Thursday, October 19, 2006

Handshake Earthquake

Judith Bowman and Protocol Consultants International says:
"There is really only one correct way to shake hands here in America: - connect the "v"; between the thumb and index finger of your left hand with the "v" between the thumb and index finger of your right hand --- one to two "pumps"; and make eye contact!

Note: a good firm grasp is key; avoid sweaty palms by washing hands thoroughly before the anticipated handshake, using soap and drying thoroughly. There is nothing worse than a clammy handshake - a clammy handshake is the "kiss of death"!

The person who initiates the handshake is generally the person in control - which is what you want."

If ony that solved everything. Today, I visted Shade Clothing to pick up a key so I could come to where I currently am and watch a football game that doesn't start for a bit. While there, I was introduced to a couple of people who were female. I hope things didn't get awkward, but they might have. I was sitting in a comfortable office chair when I was introduced to the first woman. I figured a smile, a nod, and a "Sup, dog?" would be enough of a greeting. Especially since she had a box in her hand. Then she put her box down. Now, it is absolutely possible that she didn't put the box down to shake my hand; and if she did want to shake my hand, she did a great job of saving herself (and my self) some awkwardness by making it look like she put the box down for another reason. Not knowing her intentions notwithstanding, this got in my head. A few minutes later, I was introduced to another employee and by this point I was a social mess. I didn't know what to do. So, I did what I would do in most situations where I don't know what to do: I just stood there and said, "Hi."

On the drive back, I kept thinking, "What's the social protocol for shaking hands with someone of the opposite sex?"

Until about a year ago, this was a non-issue for me. I shook their hands. Then I was talking to my friend Annabelle and she told me that boys should never shake a girl's hand. This killed me. Then she showed me how to do what we called a 'sensual handshake,' in case I got in a situation where I had to shake the hand of a female. Such handshakes are tough to pull off, so I scrapped the idea and just stopped shaking hands. Besides, I think the 'sensual handshake' was more creepy than effective.

Until today, I think I had gotten over the handshake issue. Maybe the whole thought that I shouldn't shake hands with ladies is sexist, anyhow. But that isn't what this is about. This is about social protocol. I've decided that I will shake hands with females. If Lance Armstrong can shake hands with steriods, then I can shake hands with girls.

Bad Religion said, "Handshakes are nothing but a solemn f___ you." Yeah, maybe.


Manfoom said...

see your problem is that you listened to Annabelle, who is sweet and all that, but also from Europe. They like to french upon meeting and wear topless to church.

sugarcube said...

Manny Foom,
I hear you (Annabelle, if you ever read this, I DON'T 'hear' him). Something like that just gets in one's head, you know?

Manfoom said...

Oh yeah, I am the king of awkward greetings. Farewells are not my strong suit either*, here is a tip though, upon hugging a young lady who is about to leave your presence, and whom you have just met and spent a delightful evening joking about little people and whatnot, don't whisper into her ear, "don't go". She won't get it and you won't get IT**.

*My real strong suit is made of foam rubber

**It means two different things here, one is the joke, and two is "sexy time".

emily said...

in places where they speak french, guys shakes each others' hands (even, like, 10 year old kids) and girls kiss each other and guys and girls kiss each other. or something.

sugarcube, did you ever "shake hands with beef"? what's the protocol there?

sugarcube said...

Man of foam,
Do they read my blog in Ghana?
I'm with you. The only thing more awkward than my greetings are my partings. Grabbing a girl by the arm is bad news too. Just so you know.

sugarcube said...

All the time. You?

emily said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
emily said...

there's no way i can respond to that.

well played, lee. well played.

what's so bad about grabbing a girl by the arm?

sugarcube said...

I met a girl this weekend and purposely shook her hand, then asked her about my shake. She said that not only did she enjoy it, she noticed before I even asked.