W and I did the picnic thing over the long Labor Day weekend.
On Saturday, we went to a potluck picnic at a winery. Everyone knows a potluck never really begins until the lesbians arrive.
We brought a banana cake with cream cheese icing.
The party had officially started.
I spent a good portion of my time talking with a guy who’s about my age. We’ve met before at other events thrown by these hosts.
Mostly, we talked about Guardians of the Galaxy, baseball (my team the Phillies and his team the Orioles), football (my team the Steelers and his team the Ravens) and his bathroom home improvement project. I’ll call him Star-Lord (not his real name) because we talked a lot about Guardians of the Galaxy. Besides, what’s not to like about Star-Lord? Anyone who dances to music from the 1970s — Cherry Bomb, anyone? — is ok in my book.
I have a difficult time connecting with men in general. There are only a handful of guys that I feel comfortable around. Star-Lord is one of those guys.
When Star-Lord was leaving the potluck, he confidently stuck out his hand.
We shook hands, and that’s how we said goodbye.
Maybe that’s why Star-Lord and I get along so well. We have a lot in common (even though he’s a Ravens fan and I’m a Steelers fan). He gets me. He’s not uncomfortable with how I present. He sees me as I am: A masculine-centered woman who would prefer to shake hands as a farewell gesture instead of hug.
I was not raised by huggers.
My brother and I fist bump.
Sometimes my mother hugs me, but it is more of a side hug as if we are Duggar daughters on a date.
W comes from a long line of huggers.
Her brothers get a kick out of rushing me and hugging me long and hard like human bears because they know I am not a hugger.
I appreciate that they have accepted me into their family. I participate in their hugging ritual because it means I am part of things. I am in the mix. I am one of the guys.
The worst is the half hug. You know, when someone leans in but doesn’t really commit. I get stuck on the receiving end of those a lot. Sometimes people don’t know what to do with me. The half hug is uncomfortable and awkward.
That’s why I appreciated Star-Lord’s extended hand.
There was no guessing, no stumbling, no fumbling.
Sometimes a firm, decisive handshake says it all.
* * *
How about you? Are you a hugger or a handshaker?