Human Notes: May 13, 2010
Situations arise where the boundaries for physical, inter-personal interaction remain nebulous. Perhaps one meets a person with which one would like to have relations. Perhaps the sun is setting on this first encounter. Perhaps one was charming enough to warrant a second one.
The question arises: what is the proper vehicle for your farewell? A hug? Perhaps, if it is Friend Remembrance Week, and only if you exchange friendship bracelets afterwards. A handshake? Why not just bellow your sexlessness from the rooftops, you platonic automaton. A kiss on the cheek? Oh you optimistic fool. Do so, and do so meaningfully. Try to signal your mastery of French cuisine, tango dancing, and carpentry. A peck and out.
However, whatever method you choose, never ever ever– put it this way: Few farewells are as awkward as the gently squeezed hand. It combines with celibacy of a handshake with the indecision of a poorly performed parallel parking job. It has a squishy rhythm to it: pause, pause, hands clasp, pause, uh um, affectionate squeeze, um, the odd glance, er um pause, release. You can try to bring in the second hand, for a full court embrace, but no matter. You have telegraphed your poor candidacy, and
no degree of compensatory swagger will intercept that one in the post.