. Oh god, do I hug for the second goodbye?
  21. The first hug was nice and organic.
  22. There was no weird "do we hug?" arm dance.
  23. "Carol does love calligraphy."
  24. The longer this conversation lasts, the more likely it is we have to hug again.
  25. I don't mind hugging.
  26. I just need to know the rules.
  27. "Yeah, I think her move has something to do with the breakup, but I guess her and Ben are still friendly?"
  28. Maybe this conversation will go so long that Melissa will forget we hugged, so neither of us has to do the self-aware "so we hug goodbye again?" shtick.
  29. Melissa is so cool.
  30. She's probably not thinking at all about the mechanics of our goodbye.
  31. She's just worried about Carol starting over for the sake of starting over.
  32. "If anyone can start over, it's Carol."
  33. That sentence meant nothing, Vicky.
  34. Melissa is checking her watch. It's coming.
  35. The second goodbye.
  36. I should just go for it.
  37. And not even reference the first hug.
  38. Just a good second hug.
  39. The world needs more hugs, you know?
  40. Smile wide, say "bye!" and wrap her in my arms.
  41. Let's do this.
  42. "Can't wait! Bye!"
  43. OH NO.
  44. She went to turn away, but I went full on arms out.
  45. Like a sumo wrestler approaching an invisible opponent.
  46. Oh, now she's trapped and has no choice but to hug again.
  47. But we didn't start our hugs at the same time so it's not clear where arms go.
  48. Oh god. Oh god. This is a big mess.
  49. DON'T SAY ANYTHING, VICKY!
  50. CALLING IT OUT MAKES IT WORSE.
  51. DON'T. DON'T. DON'T.
  52. "Yep, another hug! I'm a hug monster!"
  53. YOU'RE A HUG MONSTER?!
  54. YOU'RE A REAL MONSTER, VICKY.
  55. MELISSA IS YOUR FRIEND OF FIVE YEARS. THIS SHOULDN'T BE AWKWARD.
  56. Ok, just force your arms under hers.
  57. DON'T PAT HER BACK.
  58. YOU DIDN'T THE FIRST TIME, AND IT'S WEIRD.
  59. THAT'S FOR BABIES AND CRYING FRIENDS.
  60. I pat her back.
  61. Get out of here. Go. Go. Go. Don't even bother going to Carol's goodbye brunch next week. There will be too many hugs.
  62. "Ok bye, Melissa. So great running into you!"
  63. You said that in the first goodbye, you plagiarist.
  64. Go, leave.
  65. "If you go the chocolate route, keep in mind that Carol is allergic to all nuts except walnuts!"
  66. WHY DID YOU SAY ANYTHING?! YOU DID THE SECOND GOODBYE ALREADY.
  67. Melissa stopped to ask about all of Carol's allergies.
  68. JUST LEAVE.
  69. YOU CAN'T RISK A THIRD GOODBYE.
  70. "THAT'S IT! OK, BYE."
  71. Run. Run.
  72. Carol is allergic to so many things.