It's Happened To All Of Us

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There's no doubt that it's happened to everyone on more than one occasion. The moment you go to hug someone and they've already extended for a handshake. Or an awkward kiss on the cheek catches the corner of their lips because a simple greeting turned into a game of cheek chicken!

This fumbles usually happen in situations where neither party knows the exact protocol. Family and work events outside the office are the home court for these all too familiar follies. That aunt that always smells like moth balls and tic-tacs is a constant culprit. Or Helen from accounting who becomes the office hugger after a few sips of pinot griggro.

Welcome to my world! I can't tell you how often it happens, but it's near 85% when meeting new people for the first time. Usually someone provides an introduction and their hand comes in for a customary shake. Then it's that, "well, what do I do now feeling" which typically turns into a light hand tap on the hand.

I remember years ago, doing the same thing as I met others with ALS. You feel like a bonehead! Like you just asked a guy with one leg if he wants to go kick the soccer ball! Then you find yourself tapping another adults hand. It's not exactly Helen from accounting, but it's different.

I have close friends who always go in for a hug, or a kiss, and maybe rubbing of the hands. I'm all for it. I'm not saying that I want stranger to get all up in my business, but don't be afraid, you're not going to break me.

I have a close friend who is a Marine and I remember telling her that her husband gives a great man hug. Unfortunately, it's probably because he's had far too much experience embracing friends in wheelchairs. Regardless, I don't even know the guy that well, but he commits and goes in for it.

That's the key. If you're going to shake, tap, fist bump, man hug, ass out hug, just own it!