The Awful Handshake That We’ve All Been Through…and some facts about memory.

Watching this video gave me one of those nostalgic “Hey-That-Happened-To-Me” feels, because I went through the exact same experience. Ahem.

It was an unnamed date at an unnamed time in an unnamed year, when I was walking to one of my classes. I saw my friend, and it was obvious that he saw me, for he did the casual nod in my general direction. He was wearing a jacket that was way too big for his hands. The sleeves wrapped over his fingers so I couldn’t tell what he was trying to do, but he held his hand out. I assumed it was going to be a handshake, but little did I know he had held out his fist, and I wasn’t prepared to be fisted. Our hands collided, and I don’t know if he noticed, but I haven’t asked him since. I waddled off like a penguin that had just been slapped in the face.

Oh dear.

Onto the blog post that’s loosely based on that random story…

I guess the logical place to start would be with life. Since, almost everything connects to life. Emperor Penguins typically live for 20 ye— oh wait. Handshakes. Right.

…Handshakes, like life, can be screwed up… No.



Why was this the first memory that popped up in my head? This was a personal event memory. In science-y words, multiple parts of my brain are working at once to recall the memory, from the amygdala to the parahippocampal cortex. There’s also a term known as a “reminiscence bump” for the tendency to remember events from my adolescence as I get older and older. I could go on and on, using my Googling prowess to summarize wikipedia articles, but I’ll stop there…and move on to the next most viewed site.

According to this article, there are 8 characteristics of memories that make them significant and stick with us. There is: sensory, intensity, outstanding, emotional, survival, personal importance, repetition, and first/last experiences. Did this memory get my senses in a jumble? Eh…Not really, besides the fact that the sensation of cupping my friend’s hand was one of the most awkward moments of my life. It was as if I were a snake trying to swallow a bunny—

Intensity. INTENSITY. Does this resonate as something immensely intense to me? Immensely tense. Hehe. Why does this stand out? It’ll be one of the regrets of my lifetime. Never talking to that dude again. This goes along with “outstanding” since it was an intense three seconds of my life. To think that three seconds would be so significant…

Emotionally, we remember our memories in higher detail if they’re connected to either a positive or negative feeling. Was it positive? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. 

Survival. Yeah, I’m probably going to kill myself if that every happens again. -.-

Personal importance? I’ve learned 634 different types of handshakes in preparation for the next time I encounter a situation such as that. I’ve also studied the psychological tells of a person, and I’m able to predict their handshake with an 84% success rate, with a blindfold on, while balancing on an elephant, on a ball, on a trampoline. You know. Just in case.

Repetition? This repetition apparently refers to how often you try to remember this event. Every time I try to give a handshake, the trauma emerges from my soul, and pierces my brain in a mix of chemicals that induce fear all over my body.

Lastly, was this a first or last experience? Let’s hope it’s the first and the last time…of the turkey.


-You know who this is.




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