It’s time for something new


A new handshake, that is.

We live in a handshaking culture, which is unfortunate for those of us who can’t shake the knowledge that many people don’t seem to find it important to wash their hands . . . and for those of us with Rheumatoid Disease.

Beyond the normal clammy and dirty hands issues, some people like to crush the hands of strangers when meeting them for the first time, and that is simply unacceptable for us.  It’s difficult enough on some days to shake hands with a limp hand, let alone with a hand that has decided its purpose in life is to destroy yours.  I can’t fathom what men are thinking when they do this.

I have toyed around with a few ideas to solve this problem:

  • Give hugs.  Unfortunately, I find it awkward to hug on the first meeting.  Plus, one never knows what kind of boundary issues strangers may have.
  • Go ahead and try to squeeze the life out of some people.  Unfortunately, I never had much of a grip to begin with.
  • Slap people who start to crush your hand.  Unfortunately, people don’t respond well to physical violence.
  • Pretend I’m looking at something else while others are shaking hands until they give up on mine.  Effective mostly, but makes me seem antisocial.
  • Tell people to be gentle.  One would think this would work, but this doesn’t work when the other person can’t hear you or the other person isn’t ready to pay attention to directions on how to shake hands.
  • Tell people you don’t shake hands.  Some people may ask why, but some people may just assume I’m antisocial again.  And it would not get me through a job interview.  Shaking hands is too important in our society.
  • What my boyfriend calls a “lady handshake.”  Put your fingers together and point your hand straight down.  This way your hand is in a solid position so you are not the one with a limp hand, but is also too awkward for any asshole to get in a good enough position to crush you.  So far this has worked for me, but I am also pretty sure that I have not come across any assholes since I started trying this.

This is hard work.  I think I’ll just start slapping anyone who starts the hand crushing.  At least, it’ll save anyone who follows me.

If any of you have any tips, please share!  I shall continue experimenting.


2 thoughts on “It’s time for something new

  1. Bob Dole has a disabled right hand from a WWII injury. He always carries a pencil in this hand to keep people from grabbing it for a shake. I have done something similar by carrying something in both hands to keep people from expecting a handshake. I smile and give a head nod in acknowledgement. This was a great post. More people should be aware that everyone they meet doesn’t want a “battle of the firm handshake” from them. I like the Japanese bow myself.


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