Tic-Tac-Toe Affection, and Apologies


I’ve been thinking: We all throw those X’s around, but those are kisses. I guess it’s because just O’s would look like nothing, literally.

Zero Dollars

“Gamma loves you THIS much!”

But I’m not a smoochies kind of person.

I’m not really much of a hugs kind of person except for my good friends, with whom I now have learned to feel comfortable exchanging a warm hug of greeting and goodbye.

Awkward Hug

Thank Goodness I No Longer Look Like This!

Better Hug Approach

This is MUCH Better! Almost Touching!

I’ve even advanced to hugs of spontaneous delight–such a non-Aspie I’m becoming in my old age!

Two Asian Women Doing An Alternate Fist Bump

This IS How You Hug–Right?

So, anyhow, I’m still Aspie enough that I feel odd throwing all these kisses around (although they look like hugs to me–like arms crossed, which could be the arms of two friends in an embrace).

And I’d only give one hug, which would mean I’m putting just one O. How bad would THAT look?:

“Bye, friend, here’s what I think of you:

Cookie Say Hi

Do You Know What This Illustration Has To Do With The Text Above? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Nothing.

What’s a weird kid to do?

I’m just going to have to come up with my own keyboard-created emoji that indicates “warmth”.

The closest I’ve gotten is one I didn’t invent, but have been using. It’s pretty indicative of my non-virtual personality, but it doesn’t get the “hug” concept across, so I’ve still got to work on that.



All this X and O stuff was the actual end of an email to a friend–one who shall remain nameless.

(HERE, Thieu–she HAS a name, I’m just not putting it HERE. ๐Ÿ™„ )

This friend suggested I make it into a post.


This is the same friend, and the same email, which included the rant about our WordPress Overlords and the new editor.

I owe that friend an apology, because in my last post, I claimed she’d suggested I post the rant, but I now realize she meant only the X vs. O stuff.

She is far nicer than I. I think she would think that posting my rant, rather than gently bringing my points to the attention of our Overlords, was a low-down mean-spirited thing to do.

WordPress Overlords? You apologized to me once for abysmal treatment.
I now apologize to you for, not abysmal treatment, but possibly not-nice treatment.

My Bad Frowny Sign

*** EDIT Monday, June 8 ***

I was asked “WHAT abysmal treatment had the WP folks DONE to me?” I started thinking back to what those “happiness” engineers had done, and…felt like taking back my apology:

(1) My blog wasn’t working fully due to one bug. Iphone access to it wasn’t working fully due to another one.

(2) When I reported each bug, I received this in response: 0. A hug. So after a week or so of silence, I re-reported. Same, and more of the same: 0000 (It looks like lots of hugs. Why did I not feel the love?)

(3) Also: I was locked out of the normal method used to report bugs, so there was that bug, too, which made reporting trickier. THAT bug was actually TWO bugs: One flavor in Windows on my ASUS tablet, and another on the Iphone.

(4) Still more: I was locked out of the usual method used to READ any response from the happy, happy engineers. I of course had reported to this to them in my back-door-delivered bug-report. I asked them, due to this, to please reply instead via email.

(5) Guess HOW our happy engineers replied? That’s right: Using the method that their bug prevented me from reading.

(6) Guess what they did when I didn’t respond to the message I couldn’t see? Closed the bug report due to my non-response.

(7) When I lambasted them, ungently, and understandably, for their handling of my issue to that point? Rather than an apology, I received a profoundly rude response. Back when I had I.T. staff reporting to me, that response would have earmarked someone for firing, unless their dog had just died.


I just had to include this kissy photo I found when googling “reluctant hug”, ’cause I loved it:

Mom Kissing Reluctant Daughter


Leave a comment


  1. I like to hug people, but I generally prefer kisses. Hugs are full body involvement, but kisses say I love you, but I love my space, too ๐Ÿ˜›


    • That is an interesting perspective! It makes perfect sense. Fist-bump of logic!

      Despite the illustrations, I really have become comfortable with hugs from friends, but as my friends number so few, I do look like the first hug illustration if going for it with others. And I am, of course, hopeless at gauging whether the other party is going for full hug, semi-demi whatever, air-kiss-near-the-cheek thing (ew.), etc.

      If only we had tails, and could just touch tail-tips.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I scowl at people. It makes them happy they are not me. I suppose in that sense, I bring sunshine into the lives of people I don’t know – and couldn’t give a crap about…..

    Oh! Did I write that? My bad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Um…yes… I laughed.
      But I’ve begrudgingly (more like kickingly and screamingly) decided that ripples spread–good and bad–and we are each of us supposed to be consciously deciding what kind of ripples we want to be leaving, and then making that kind, when we can spare the energy–because life is life, and I think God, or the universal force, or what have you, gets it that it’s all we can do many days just to keep the snorkel end clear.


