Real Property Law

Is This The End Of The Handshake?

By John (J.R.) Richards

image of JR Richards
JR Richards

I literally cannot remember the last time I shook hands.  There have been no bro hugs, high fives, fist bumps and hug hugs with anyone outside of my immediate family for at least a month now.  I do remember running into a work neighbor on March 16, 2020.  He’s the guy that so competently manages the Jersey Mike’s a couple doors down.  We elbow bumped.

My twelve-year-old son and I still high five and fist bump all of the time.  It’s almost just in passing and certainly the bump and high five would normally be unwarranted.  It’s like we crave the contact or are both trying to reassure each other, “Hey man, we got this.”

For the rest of my family, we are certainly hugging a lot more.  Again, I wonder about this lack of human contact.

I seem to recall Abraham Lincoln lived several miles from the closest neighbor while growing up.  Makes me wondered if his family was particularly huggy.

But can you imagine if the handshake is done? What will they call handshake deals? Do you think kids will grow up and remark about the silly old custom of shaking hands?

Lebron James will likely have to reinvent individual non-handshake greetings for each of his teammates. Not even Mork of Ork’s nanu nanu handshake will work.

So what will we do? Personally, I am in favor of bowing. Bowing is very polite, like a less extreme salute. We don’t have to get on our knees and put our forehead down on the ground to bow. A polite and single Japanese bow would be great. I’m thinking about a 10 degree tilt. It’s respectful and sanitary.

People used to bow. Why did we quit doing that?

Otherwise what? Elbow bumps? Foot bumps? If I elbow bump someone, does that mean I need to stop sneezing into my elbow?

I am sorry to say, but this thing may last for a while and recur for a while. So I think the solution will be to stop touching each other entirely. We should all enact the Bill Cosby, “Stop Touching Me!” protocol.

But we may be on the verge of losing a significant part of our culture. It makes me pretty sad. I won’t be able to teach my son a firm handshake. Job interviews will have zero physical contact. You will likely be able to go a whole day and not touch a soul.

We will all have to come up with our own solutions. May we all stay happy and healthy.

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