Miss(ed) Manners

December 1, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Meet and Greet

Filed under: Announcements,Funny,Humor,Life,Manners,Miss(ed) Manners,Ramblings,Random — missedmanners @ 1:21 pm

Goodness gracious folks, the holidays are upon us. Families are flying around the globe. Wayward sons are hitchhiking home. College co-eds are trying to figure out a way to explain their appearance on Girls Gone Wild. Cousins you didn’t even know you had are piling into their station wagon and coming to sleep on your couch.

Or maybe your going to your significant other’s family’s house. You’re looking to grab a hold of a holiday sweater and sit around and discuss Jesus with people you don’t know.

Either way it means you’re going to have to do a lot of greetings. I fucking hate greeting people. It’s one of the single most confusing social activities in the world today, barring baby showers, but that’s another story.

Do you go for the handshake? The handshake-hug? The hug alone? The cheek-kiss? The solitary hug? The handshake-hug-kiss? Who gets a kiss on the lips?

About two or three years back I ran into a client of ours after an event. I assumed she’d want to shake hands over a job well done, but she went in for the hug and kiss. I punched her right in the crotch with my extended hand. How is that a greeting? I think in some places it might be, but crotch-punching never really caught on in the States.

You know who needs to die? People who weren’t born in Europe but insist on doing the double cheek kiss. Die a painful death. I think people only do that so they can hear the homely, “Ooh okay!” that plops out of someone’s mouth like a gooey nugget of surprised manure when they realize they’re in the presence of someone so cosmopolitan that they deserve two kisses.

Air kissers also need a swift boot to the sternum. You do realize that an air kiss is like saying, “I’ll acknowledge your presence, but I’m not going to touch you because you have the scabies.”

Whatever happened to the awesome jive handshakes of the 70’s? There was a movie, Undercover Brother that had a lot to say about that. But I kind of glossed over it, which I think had a little to do with the point the movie was making.

The modern man to man handshake is no longer about greeting someone. It’s about acceptable amounts of pressure. You want to be firm, but not too firm. You want to make eye contact, but not for too long. You don’t want to go limp, or else you’re a nancy-boy. You don’t want to break someone’s hand or all of a sudden YOU’re the psycho. It’s ridiculous.

As it stands today, our options for greetings are varied, yes, but incredibly boring. What’s the point of even going through the motions of figuring out how to greet someone if you’re going to do the same thing to everyone else? How is that personal? How is that friendly?

All these reasons and more are why I’m initiating my new initiative for initiating social interactions, initialed: D.A.P.H.S. Or Dave’s Awesome Personalized Hand Shakes.

Over the next few months I will be making myself available to any friend, family member or acquaintance for a personalized greeting brainstorming session. During this time period you and I will sit down – or stand if we’re in a bar or a wading pool – and we’ll figure out a greeting that will replace our current melange of uncomfortable touching and lip pressing.

This greeting can be as simple or intricate as you wish. We can still make kiss kiss if that’s your thing. We can sign a portion of the alphabet to each other. We can have a minute long wrestling match while only saying the word, “HI!” really loudly at each other. Whatever we come up with will be how I will greet you for the rest of your miserable existence on this planet.

I’ve only just started but for a examples:

My older brother and I do the simple Roman style handshake. Because we both wish we were Romans, minus the rampant disease, death and slavery.

My little brother and I do a slightly more involved double hand slap and chest bump, which I fear is only making his chest more concave.

Several years ago, my friend Mike and I had an intricate series of hand gestures based around a hand sign for a vagina. It took about ten seconds to complete, roughly the average time of our separate sexual encounters.

The intricacy of said greeting is not important. If you want to stick with the tried and true cheek kiss, that’s fine. What’s important is putting the time in to make sure you’re really greeting someone. Sometimes using a stock kiss and go is more of a goodbye than a hello.

So if I see you out any time soon, pull me aside and let’s make a personalized greeting. I’ll be updating with the best greetings over the months to come.



  1. I can always tell a great paragraph is coming when it begins, “You know who needs to die?”

    Comment by nosugrefneb — December 1, 2006 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  2. Wish I was going to be in NYC any time soon. I’d love to experience a personalized greeting! 🙂

    Comment by tiffanytaylor — December 5, 2006 @ 9:56 am | Reply

  3. I swear I think you’re baiting me to come to NYC. You post things you know I can relate to and then leave teasers to boot.

    I’m gonna get you man and get you good!

    Comment by BluJewel — December 5, 2006 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  4. Oh I am in pain from laughing so hard…crotch punching never caught on in the states…that is just a fantastically hysterical sentence…

    Comment by jlhpisces — March 12, 2007 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  5. Man you have no idea how much it frustrates the crap out of me in Spain when I arrive to some apartment of restaurant table full of people I don’t know, and if I don’t do the rounds of double-cheek kissing and handshakes I’m considered a “Guiri” – typical uncultured foreigner.

    Lately a group of guys my girlfriend introduced me to are doing the cheek kissing thing with me. I’m cool with it if it’s their thing, but when a guy I already knew but never cheek kissed came out with us last week and the guy2guy cheek kissing thing started, once all the guys had greeted and it was the turn of me and thois guy, who both had cheek-kissed the rest of them… ah bollox! I fucking hate those moments.

    You’re bang on the nail by the way… about everything!

    Comment by Pablo Antonio — November 15, 2007 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  6. […] a bizarre bit of happenstance. The quote comes from a column I wrote a little over two years ago, it’s way in the back, teeny tiny and they put my name in […]

    Pingback by Time Is On My Side « Miss(ed) Manners — February 18, 2009 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  7. Excellent writing!!!!!! LOVED IT!!!!

    Comment by michele — June 23, 2010 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

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