  3. I’ve never got it sorted which is which with the X and O stuff. Makes more sense to me that the O is a kiss cos it looks like a kissy mouth and the X is a hug cos it looks like crossed arms (as you said). So often I put both just to cover my bases. But I’m not actually a kissy kind of person so I’d really rather have someone make a definitive decision on which is which so I can use the right one. Not that I’m an overly huggy person either. But that’s just shyness. Never mastered the signals of when I should and when I shouldn’t and I’d always rather the other person make the first move.

    Does the Cookie Monster picture relate because he ate all the cookies and now there’s nothing?

    Personally, I thought you were justified in your rant against the Overlords. For goodness sake, what are they? Emotionally fragile fourteen-year-old girls?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I AGREE that the O looks more like the kiss! I had to look it up and was surprised it was the other way around.

      Interesting–I would not have taken you for shy, although you’d mentioned it once in another post or comment I’d read. I wonder just how many people are uncomfortable with these social greetings? We should work out some new ground rules so that everyone can relax again. Why not just go back to handshakes? That seemed to work just fine.

      On my few not-really-dates, it’s been extra-awkward. A handshake to the guys I can tell seems too formal. To me, it seems exactly right–why should they expect a hug, or cheek kiss? I’m just meeting them, for crying out loud? (I don’t chat and email and have phone convo’s first–don’t believe in it–we just meet. If there’s no chemistry at all, what’s the point of all the rest?)

      I feel really dumb about Cookie’s picture now, because you found a connection, MoSY! I was making a lame-#ss joke I’d thought would be obvious: That the pic had NOTHING to do with the post. But you’re right: It DOES! What a maroon I am! Now, I either pretend that’s what I meant all along (Oh–it totally was!
      ๐Ÿ™„ ), or I swap out for a weirder pic.

      As for the rant, I…often have difficulty knowing whether i have a “right” to my feelings. Many women do to some extent, and I think abused ones more.

      The rant made me laugh, and the criticisms were valid, but I do feel it was mean and I COULD have first tried making the suggestions privately.

      Not that anyone would have ever cut me slack like that when I was designing systems. Not that I ever would have expected it. Not that I ever would have needed it. (Justifiably patting self on once-competent back.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right. Handshake. But what looks like a handshake? How about a lemniscate (infinity symbol)? But it’s not readily available on a keyboard. What about %? Hm. Looks more like an air kiss to me…

        Sigh. How about we just do away with virtual representations of physical contact altogether?

        Probably wouldn’t matter what picture you put, I’d find some link. The more obscure the better. I can be annoying like that.

        I didn’t think it was mean. But then, we love a good rant over family dinners so maybe I’m immune.

        Liked by 2 people

        • ๐Ÿ˜Š-<>-๐Ÿ˜Š

          (I used the me-phone’s smiley emojis, so who knows how that will come out?)

          I do love me some tasty rant, too. Your family dinners must be fun.

          Liked by 1 person

          • On my non-me-phone, it works fine. On the laptop, it works if I go to your page but not in the little notification window. Gawd, people, is it too much to ask for some consistency?

            Liked by 1 person

            • That’s a bigger issue than within WP, and one which has driven me bonkers for DECADES!! I refuse to accept that one-to-one mapping between character sets is rocket science.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul

     /  2015/06/08

    Ohhhh, I’m confused. O_o

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m confused by your confusion.
      Are you confused because of my backpeddling to the Overlords, or from the post’s content related to how my pals sign messages “XXOO”, and my discomfort with doing the same?

      (Or was that whole issue unclear from the post?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul

         /  2015/06/08

        OOhhh, all of it. I get that different people interpret the x and o differently – why? It’s a short hand – it’s like asking why “a” is “a”. Or why “b” is “b”.

        Then you said WP apologized to you? I think I missed that one.

        Then you said that you were apologizing to WP and included a sad face on a pole. Now I know i didn’t miss anything there – so why the apology?
        So, you see, confused by it all. ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Paul, I just added a section in the last Addendum to explain what the WP engineers did to me. Your name also appears. Thanks–this post was confusing, and now ONE of the confusing issues is clarified. I have too much to do to clear up the other, but maybe later I’ll fix the intro and take care of that.

      I always value your input!


  5. I’d send you hug for your troubles, but based on the above, I’ll offer a solemn bow, hands pressed together and say, “Namaste”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kiri.
      How’s the healing? I’m swamped tonight, but you may have posted about it–will try to get over later to find out.
      Here’s some casual Everyday Racism for you:
      “never not amusing when i hear namaste used as a casual signoff by white ppl…” (plain eyre@thewordy)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm, I hadn’t thought of it as a phrase which might connote a racist implication. I use it because I am a devotee of yoga (or will be once my doctor clears me to begin again). It is how we end every session and it is meant to imply “the light in me, sees the light in you” which I believe is a beautiful sentiment. (Big, fat raspberry to plain eyre who assumes white people cannot be enlightened…even if mistakenly so.)


