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In some ways, I'd say my time on earth is, in part, a lifelong battle against the grossness of the world we inhabit. I'm not talking about germs or dirt, or even trash or disease or garbage. I'm talking about behaviors that I'm unable to stomach--people acting in ways too horrifying to even process, much less tolerate. And when I say horrifying, you might assume I'm talking about the various and sundry atrocities humans commit: holocausts, murders, rapes, tortures. I'm not talking about that.
I don't fancy myself a regular Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David here or anything, but dudes got a few things right: close talkers, low talkers, sidlers and so on. I'll add to that oversharers, anyone who points at the food you're eating and says anything critical while you're actually eating it, people really really really really into "partying," people who say things like "party foul" or "get your party on" and aren't doing so mockingly, loud chewers, loud talkers, pseudo-sophistication and, especially, the ex-girlfriend (or hookup) of every man I've ever dated apparently needing to tell me something about my boyfriend or husband's intimate parts. Heinous! Unforgivable! Truly disturbing. But lo and behold, it just got even worse: Cuddle Parties
That's right, humans. Enough strangers wanted to get together in the same room and touch each other so respectfully that this gathering of overshare has a name, and it spread all the way from the anything-goes-because-we're-all-depraved New York to anything-goes-because-we-all-have-nothing-better-to-do Middle Tennessee. And in a record time of only two years instead of the requisite Five Years for Trends to Catch On in Tennessee (tm).
Cuddling is a gross enough word as it is: It's cooing; it's fuzzy-wuzzy; it's infantilizing. It reeks of the New Neediness of every tell-all, desperate plea for attention and warmth we've managed to create in this utter disconnect of a society we live in. I sympathize, Lonely Lonertons, but showing up to a community center with graham crackers and my Raggedy Ann jammies to scoot over to a stranger and ask permission to caress them non-sexually so I can feel close to someone--anyone--and perhaps learn about "saying no"? Really? I'd rather spend an evening with a low-, close-talking sidler ex-girlfriend of my husband's while she describes their last sexual encounter.
A few excerpts:
"For the uninitiated, these are basically pajama parties where you cuddle with strangers in a non-sexual way." [Gag]
"A Cuddle Party typically works like this: People pay $10 (to cover the price of snacks) and bring their jammies, which they change into in a private room. There's a 'welcoming circle' where people introduce themselves and talk about why they've come, and a facilitator goes over the Cuddle Party rules, such as keeping your pajamas on at all times and always asking permission before touching anyone, among other things." [Barf]
"What happens at a Cuddle Party stays at a Cuddle Party." [For the love of all that's holy.]
"Mr. Businessman may not want people to know that he's a cuddle monster on the weekends." [Vomitron 5000]
"Seems like a great way to spread swine flu and meet people who were kicked off of eHarmony.com." (Correct response!)