I bumped into some old friends at the pub on Saturday night. I hadn’t seen them in a couple years, so it was kinda cool.
But from the moment I layed eyes on them, I started to feel anxious. I started getting that sick feeling in my gut. I contemplated just avoiding them the entire night.
This was because I knew I was going to have to shake their hands…
I fucking hate shaking hands…
For reasons I don’t fully understand, I have never been able to master the art of greeting a fellow human being.
I guess it’s because people like to shake hands in a whole bunch of weird and stupid fucking ways. I can never seem to predict what way that person wants to do this, so 90 percent of the time it ends up all cringey. Awkward handshakes are the worst. Awkward handshakes are also my specialty.
Sometimes people hang on slightly too long, or they want to do multiple things within a short time frame. I can’t get my head around it.
Or if it’s a woman, they go for a full blown hug, or a kiss. How long are you suppose to hug for? Do I kiss someone I don’t even know? Where the fuck am I meant to kiss them? Why do we have to fucking kiss eachother at all god dammit. Can’t we just say hi and be done with it?
In high school everyone I knew just did the “slap and pound” thing. It’s super lame, but I liked it because it was informal, required minimal contact, and there wasn’t really any way to fuck it up.
But now people are getting creative, and it’s ruined everything.
So I went to shake the guys hand.
I thought to myself “just go with the regular, straight shake. You can’t go wrong”
I started moving my hand towards his, until I noticed his hand was angled slightly upwards.
He wanted to do the bro shake.
I don’t know how to do a bro shake well.
I mean, once you’re hands are joined in that upwards sort of clap formation, where do you go from there. Are you suppose to just kinda wiggle you arms together or…
I started panicking.
I was too far gone with my regular shake.
“Abort. Fucking abort Nathan, this is going to be weird”
It was too late.
I kinda grabbed the bottom half of his hand, and started shaking. He uncomfortably tried to adjust his grip to suit mine, but before we could make it work, I let go.
We both pretended like what just happened wasn’t unbearably awkward. And I continued on to the next one.
This time, I knew what I was in for. We are doing bro shakes tonight. I got this.
I reached my hand out to the next guy in the upward facing position with my elbow slightly bent.
“Fuck yea, gonna nail it this time”
He slapped in hand clean into mine. We did the wiggle thing. It was beautiful.
He then started to move towards me.
For fuck sake… He wants to man hug.
From what I understand. Man hugs are different to regular hugs. You aren’t suppose to fully embrace the guy. You just semi-sorta put you arm around eachother quickly and then release. It’s really stupid and I hate it.
I don’t particularly like hugging anyone at all to be honest, unless it’s Courtney, so this is one of my least favourite.
He started moving towards me, and I hesitated. He noticed that I hesitated so he hesitated. When I noticed he hesitated I pulled him in closer because I didn’t want to fuck up this shake again. I placed my arm around his shoulder without touching him with it, and patted him on the back once or twice, then let go.
I felt dirty.
Once again we pretended like it all went well, and I retreated to the bar to fill my belly with alcohol and forget about what just happened.
One day I will get the hang of this. Maybe I’ll put it on my to do list.