We’re almost two years into the #metoo movement and it seems like lots of people are still confused about what that means. Former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores wrote in The Cut about the time when Former Vice President Joe Biden grabbed her shoulders from behind, sniffed her hair, and kissed the back of her head.
And because these things rarely come in singles, a few days later Amy Lappos, a Connecticuit woman, described an interaction with Biden to the Hartford Courant. She says he pulled her towards him by the neck and rubbed his nose against her nose. Like, uh, some kind of David the Gnome gesture?
It seems like, for some, the concept of not putting your hands all over a perfect stranger is a totally shocking concept. This realization, for guys like Biden, seems to have been a total surprise. Much like when a stranger suddenly grabs you and kisses the back of your head.
So, here's an idea: remember shaking hands? Let's bring that back. It's clear, respectful, but still intimate enough you can get the flu by doing it. So, it should satisfy everyone from people who don't wish to be touched to man who feel an overwhelming need to rub their bodies on people like a bear scratching their back on a tree.
A true, good old fashioned meat and potatoes handshake is simple, effective, gender neutral, and respectful of boundaries. But it can also be as intimate as you need if you just try thinking of it more as a hand hug. What’s more adorable than the idea of your tiny hand giving another tiny hand a little hug, regardless of how much fecal matter is definitely on that hand.
But let’s say you’re a person who wants to stand out. You have a big meeting, and you want to touch people, but in a way that communicates you are powerful and professional. So, do immediately perform a suplex on them to demonstrate your raw might? No. A firm handshake with full eye contact guarantees far fewer lawsuits.
Now, let’s say you’re meeting a celebrity. And you of course want to touch them, because you want to make sure they’re real, and you also have a deep need to know what they smell like. So, do you put your hand on their butt? Try to remove their clothes? Kiss them with tongues? You fool! What did you just learn? A handshake is again, plenty of contact. A friendly celebrity might even bring it in for a hug, at which point you will be able to tell what they smell like. If not, you can always smell your hand.
Okay, here’s a toughie. Say you’re a politician, and all you do is handshakes. It’s been nothing but handshakes all day and all night. So you decide to start changing it up, add a little something extra so everyone remembers you. Why not a cuddle? A quick neck caress? Putting your whole face in someone’s hair and kissing it?
Again, no! A handshake is plenty. After that, the first rule you learn in kindergarten kicks in: keep your hands to yourself. But if you’re this bored of handshakes, why not learn some new kinds of handshakes? Like the fist bump!
Or invent whole new variation on two hands clasping and shaking up and down that no one even wants or needs. Like this, which we like to call the "criss-cross applesauce".
So the next time you’re tempted to greet someone by kissing them square on the lips, bear-hugging them, shouting “DAMN DANIEL”, or punching them hard enough in the arm that it hurts but not so hard they feel okay saying something, just remember this key phrase: A handshake is enough!