We are three days away from the wedding of Brian and Katie, people. Rejoice. Yay!
72 hours left of the single life, and the question I’ve been asked the most is “Are you nervous?” My answer, “No,” but in reality it’s “Shit yeah.”
Nervous about the wedding? No. Nervous about getting married? Absolutely not. My nerves are sweating for one reason: All the handshakes.
Yes, you read that right. After the wedding, after the I Dos, after the introduction, it will be nonstop hand shaking for 3 hours while we try to eat, drink, dance, do whatever we want because, God damnit, we’re married.
It’s not so much a germs thing, although the thought of eating after shaking all those hands might make me invest in some hand wipes or Purell. It’s the different types of hand shakes I’m doing to have to deal with during the reception. Let me break it down for you:
The only acceptable hand shake is a strong hand shake. Don’t bring this weak wristed shit to my wedding. Strong, straight wrist. The V where the thumb and pointer finger meets should touch or be within a quarter of an inch to the other person’s V. The pressure, this is where many of these shakes go wrong, needs to be strong without being deadly. Imagine squeezing an orange at the grocery. You don’t squash it, yet you don’t give it a light tap. Put some pressure into it. Be a man, and learn to shake a hand properly.
The problem is for every one of these handshakes I’ve encountered in my life, they have been followed with around 7 unacceptable forms. These are characterized as:
The weak wrist.
We’ve all seen it in TV and in movies where one guy brings the weak, limp wrist in for a hand shake, also called the dead fish. What the hell is this? If I wanted to shake a cooked noodle, I’d go to Olive Garden. There is no way to remedy this handshake because the nonlimper has no choice but to go weak also, lest they break the poor bastard’s wrist. This is the worst of the handshakes, especially when coupled with …
The fingertip shake
This example occurs when a person gives between 1/3 to 2/3 of their fingers to an open, extended hand. This results in the most awkward handshake because the other person is usually so befuddled by this greeting that they lose all focus and end up giving a weak wrist shake. The result of the weak-wrist, fingertip shake is equivilent to two men hosting tea parties while wearing camisoles and watching Gilmore Girls. It just isn’t right.
The Cut Off
The cut off is when you go to grasp someone’s hand and they prematurely close their hand and clamp onto your fingers. To the outsider, it looks like a weak-wrister, and unfortunately, no matter how hard you practice proper shaking technique, it happens to the best of us. I have accidently closed too early and have been closed on too early also. The only solution to this is awareness. Just know your surroundings and focus on what you’re doing and this can be avoided.
This handshake is the one that just won’t stop. It’s firm, deliberate and by all accounts a proper handshake. The problem is that it continues past the initial greeting and well into the conversation. Like basketball, this is why handshaking needs a shot clock. After 3 seconds, a buzzer needs to go off and a ref needs to blow the whistle to call a foul. Problem solved.
The too much grabber.
The opposite of the fingertipper is the too-much grabber (I just made this word up, so if there’s a proper word for it or if anyone has a better idea, let me know). This occurs when Person A extends his hand for a manly shake and Person B grabs a hold of A’s wrist, resulting in not a hand shake, but a wrist shake. While it can still be strong and firm, it is uncomfortable, awkward and really creepy. There’s no place for this over-aggressiveness in today’s society, so let’s drop this, please.
This has become a growing trend among men today. You go in for the shake and when you think it’s over, they pull you in and do the one-arm hug while still holding on to you palm. To be fair, I practice this when my friends, but rather than the handshake-pull-in, we go with the cupped-hand-slap-pull-in. It’s really the same thing, but a tad less formal than the full-on handshake. For the wedding, I’m doing to practice safe-shake and just say no to hugs.
Another name I made up, this is when the shake starts off as a normal handshake, then goes to the cupped hand slap, then turns to the curved fingertip hook. Again, in all honesty, this is the greeting my uncle and I give each other, so I don’t consider this one to be too bad. I just wanted to put this down as another shake example.
Exactly like the name says. Handshake first, then cupped handshake, then a front hand slap, then reverse hand slap, then a high five and ending with a reverse low high five. It’s practiced rarely, but when it’s done right, it’s awesome.
Sports guy chest bump
If you’ve seen Modern Family before, then think of the scene with Mitch and Cam in the first episode. I’m hoping this happens at the wedding, but not as much as …
BEST. GREETING. EVER. Do this at the wedding, and I’ll name my first born child after you. Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter.