Monday, September 5, 2005

shake it like a polariod picture

i met a guy from argentina. he said that americans felt rude upon introductions. at home, when he saw a friend, he would hug them, and kiss each cheek. us americans don’t kiss on cheeks, us americans shake hands.

the handshake itself is a very interesting beast. the handshake used to be like a signature, a guarantee. “shaking on it” was as good as a written contract in a court of law. the handshake is now simply our form of greeting. people say that a handshake is very important. a proper handshake gives the greeted person an impression of your character.

there’s many different types of handshakes. the professional handshake is firm, eye contact is made, and a bit of shaking must go on. this is the handshake that both men and women in a professional environment must have in order to give off the “i mean business” impression.

back in the days, two men would shake hands firmly, as the above noted professional handshake. women would shake hands with men, but it wasn’t really a ‘shake’. the woman would hold out her hand, palm down, fingers pointed towards the ground, and then the man would bring his hand up underneath and simply hold her hand. this lasts just as long as a man to man handshake would last. once in a while i encounter a shake like this, but it’s not so common anymore. personally, i’m not a fan of it either.

then there’s the dreaded wet noodle. i hate these shakes. it’s when a man to man handshake turns out to be a woman to man handshake with two men. that’s right, i go in with a firm handshake and they simply stick out a dangling hand. i end up squeezing the crap out of their hand, and it’s now an awkward state for both parties.

speaking of powerful handshakes, there’s always that one guy who does the python grip handshake. you give him a firm, ready to shake hand, and he comes in with 400psi of bone crushing “hello, nice to meet you”.

the wet palm handshake needs no explanation, and no example.

my most hated handshake is the no look. i hate the no look. people should get slapped for the no look handshake. let me paint the picture: you meet someone for the first time, extend the hand, say your name, listen to –and then forget their name, when your hands meet, they look away. they look away. it’s horrible that they don’t give me 10 seconds of attention upon the first time of ever meeting me. i should slap them, and want to at times.

no look handshakes are ok if it’s not the first time meeting someone. with buddies, chums, friends, or acquaintances a different handshake is then used. all different versions of the second handshake exist. some include hugs, punches, snaps, claps, you name it, it’s been done.

time and place also determines the type of shake you get. with girls, in a fun, party, or nightlife environment, a kiss on the cheek is more normal than a simple hug or handshake. with guys, people you normally wouldn’t give the shake-hug to, get it.

yea, this is what’s racing thru my head as i greet someone. normally all of these ideas contaminate my mind and that’s why i forget the name i just met.


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