This is a new insight that comes courtesy of my special friend, who is prone to flashes of affection, followed by retreats assuring me she won't “bug” me any more. I've come to realize I like being “bugged” that way.
My mother was very affectionate and no one has, or likely will, ever quite match that warmth that comes from the one person to whom you are perfectly beloved, no matter what, for as long as she lives. I lost that when I was 17 and moved away, later irretrievably when she died.
Yet I was not a mama's child. I even complained to her about the sheer arrogance of mothers on Mother's Day.
This was a variation on the critique raised by a classmate to baffle our religion teacher. My classmate had argued that, given all the insistence on worship and obedience attributed to the Supreme Being, God must surely be a preening narcissist.
And, hey, weren't mothers next to God in authority, pomp and circumstance on their day — as well as in and sheer guilt-inducing power if their desires were somehow ignored? And, boy! Mothers could surely bug you with embarrassing displays of affection in front of your peers!
Some people — especially North Americans — react to affection with the horror reserved for strangers' accidental brushes with one's shoulder or arm on the subway or bus. All right, so the Parisian lovers — I have seen this with my own eyes — go to the other extreme with their ... um ... French kissing and embracing on busy corners.
In the end, though, love involves a bit of “bugging” the loved one who is reading The New York Times' book review. You might get carried away by your affection to kiss and caress the reader's arm. For no reason. Even if no one sees.