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Erin K Moffat

Handshake Partake!

Career training websites ask “What does your handshake say about you?” The truth is, frankly, I don’t give a damn. I loathe handshakes! I’m like Howie friggin’ Mandel. My handshake says, “I hate handshakes, how about a fist pump, or Awkward Stranger Hug?” (Okay, great, smiley face!)

I actually googled handshakes to figure out the “why,” behind this ritual, and in a nutshell it is thought that the handshake is a sign of peace and showing the other party that you have no weapons.

I assure you that I have no weapons! I once had a woman shake my hand about a total of 7 times. Just when I escaped to wash my hands she shook my hand again. Her handshake was a limp, dead, hold only half the hand shake. There was absolutely positively no need for her to half shake my hand numerous times. Maybe she was hypnotized and every time I said a certain word she felt the urge to shake my hand again. I don’t know!

I don’t want to be rude and say “I don’t like handshakes!” Actually on several occasions I’ve realized that I was the one who initiated the handshaking. I’ve just offered my hand up as a courtesy to strangers. I very confidently put my hand into their hand all while dreading it, and wishing that there was another way. As I often find myself rating their handshakes on a scale of 1-10. The person who holds on too long gets points off every time.

I have been rated negatively by myself on several occasions including the incident that my family refers to as “Having a Sigourney Weaver moment.” This is when you embarrass yourself royally when meeting someone. I had the pleasure of meeting Sigourney Weaver and not only made a total mockery of myself, but I do believe that I also frightened her. Way to go Erin! As Sigourney Weaver put her hand out I went in for the shake. She was a victim of the shake too long. I continued to shake her hand as if our hands were super glued together, and proceeded to tell her that out of all of the movies that she’s ever done, that I loved her in Heartbreakers with Jennifer Love Hewitt (I really do love that movie). As I shook her hand like a psychopath I told her that I hoped that I was as good of an actress as her one day, sounding drunk and stumbling over my words of course. Is there any other way to meet a celebrity? Her face went from total elation to definite fear as she then found the closest exit strategy to get away from me. Sorry Sigourney! I should come with a warning alarm that says “Caution Celebrities Beware: if you see this woman she will turn into a creepy over excitable 14 year old girl, with braces, and act as if she’s at a New Kids on the Block concert circa 1993. Do not approach!” It was that bad!

Perhaps, I have Post Traumatic Handshake Syndrome. The Sigourney Weaver event contributed to my handshake phobia. So have other events such as a man deciding that it would be a smooth move to molest my hand with his hand. Um, sir your rating is on the negative side of the scale – Please Release Immediately. Thank you very much!

On the other side of my scale I had a Non Handshake Partake. I happened to meet my favorite actress of all time and there was a hug no shake. She was like this over-enthusiastic greeter! I will admit that I was super overwhelmed and couldn’t process what was happening at the time. I seriously don’t really remember, and I’m still 75% sure that I was dreaming, but it was awesome. If it really happened I hope that I refrained from “Having a Sigourney Weaver moment.”

I hate handshaking for several reasons but put my countdown in reverse order for dramatic effect.

THE AUTHOR
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Erin Moffat is an actor, writer, and make-up artist presently residing on the east coast. She considers her coolest accomplishment to date as writing, directing, and starring in an original musical Bucket List of Unbroken Dreams: Erin K. Moffat the Musical. The musical comedy follows her on a journey into her past as she attempts to “unbreak,” her ...

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