Tracy Lee Curtis

I’m getting my arms around professional cuddlers

Have you heard about these professional cuddlers? There are these places you can go for an expert hug or snuggle. And in a world of high blood pressure, stress and anxiety, we need all the professional cuddling we can get.

For a dollar a minute, companies such as The Snuggery, The Cuddle Company and Snuggle Buddies offer the opportunity to experience human touch that fits into my schedule, and when I need it most.

Sure, I have people in my life who offer this. But it’s never on my time and it’s only if they feel like it. And it’s not terribly satisfying. Hugs with my 12-year-old son are lackluster at best. Basically, he runs to the door to catch the bus, I run after him yelling he forgot his lunch, he spins around and we collide. And that’s my hug.

So instead of getting the release of the feel-good oxytocin in my brain, all I get is a headache. This after a night of well-intended family snuggling that turns into musical beds after two bad dreams, a sneezing attack and a scary noise outside. I’m just not getting what I need.

Why do you think moms are always hugging each other so hard when we run into each other at the grocery store? Because we know how to hug it out in a way that says, “I get it, you need this – much more than you need that cookie dough ice cream. Let me hold you.”

But I don’t have time to hang around the frozen food section all day waiting for relief. I need a professional, and here’s when I need it …

▪ I need serious cuddling after any conversation with the cable company – at least an hour, and I mean full-on holding, and expect some crying. I’ll pay extra for nestling. And for a nice nuzzle, I’ll leave a fat tip.

▪ I can always use a cuddle after a long day of writing. Or a long day of thinking about writing. Or a long day of wishing that I hadn’t wasted the whole day thinking about writing, thus getting nothing written.

▪ A cuddle-for-hire is always needed on teacher workdays, snow days, and two-hour delay days. Also, whenever my kids act up, talk back or ask if they can go live with another family, or return from the house where they went to live.

▪ Hold me, hug me, anytime I’ve begged for a short haircut – and gotten it. And anytime we’ve run out of gas, groceries, clean clothes, or patience with the cable company.

▪ And snuggle me silly any day I might feel underwhelmed, overcommitted, underpaid, or overweight – just keep the door open; the insecurity runs deep. I’m just so glad there’s a place I can run in and be cuddled and coddled by an expert, willing to embrace me in my desperate time of need.

Oh shoot … they don’t take walk-ins.

Curtis: tcurtis@charlotteobserver.com

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