There is nothing wrong with showing affection

Cristian Vasquez

Last Sunday was a quasi-national holiday; we hosted an international event of epic proportions. I am referring to the Super Bowl. Don’t worry for this is not a sports column but it will relate to something that happened on the biggest football stage in the world. During the postgame celebration, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was photographed giving his daughter Amanda Belichick a kiss. The peck on the lips was photographed and made its way through several media outlets where many voiced their criticism about the incident.

Maybe it’s just the 24-hour news cycle digging for some controversy, or it could be that Coach Belichick isn’t the most beloved coach in the league, but much “hoopla” has been made about the incident. The truth is that it’s unfortunate that the Belichicks are being criticized for being an affectionate family man. I know several friends that give their parents a peck on the lips as a form of affection. There is nothing perverted or wrong with the way my friends greet their parents, or with what Belichick did. The issue here is that some of the viewing public isn’t affectionate in that manner which is fine. Some people are content shaking hands, others give out hugs when greeting friends or loved ones; and for a certain group of people, a simple nod of the head is enough interaction.

I am the affectionate type. While I don’t peck my parents or siblings in the lips, I do give them a hug and kiss on the cheek every time I say goodbye or hello. At this point in my life, it’s more than a habit or a byproduct of living with my parents; it’s a way of showing my family a small love-filled gesture before partings ways. We honestly don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or even later today. So when I say goodbye to grandma, aunts or uncles, mom or dad or my siblings, I hug and kiss them because it might be the last time we see each other. It might be a pretty morbid way of seeing things but there is a comfort in knowing that you have expressed to the ones you love how you feel.

Jolene Combs and Lori Medigovich were two of my journalism advisers at El Camino College. During Jolene’s retirement lunch, I gave her a hug and was able to thank her for changing the course of my life. Without the influence of the Union Newspaper at El Camino, Jolene and Lori, I would have never discovered this amazing career. Less than a year later Jolene died. While it still hurts that she’s gone, I am very happy to have been able to hug her and say thank you. Coach Belichick might not smile on camera often but him giving his daughter a peck after winning his fourth Super Bowl proved he isn’t as stoic as he carries himself.