Monday, July 19, 2010
While riding our bikes at the beach on Saturday, Gabe and I passed the "Hug Deli" and were instantly intrigued. As I mentioned here, this isn't the first time I've witnessed people giving away something unusual for free on the Santa Monica beach. But there's something about a hug that seems so much more personal to me than free advice. In contrast to the free advice station, the Hug Deli was flourishing, with people lined up down the beach to receive their free hugs! After receiving their hugs, they couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces. The Hug Deli has an extensive menu of bear hugs, warm & fuzzies, gangsta hugs, and awkward hugs (Vince Vaughan from Wedding Crashers comes to mind) and the "payment" is to pay the hugger two compliments. Research shows that those who have human contact and people they rely on live longer, healthier lives than those who isolate themselves. Maybe the Hug Deli is onto something. How would you feel about a stranger hugging you in exchange for a few compliments? Would you welcome this gesture?