Just in case anyone tells you I’m getting weird in my old age, I’d like to explain for the record what really happened:
A colleague of my boss’s came into the office today. I’ve known the man for several years now, but not terribly well. Our relationship has always been cordial and always professional.
When I opened the door to the lobby, I was expecting someone else, someone who was coming to see me, so I was caught off guard from the get-go. My boss had just told me good-bye, and I knew he was planning to leave in a minute or two through another exit. At that moment I wasn’t certain whether he was still in the building or, if he was, whether he’d want to be delayed. I decided to buy him some time to make a clean getaway if he chose to do so.
So there I stood, smack in the middle of the doorway between the lobby and the interior hallway, smiling and greeting the unexpected visitor. As I opened my mouth to tell him I wasn’t sure if the boss was still there, the visitor strode quickly and purposefully toward me, and, when he was mere inches away, he opened his arms out wide. He'd never greeted me that way before, so I recognized it as unusual behavior, but I did what comes naturally to me in response to that particular gesture: I reached out my own arms and hugged him.
In the split second it took me to realize he wasn’t hugging me back, it dawned on me that he’d stretched himself out so he could squeeze past me through the doorway and hurry on back to my boss’s office.
Heh. That was awkward.
I wasn’t going to tell anybody –- and hoped he wouldn’t, either –- but the more I thought about it, the more it tickled me. And a good laugh needs to be shared, even when the joke's on me.
Plus, it seemed wise to get my side of the story out there first. This is a small town. Juicy rumors spread fast.