One part of being single and childless that people might not realize is that I don't get a lot of physical attention. Even my sisters, who have happy marriages but have had spells of single-mothering due to their husbands' jobs, still have little ones climbing in laps, raining hugs and kisses (and sure, an inadvertent elbow or two to the kidneys).
I tend to shy away from physical contact—hugs, hands on shoulders and the like—because if I don't get used to feeling people touch me, then I won't miss it when it doesn't happen daily.
There's one exception.
A friend, a former colleague who is one of the touchy-feeliest people I know (and happens to be rather attractive) showed up at the same venue I was at last night. It had been six months since I last saw him. He greeted me with one of his signature enveloping hugs, and he sat next to me. We chatted while we listened to live bands, and every time he wanted to turn my attention from the music, he put his hand on my arm, on my back, on my knee. He would lean in close to talk to me, his stubble brushing my cheek.
And when the last band said good night, I turned to my friend, and he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me oh so tight. He kissed my cheek and stroked my hair, and we promised, for the millionth time since we stopped working together, that we'd stay in touch better this time.
If I wanted to, I probably could have wrangled a little more than just a hug from him...but he isn't LDS, and I just can't walk through that door yet. Yes, my Nana did, and yes, plenty of other women do. And maybe I will too one day.
But for now, it was just nice to be hugged repeatedly by a freshly laundered man who called me “baby” and adored me for an evening.