I have discovered that The Dreaded Hug has a polar opposite – I guess I’ll call it The Unhug of Gratitude.
This is when one of my art instructor boss-people is so thrilled with my work that they’re practically doing a pee-dance and there’s a palpable sense that they want to hug me but won’t because they know it wouldn’t really be appropriate.
I love everything about this phenomenon – the fact that the person is so happy with me, the fact that they continue to maintain professional boundaries – all of it. And to be honest, I would hug people at that juncture if they initiated it. It never feels like it’s coming from a pervy place with them; it’s always a “you were so great and I loved drawing you and OMG THANK YOU for calling when you thought you might be late because some models don’t do that and then I get stressed out” place. But they don’t initiate and I’m not gonna be the one to venture in that direction, so things never go further than them jittering all over the place and giving me multiple compliments and me being all “That’s so lovely to hear, you’re so sweet, it’s been a pleasure.”
One of the people with whom I had Unhug of Gratitude moments ultimately chose to express his gratitude via a $5 tip instead. That’s even better. 😀