Almost every girl I walk with mirrors my action when we reach our appointed destination – i.e. if we are walking to the fence or the lamppost, we have to touch it, before we turn around to walk back. In Toronto, on my perambulations around the Music Garden, I hugged a specific tree on the water’s edge. Recently, before the 6-foot rule vetoed our regular walks along the river, my girlfriend and I touched the huge pylon at the top of the hill as usual. It marks the “short walk” turning point. Two guys were coming toward us; they started laughing and asked if it made a big difference if we actually touched the pylon. “Of course,” I answered. “It’s a girl thing.” I don’t think it made them any the wiser.
But now, when I’m walking on my own with Savannah, and our usual route takes us to the fence at the end of the path, I find myself automatically reaching out to touch. I’m getting better, but at least 25 percent of the time, I fail and actually touch the fence and I know every other girl that day has probably done the same. I just can’t help it.