        • It’s a word. One which has entered common parlance. No culture owns a word. No one, of any culture, has to make an excuse for using it when it is pronounced approximately correctly (within that speaker’s own grasp of its phonemes) and used entirely correctly.

          Whether or not they’ve ever heard of yoga, and no matter what shade their skin, or how northerly a nation their great-granny was birthed in.

          I had been thinking of running an Everyday Racism post, and then held off because all the evil, evil white-on-black police sh#t really hit the fan, and keeps hitting it. There’s also a humorous post I held back on which, even before that, could have been…unpopular.

          In my snail-like fashion, I am going to do them anyway. AFTER I finish prior commitments:
          Autocide series
          Bullying series (two more posts: on tattling, on my… that will wait.)
          Liebster questions (I said I’d answer them)
          A few drafted posts: Chicago, Historical Jesus, etc.



  6. Oh a wonderful post! A wonderful blog! A wonderful comment prompt!

    You are just magic! _/_

    Liked by 2 people

    • My goodness, Sarang! Would you consider relocating to take up permanent residence inside my mirror?

      Thank you so very much for the glowing praise.

      I see you have decided to join our crew over here–Welcome aboard! ๐Ÿข ๐Ÿข๐Ÿข
      Be especially careful around Yemi (actually, just run!), but other than that, you should be fine. ๐Ÿ˜‰)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. RR

     /  2015/06/10

    Adored reading this.
    I am affection-adverse. Just ask hubby – I really do prefer my dose of people from afar. The only person I can give unabashed affections to is my wee one (probably the best person to receive them).
    And yet, people feel the need to give me affection (and/or physical touch) all the time. Perhaps, it is all the tattoos. The general public seems to be under the impression that my skin (while prettily coloured and adorned with butterflies and flowers) is something that they are allowed and welcomed to touch. Please note, that I would have included pictures, but I have yet to order Kim K’s best seller and so have not yet mastered the selfie. Anyways, I cannot tell you how many (I lost count) times perfect strangers have crossed personal boundaries and touched me. But it is almost a daily occurence.
    Alas, I employ the “xo” in hopes that the typed version will excuse me from the real life one. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Hi, Rebecca! Thank you for “adored” : ) You know how happy that makes me.
      That touching without permission is maddening. I used to get that all the time with my braids–interesting that it no longer happens at all now that I am seen as an old lady. Your tattoos are so jaw-droppingly beautiful–I commented on them in a post of yours in which you show your arms–that I can see how people would be drawn to them–visually–but that touching business is entirely due to unparenting. The collective we no longer teach the phrase you and I were likely raised with by the collective culture (not so much by our own unparents): “Touch with your eyes; not with your hands.” That touching business is normal for toddlers. One is supposed to be trained not to do it past toddlerhood. It is DISGUSTINGLY rude. There is a reason mere touching by a stranger without prior permission constitutes legal battery. I’m sorry you need to deal with this daily. Good grief. You may now join my Misanthropy Club, if you wish.

      ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s for you–I didn’t want to end with a frown. Here’s a hug, too, but it looks like nothing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • RR

         /  2015/06/12

        Ha ha! I appreciate the membership, and the nothing-hug. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Yesterday was a particularly bad day for public touching (and commenting, sheesh!). It is possible I may have to add a series of long-sleeved turtle necks to my wardrobe as it would appear much of the general public has yet to grow out of the toddler stage.
        I am intrigued about your braids… โ˜บ

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Fun post in spite of WP. All those X’s and O’s ~ I just thought it was a new binary code or such, you know, like X marks the spot O. Or a new acronym for help XOX. But now I’m glad that you Xplained it to me. I just have on question. How many are enough? How many do you write to be polite? Is one kiss and hug enough? Where do you stop? Would someone be offended if they only got one instead of three? You’re right, we need a tic-tac-toe grid to cover off all the bases ๐Ÿ™‚


    • You’re asking the wrong kiddo–I’m the only one on the playground who was able to lose at Tic-Tac-Toe. All one had to do was rotate the game. I couldn’t re-orient it. Even though i could reorient maps easily, mentally, rotating them every which way. It was embarrassing.


      • Thankfully Tic-Tac-Toe was not a prerequisite then for things that really mattered. Like Hollywood Squares. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • True! I could still laugh at Lynde.
          My Toe problem remains, and is linked to the Aspie bilateralism muck-up, I think. I am utterly befuddled inside symmetrical buildings (more than are most folks). I worked in one in Ohio for two years and never could remember which way to turn for the elevators.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree with you about Lynde, he was the iconic Square. I miss those simpler times when the shows were full of unscripted character. Match Game and the Gong Show also come to mind. Especially Match-Game, my all-time fave.



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