Monday, October 12, 2009

repulsively friendly

High fives are confounding phenomena.
Boiled down to its core components a successful high five comprises of two participants, two hands meeting squarely and bouncing off of each other, thereby creating a sound. Unsuccessful high fives normally result in a do-over and have something go awry the first go round. Maybe the trajectory is wrong and you smack the other person in the face. Maybe the other person lingers and tries to hold your hand. Maybe they start to improvise and expand upon a simplistic high five and add a leg grab or jazz hands. Maybe you are left in limbo, arm above your head. All are awkward.

High fives are appropriate in social situations, even anticipated, in some, particularly when the situation is sports related. But other times: salutations and exiting a conversation specifically, I am at a bit lost.
Initial greeting high fives I understand. "Hey, I am acknowledging your presence," it says.
But as an adieu, they leave me cold. Dates that end in a high five, I would interpret as a bad sign. "Hey I don't think your hand looks especially germy right now," it says. "Do I wan to hold your hand? Nope. I'd rather hit it away from my body. In fact, I need to keep at least one arms length away from you." *Smack* Hand deflected.

Not a good ending. But the perfection of the high five is also not lost on me.
How can a sane person call out another for this seemingly friendly act.
"Oh. No. You. Did. Not. just smile and say 'up high! Come on!"

Oh high fivers, you are wily folk. I am onto you. I simultaneously tip my hat and wag my finger at you. With both of my hands thus employed, I might leave you hanging.

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