Thursday, June 28, 2012

National Handshake Day

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By Diane Forrest

Every Sunday Morning at my church we have a part at the first of the service where we welcome each other and guests.   During this time we shake hands or even hug people.  I can tell alot about a person by their handshake.  I like a nice, firm handshake with a dry warm hand.   Some of the people around me have cold, clammy weak handshakes, the kind where after you shake their hands you want to say Yuck!

I used to play this joke with my son using different handshakes.  There would be the guy from the dairy farm, and I would shake his hand squeezing it every second like I was milking a cow,  Then I would be the guy from the hardware store, who sold saws (I would move his hand back and forth like I was sawing something) then hammers (I would raise it up and down, as if I was hammering), then clamps (I would squeeze down hard on his hand).  Then I would be the guy from the mortuary and barely touch his hand, that would feel the creepiest.

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Handshakes have been practiced since at least the 2nd century B.C.? Many researchers believe that the handshake originated in the Western world. It was a gesture peace, demonstrated by the fact that the hands held no weapons.  Today, a handshake is offered upon meeting or parting. It is an expression of goodwill, gratitude and congratulations, or even a secret way to identify a group or club.

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My husband was a member of some organization that had such a secret handshake.  He would grab the hand but then place his thumb on a certain knuckle.  Since I thought that was weird and he was no longer in that organization...I told him he didn’t need to do that type of handshake any longer.

There are other types of handshakes, those that are too hard and forceful, and those that never want to let go.  There are handshakes after a sporting event to show good sportsmanship, and those that signify some sort of deal or contract.

There are some who are germ phobic, and prefer to not shake someone's hand, Howie Mandell comes to mind.  He practices the "fist bump".  A form of greeting that doesn't allow the grasping of the whole hand, but just the back of the fingers.  This move was commented on when the first lady performed this action with the president after winning the nomination from the Democratic Party.

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Today is National Handshake Day.  You don't have to be a general signing a peace treaty, or a major league ball player or even a member of a secret club to give someone a nice firm handshake and wish them a good day.

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