As a Mormon bisexual man I live in the "other circumstances" mentioned in The Family: A Proclamation to the World where "Death, disability or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."
He was headed off to spend time with his family. So was I. We wished each other "Merry Christmas" and as we were about to shake hands I asked, "How about how about a Christmas hug for the holidays?"
"Sure," he said.
Looking back it reminds me of the process I go through each Christmas with our outdoor lights. I unpack the strings I used the previous year and plug in each set to verify that they're still working. Most of them light up. But there's always at least one string that fails to light. It's nothing personal. It doesn't mean the string doesn't like me.
That's how it was with this hug. No electricity. No magic. Nothing there. Not cold but not warm.
"Enjoy the holidays," I said.
"You, too," he replied.
And that's when I realized I'd looked beyond the mark. I already had what he had freely given: his friendship. And he had mine.
So what's better than a holiday hug between two good friends? In this case it's knowing that some things can't be forced. That sometimes, maybe almost always, I'm better off to be happy with what is, instead of disappointed with what is not. The next year we shook hands. It was warm, spontaneous, reciprocal. And good enough.