When a stranger stops you (OK, me) and says “Hey, Buffi. I know who you are. How are you? Can I just give you a hug?” And you nod yes and you cling to him like a lifejacket, you know something’s up.

And something IS up.
Because so many things are down.

I watched the Inauguration (did you know that word is worth 13 points in Scrabble? That nugget of knowledge might come in handy someday…) holding 2 people’s hands, with my eyes full of tears, and a wine glass balanced between my knees. I heard words that stunned me – ‘carnage’, ‘tombstones’, ‘disrepair’ and ‘decay’. I heard ‘When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.’ (Ok, just let me send the KKK a fax on that one…). I felt so far away. So far away from my country, which I’ve been missing like crazy lately, and so far away from this man, politically, who is now leading the land that I love so much.

I cried for a long time. I texted with friends and family. I tweeted and posted on all my channels that I needed a hug.
The response was overwhelming. It turns out that I’m not the only person out there who needs a hug.

So I decided to do what I know best. And that’s to make people feel good again. To spread love to combat the hate. I’m going to organise a Free Hugs event on Valentine’s Day, in several cities. I put it on my social media and now have the support of some high-profile friends and the media. I’ll mention the details soon, but all I know is that getting a little shot of Oxytocin is going to get me (and hopefully hundreds of others) through this. And you give what you get, so every hug is just basically love, but love to go. (Is afhaal liefde / liefde om mee te nemen een ding? Hoe zou je zoiets in het nederlands zeggen? Help a sister out!)

I have 2 Syrian friends who are my partners in crime. They are alive today because of love, basically, and want to share what they have. I have a Dutch friend who is helping me organise this (and not get arrested….again). 3 cultures, 3 languages, 4 hearts, 1 message.

This is all I can do. For now.
More will come soon.
And zoen.

Thank you for all of your support.
And sending you a huge virtual hug until I can give you a real one.

XXX Buffi