"One kiss, double kiss, simple handshake, hug, wild wester, mmmmm?".
These are the type of words which run through my head before many a social occasion and can lead to some confusing and embarrassing situations. When growing up I was always told a firm handshake was integral to ones survival and anybody with a "handshake like a wet lettuce" should be avoided at all costs.
As I progressed through life as a young boy and into my school days I've stuck to this moniker and this has proved successful with many a man reciprocating with an equally vice like grip and even a pat on the shoulder, which I've come to take as a "well done, we're both firm hand shakers and therefore will do much better in life than those limp wristers". I thought this is easy and what can go wrong, then I started to greet women, first with a hand shake, then with a peck on the cheek, which went into a hug, then a double kiss (is this meant to be on each cheek or are you just meant to kiss the air??) and all of a sudden my male friends started coming at me with a raised arm waved in the air in some kind of surrender like manner which has commonly become known as the "wild wester". If that wasn't enough the "fist pump" has started to become a common sight, which I suppose is simple, and has the added benefit of not having to worry whether someone has just been the toilet and not washed their hands. But it still feels wrong.
My proposed solution is to ban all types of greeting except the hand shake. This saves time (a double kiss and a hug can take a good 6-7 seconds if done properly), disgruntled looking husbands (many a man has looked at me with piercing eyes after I've just grabbed his wife and given her a peck and a good squeeze), embarrassing situations and red faces (you've gone in for the kiss and your teeth have accidentally clashed rendering both parties to apologise profusely and fake laugh it off).
A simple solution to a problem we have created through the years for the want to change something which quite frankly never broken in the first place. Don't fear, if you still want to give your mum a hug and a kiss then go ahead, but that's it, everyone else a quick hand to hand then let the conversation begin!