Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

#49 Handshakes

January 9, 2012

It has been theorized that Men are descended from apelike creatures, and that through a process called evolution Men emerged as a distinct species.  Darwin postulated that the most badass members of any species would survive, thereby passing on their genes.  He called this idea survival of the fittest.  It was ground breaking when he came out with it, circa 1963. While natural selection fails to explain a majority of Manly traits–such as the desire to drink alcohol, an innate understanding of internal combustion engines, an inability to cry outside of situations dealing with football, or a need for a loyal dog–we accept the theory because the premise (the Men who most ably spread their seed win in the end) makes Manly sense.  It also explains the source of a time-honored Mantivity: handshakes.

Handshakes are remnants of a time when Men could not communicate verbally, and thus were forced to use hand signals to say every day things like “I’m hungry!” (stomach rub) “I’m full!” (stomach pat) and “I’m going to kill you!” (throat slice).  A hand shake was a way for one man to say to another man “Hello, I am your friend, or at least I am not your enemy.  I have not come to steal your mate or your food.” In today’s world, handshakes are totally unnecessary, as we could communicate those things in any number of ways that do not require physical contact.

Yet handshakes have developed to be more than just a greeting.  A handshake communicates a lot about a Man.  For example, a Man who grasps your hand too tightly probably lacks self confidence.  However, a Man whose grip is weak and buttery probably lacks resolve.  A man who shakes your hands while holding your elbow is probably a slimy politician.

In recent years, new forms of hand shakes have emerged.  There is the “high five,” reserved for frat boys, computer programmers, and sports fans.  There is the Manshake, which we obviously favor.  Perhaps most versatile of all is the fist bump, which can be used in any number of settings including when seeing an old friend, after getting married, or while in the process of killing Osama Bin Laden.

Handshakes are a simple yet integral part of being a Man.  While they do not garner a high Mantivity score (1.7), it is important for every Man to have developed a good technique of the basic handshake, and to have a firm understanding of the other varieties of handshakes, as the handshake is a basic element of life as a Man.