My own Father was not a hugger (of other men). Perhaps it was his generation (b. 1916), or time in history. But for him, a firm handshake said it all. A man’s word is his bond was often something implied in the handshake. Whether the word meant agreement to an implied contract (Yes, I will clean up my room), welcome (Welcome home, son, good to see you!), or even LOVE. (no verbal statement made)
As a result, when it comes to interaction with other men, I welcome a firm, dry handshake – as described numerous times in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Not simply gripping the others hand with the tips of the fingers and thumb, but full engagement – thumb crotch to thumb crotch (or whatever they’re called). Not the (again, intoning Mr. Fleming) slimy, wet, limp grip of the Middle East, which makes a man want to wipe his hand on his coat tails, either.
It has come to pass that scientists have determined over-use of soaps, antibacterial hand cleaners and sanitizers have weakened our respective immune systems. In the effort to ‘keep clean’, we have invited more resistant microbes into the mix.
And now, scientists (I wonder if they are the same ones?) have determined the following:
I remember when I first saw the ‘fist bump’, as part of a ‘cool’ ritual of Black youth. Instead of shaking hands (as the White Devil slavemasters had done) they ‘checked in’, sometimes additionally bumping forearms and even hips!
I thought it was well, stupid then, and my opinion hasn’t changed.
Then, a popular comedian and game-show host began fist-bumping. He said it was because of his aversion to spreading or receiving bacteria. (I wonder if he kisses or has other personal contact with women?)
NOW, such behavior is reaching the mainstream (as shown in the news item, above).
I can see not wanting to shake hands with someone who is openly infectiously diseased. That’s just prudent. But fist-bumping like a hipster is just silly.
I know, I’ll probably die younger because of it.
But, my word remains my bond, and I’ve no other way I can comfortably express that.
And, I like hugging and kissing women, too! 🙂
Must be generational.