Monday, September 14, 2009

This is a No-Shake Zone.

September 14, 2009

I have mentioned before that I hate shaking hands. With all the fears of flu and other generally nasty bugs going around, I would like to propose that we cease ALL handshaking immediately.

Could we adopt the Japanese bowing custom instead?
Nobody touches anybody, and unless somebody sneezes on the way down, no germs are exchanged.

Lately, I have found that my germaphobia may be getting the best of me. Just yesterday at church, I knew the pastor would be greeting people as they arrived. Since we are always some of the last people to get to church, he stands in the hall and waits for us. All I could think about was how many hands he had shaken right before we got there. Instead of shaking his hand and walking straight into the bathroom to suds it up and wash it off, I transferred my purse, my Bible, and my church bulletin to my hands. When he extended his hand to me, I waved my full hands at him. He laughed at me because he knows what a germaphobe I truly am. In fact, he tortures me with the handshaking sometimes. (NOTE: He is a wonderful man of God, really. God just blessed him with an evil sense of humor.)

To protect myself from cooties and other various and assorted maladies, I've been thinking of other ways to avoid the dreaded handshake:
  • Sneeze or cough directly on your hands right when the other person extends theirs. Apologize and look sheepishly at your hands.
  • Go in for the side-hug when the person comes at your with their hand out. (If you are me, turn your head in the opposite direction. And maybe go change clothes. Whatever.)
  • Wave from a distance. This especially works well if you go with the "full hands" avoidance maneuver. That way, you both avoid the awkward extended hand left hanging.
  • Gloves and/or hand braces. "My hands are really cold!" and/or "Ouch, my hand, my hand!"
  • Salute. It looks weird, it feels weird, but no germs are exchanged.
  • Tight pants. "Sorry, my hands are stuck in my pockets and I totally can't get them out."
I know I'm not the only crazy clean one out here. What do you do to avoid handshakes?

While you are in the neighborhood, go check out Wendy's "Life is Funny" blog carnival. Just wash your hands before you stop by, okay? : )

9 delightful comments:

Wendy said...

We used to go to a church that had multiple levels of greeters on the way to the sanctuary. My husband would employ the 'bob and weave' technique to avoid shaking hands with people. No, he's not a germophobe. He just hates people.

Helen said...

1) Get really dressed up for Church and wear white gloves. Bring the fashion back!
2) Shake and wash later. Hands people. Hands....
3) Say "'I'd shake your hand, but then you'd have to wash it..."

I hope that helps.

In all seriousness, I know it's tough. I taught second grade, and I was alway reminding them to wash hands, use sanitizer, yada yada....

jasonS said...

Yes, we pastors often have a "different" sense of humor. :) Not evil though!

I think we should invent a hand sanitizer dispenser that fits under your sleeve with a trigger (sort of like spiderman's web shooter). Then you press a little trigger & it dispenses the sanitizer without anyone being the wiser (and you don't look like a crazy germaphobe). It could work! Hey, somebody made millions off of snuggies...

Jill said...

I don't have any suggestions because I have no problem with shaking hands! Maybe you could start wearing a cute hat and white gloves to church - you'll look super chic!

Melissa from the Blue House said...

There was a guy at the church we used to go to named Mike who was mentally challenged. You HAD to shake his hand, which was always .... slimy. :P

We changed churches. It may or may not have been because of Mike...

Rachel said...

I think you're pretty crazy.

I plan on shaking both of your hands with both of mine on both Friday AND Saturday.

Oh - and I plan on telling Chris that you're really quirky, and that you consider it a horrible grievance if everyone you meet doesn't shake your hand. Both hands. Like one of those hand holding clasping shakes.

Yes. That is what I will do.

Anonymous said...

To bad you can't hide behind your mother the way my girls do...wait you could still do that. Don't forget to grin and giggle.

Love you

PS Do you think they will still do that when they are 10?

Walking on Sunshine... said...

I feel the same way. I also do not like when people kiss my cheek when greeting me. Just give me a hug. A hug is great. I love hugs!

I once saw this man do something with his fingers in church. You know, he placed one of them somewhere. I was in shock watching him. Then after church he was shaking hands with people! I was horrified!

I have not shaked his hand since and I told my hubby not to either.

Should I go on? No.

I head right to the sink and wash up real well when I get home from ANYWHERE, especially church.

Christen said...

You could always try to "knuckle bump" like Howie Mandel does :)