Okay, it’s time to admit it. I have a great fear of handshakes. They’re not exactly as bad as running into someone with a gun, but they’re not far behind. See, I know what they’re for and how they’re supposed to work. Two bro’s spot each other in the hall, they’re all bonky with happiness cause they haven’t seen each other in like maybe a day, and they give that crosshand clasp thing (sort of like an arm wrestling position) which leads into some kind of hug. Or they do that and then add a finger grip or a slip away move to it. Or all three (or is it four?) Or maybe there’s a slap on the shoulder or back. And let’s not forget the option of a wiggly finger send-off.
Then there’s the problem of the pre-shake action. It can start when the two of you are maybe three or four feet apart. Do you come in with your right arm forward and your left arm way out to the side like you’re ready for a big, happy bear hug? I see pro athletes do that all the time. But what if I do that and my friend doesn’t? I look like a jerk. Besides, I don’t think anyone even likes me enough to do that one.
And that’s just the start. Let’s see, the fist bump is okay. Well, the idea is okay, but how hard do you do it. If you give it too light, the other guy thinks you’re chicken. If you give it too hard, a fight could start. And what if the other guy puts his hand in a fist but then starts a top-and-bottom kind of fist bump, you know, a two-parter. Very tricky!
The old fashioned grown-up kind is easy, but not many people I know do that one. I read that the handshake was supposedly invented in the Dark Ages when it was supposed to show you didn’t have a weapon in your hand. You know, like two guys checking each other out. I guess they really needed that in the Dark Ages, seeing how dark it was and all. But if I try that on someone my age, it can look so dorky. Like I’m little Mr. Businessman or something.
High fives can be good. Unless you try one and the other person doesn’t and all they get is a nice view of your underarm. Or you end up hitting them in the face with your elbow. And some people say high fives are out. How they know beats me. But somehow they do.
And let’s not even go to what you’re supposed do with a girl.
This is a big problem, people, and it’s even bigger cause I think I might be the only guy who worries about it. Everyone else seems to enjoy handshakes (or greetings, or whatever they’re called). Most people seem to laugh or at least smile when they’re giving them. Me, I’ve gotten into trying to predict what the other guy is going to do and changing my motion really fast so he won’t notice I don’t have a clue.
Can’t there be just one kind of handshake for everybody? Why is the world so complicated? Why not just hold up a sign that says, “Yo dude, wuzzup?”
Well, all this honesty has gotten me in a funk. Till next time, I guess. If you see me, be nice and just wave or call out from across the hall.
Your Dude with no ‘Tude (today, anyway),