A funny little story about Chris…
I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but a while ago, maybe two years or so, I was having a conversation with a friend when Chris was present. We were talking about shaking hands.
Chris wasn’t even really in on the chat, he just happened to be in the room. The discussion was about our pet peeve of a soggy handshake. I can’t stand a floppy-wristed, weak handshake. That wet noodle, lifeless wiggle is horrible. I want a little firmness when extending my hand and taking one in mine. My friend was in agreement. We were laughing at our displeasure of handshakes like that.
We went on and on for a few minutes as to why people don’t pay attention to the importance of shaking someone’s hand with purpose and attention. Little did we know Chris was soaking all this in. Just ask anyone who shook his hand in recent years… We created a monster!!
I guess Chris took to heart what we said because his handshake could bring a man to his knees. My brother Paul has mentioned it out loud several times as have others. Some dreaded the initial greeting with him due to his vice grip! (It made me smile).
Chris could turn it on and off, he was much gentler with women, children or the elderly of course but he got the biggest kick out of squeezing with all his might with certain men. He did it on purpose all the while a smile on his face, knowing full well he was cutting off the circulation in the poor persons hand…
My friend took the brunt of it… He came to dread extending his hand to Chris, it took ages until the blood came back and he could use his fingers once again. Chris enjoyed making my friend’s knuckles pop! Oh that Chris!!
I’m glad he was listening! It came to be a very important part of who he was. Everyone knew his grip. He shook hands with meaning. He would look the person in the eye with a smile and a genuine hello. Many times his handshake was paired with the half hug pat that men do. He enjoyed people and loved company.
I never endured his man-paw grip. He was gentle with me thankfully. It didn’t stop me from having a private giggle when I watched him greet other people though. It cracked me up to watch their expression as the color faded from their face. Very comical.
I remember soon after Chris started dating, I had a brief talk with him about being gentle with Bailey. I reminded him he was so solid and powerful he may not realize the strength of his hugs. I told him girls are very tender and to be careful with her. I thought he might be too strong for her small frame and that he would need to be aware of it and tone it down. (He didn’t need that conversation, he adored her!) But I spoke from experience; hey I lived with him…
There were many times we’d be in the same room at the same time and he’d bump into me and have no idea we even touched. Meanwhile I’d have been thrown off balance only to steady myself again! When I brought it to his attention he’d shrug and admit he didn’t realize. He didn’t pay attention to things like that.:-) It was part of his cuteness. My “lumpy”. Such a knucklehead and so lovable.
OK, but there was this one time I can remember that might not have been so funny… and it was certainly not appreciated by the recipient – but the memory is priceless and Chris would laugh out loud when he repeated the story…
Confirmation at St. Mary’s when Chris was a junior – First night of prep classes, he extended his hand with gusto and laid into the poor priest who immediately yelped and yelled at him. Oops. You can bet the priest never forgot him and never again shook his hand. Hey, he made an impression at least! Bet the priest couldn’t wait to confirm him and get his out of there.Do me a favor (should we meet), don’t give me a limp handshake. Don’t crush me either though! Just give me a firm wrist so your hand isn’t flopping around! Matter of fact; don’t give anyone a weak handshake. Greetings are meaningful; they’re part of the first impression. Handshakes are a primary form of hello. Make them count without physically hurting the recipient! Smile at Christopher’s humorous side but let’s leave the hand crushing to him.
Thank you for reading.