Okay, so I've spoken before about my mom's foreign exchange student. I don't think the term "cultural differences" is ever stressed enough. The more and more I hang out at my mom's house I realize that the American space bubble is small and "gay" is used too generously. I am not stating this as fact; I am just making a small comparison between Egypt and the States.

My mom and Yussef are very close, and sometimes it weirds me out. For example, every day she has to scratch him on his chest or belly. Yep. It's like having a cat.

Apparently in Egypt this is all normal. His brother, sister, parents, guy friends, and teammates all do it for him. Teammates. That's strange on its own, but it gets better.

From what I understand, it is ideal in Egypt for brothers and best bro/dude friends to hold hands. Hold hands.

I'm told that this is all normal throughout most of Asia, too. Not only is this okay and acceptable, but in some ways encouraged.

I've tried telling him that this doesn't translate well in the United States. It's had me wondering if maybe our standards are too harsh and our personal bubbles are far too small.

We probably even say, "No, dude, that's gay," more than necessary.

I am not saying that we should hold hands with guys or scratch each other, I am just saying that maybe Western countries are off on their own as far as tolerance and physical contact.

I'm not going to even divulge into discussions of insecurities related to overcompensating against "gay" activities, but I do want to know your honest opinions about this.