Saturday, May 2, 2020

Happily waving goodbye to the handshake

You probably need another article about the 'Rona like you need a hole in the head, but I see one positive coming out of this mess and figured I'd take a shot.

It looks like hand-shaking will become a thing of the past. More so in some areas than others. My relatively remote part of the world is slower to change but I'll be happy when it does.

See, I don't like shaking hands. I'm not good at it.

I was raised to give a firm handshake but mess it up half the time. Ideally, you want to go in so the webbing between your thumb and index finger jam into the other guy's webbing between thumb and index finger. But for some reason I miss half the time. Sometimes I end up grabbing the guys thumb or going in between other fingers. I think I'm concentrating on looking them in the eyes while doing it and am not coordinated enough to look one direction and grab something in the other.

Or, some guys go for the bro handshake where you bend elbows and grip around the lower part of the thumb and your four fingers wrap around it. Never shall the two different versions meet. It gets awkward.

And some younger friends opt for that latter method but then pull you in for a man-hug chest-bump type thing. Trouble is, I never know which of the three types of handshake is coming.

Then there's the odd person at church during the "Peace be with you" portion. I go to shake their hand and they pull the "I don't shake hands" crap on you after you've reached out to them and they leave you hanging. It makes me want to wish them something other than peace.

To make me even more skittish about it, there's a fella I run into a couple times a year who lost his thumb years back in a calf-roping mishap. I always forget and go in for a hearty rancher handshake and end up with my hand sliding up to his elbow since there's no thumb there to stop me.

About the time I'm a total mess on the hand-shaking thing, I run into one of my non-Scandinavian friends. I never know what kind of fancy three-hand-shakes-in-one they're going to pull on me or if they're just going for the straight-up shake. I end up looking like an even whiter white guy as I try to be cool but end up waving my arm around like I've taken a handful of muscle relaxers.

So I'm all about the fist bump now. I just need everybody to get on board with it, because if that goes wrong, uncoordinated me will be punching people in the chest. And that can go wrong in even more ways.

If the fist bump doesn't catch on I'm all for the simple wave or the bow. Just let me know in advance what we're doing because I'm getting a complex about it.

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