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I am a big believer in the psychic and physical benefits of cuddling. In fact, I feel a hug a day probably does a person more good than a whole bushelful of apples. The problem is how to effectuate said hug when you’re of a certain age. Far removed from the days of heedless and spontaneous frisky business, we now need a strategy to get it on.

When I’m lying on the couch and my husband is sitting in his recliner, for example, canoodling requires someone to move. Right there you’ve got a delicate negotiation on your hands second only to the Paris Climate Accord. Were I to tootle over to sit in his lap, I might a) block his view of the Mets’ baseball game or b) find I could never rise again from that awkward position. We would be found entwined days later, by which time rigor mortis would have set in. 

Conversely, were my husband to tear himself away from the game–it would be a lengthy process, a) because the Mets are only losing 24-2 in the bottom of the ninth, but, hey, you never know, they could still pull it out and what kind of fan would he be if he turned off the TV now? and b) by the time the game was over I’d be sound asleep. 

Let’s say for the sake of argument, though, that my husband does get up from his recliner and walks the two steps to the couch, where I have firmly taken root. How do we proceed? His left shoulder is frozen of late and my right arm goes up only so far. This makes it hard to clinch. I guess we could just sit opposite each other and pooch out our lips, but stiff necks are sure to result.

Having given up on the idea of making mad, passionate love on the couch or even patting each other on the back, we repair to bed. This is where things literally heat up. My husband is always at least 10 degrees warmer than I am, and for those of us with congenitally ice-cold digits, this is nothing to sneeze at. The problem for me is that he is at the other end of the California King and scooching over is not as easy as it used to be. The problem for him is that, warm at last, I tend to fall asleep clutching his toasty body. In fact, he says he’d need the Jaws of Life to extricate himself from my death grip. 

Even though I’d prefer to hear him say he’d lie awake all night and look at the ceiling in the interests of love, I see his point. So, it’s back to the cuddle and where there’s a will, there’s a way!

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About The Author:

Barbara Greenleaf

Barbara Greenleaf

Barbara Greenleaf has got gift books for everyone on your list! THIS OLD BODY: And 99 Other Reasons to Laugh at Life will tickle their funny bone while Parents of Adult Children: You Are Not Alone will provide them with comfort and guidance. A graduate of Vassar College, former contributing editor at Working Mother and onetime staffer at The New York Times, Barbara has lots more info for you at www.BarbaraGreenleaf.com.

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