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.

2 Comments

  • Mung Says:

    great entry, crab. it brought me back to a few (many) regretful, self-inflicted facepalm farewells, that i’d sooner like to forget. but it’s an indelible regret and rightfully so. for we are learning creatures and eventually we stop making the same mistakes.

    so don’t be so hard on yourself. it’s possible to recover and you will. you’ll get another at bat. and you’ll swing for the fucking rafters.

  • Mung Says:

    oh when i say “you”, i mean, hypothetical nameless you of the ether.

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