Silver Lining: are handshakes a thing of the past?

September 3, 2015

are handshakes a thing of the past?

Last week we went to a mixer for Sam's school, where we spent a good portion of time (in between bites of the lightest, flakiest, most delicious spinach puffs I've ever eaten) reassuring people that yes, we got married when we were 21 and 22 years old. Yes, it was on purpose. No, we were not drunk. No, I was not knocked up. No, it was not a shotgun wedding. Everyone was respectful, but utterly mystified as to why we would commit the heinous crime of marrying young. Ha! We're not in Utah anymore!

The other thing that happened at that mixer was I started paying attention to how people introduced themselves and their plus ones. I realized I am totally out of the loop when it comes to etiquette for the twenty-first century. I'm especially mystified about the handshake.

Are handshakes dead?? Are they becoming a thing of the past? I thought shaking hands was part of the standard gig when introducing yourself to others for the first time. But at the mixer, there were not a lot of handshakes going on.

Well, let me clarify. When students were talking to professors, there was almost always a handshake involved. So apparently we still shake hands when it's somebody in a position of authority. Or maybe everyone's just desperate to get on the good side of their professors.

Lots of international students we met extended their hands for a handshake too. So maybe the handshake is still alive and thriving in other parts of the world. Maybe it's still standard introduction fare everywhere but the US.

Almost every single American student we met introduced themself without a handshake. Still friendly, still smiling, still asking follow up questions, ("Wow, you have a wife already, how old were you when you got married?"), but no handshake. One or two just did one of those jerk-your-head-back nods when I introduced myself. I think I'll cry if the head jerk permanently replaces the handshake.

So maybe handshakes are becoming old-fashioned? As Americans, and the world in general, become more informal and casual, will handshakes fade away? Will they only be used for formal job interviews and the occasional pair of politicians smiling for the camera?

I, for one, hope handshakes stay. I like that they're a tradition we've been doing for hundreds of years. Handshakes are the only acceptable form of physical touch in business settings, and I like that it's a physical action that signifies trust and agreement. And most of all, I like knowing exactly what to do in an introduction, especially if it's in a business-like setting like this was.

In the end, I probably spent too much time focusing on whether or not people were shaking hands. But it really made me wonder about modern-day etiquette. Somebody tell me about handshakes. Are they a thing still? Or is it weird and old-fashioned when people want to shake your hand and they're not a future potential employer? I am the only one who thinks handshakes should stay?

I'm getting majorly off track from what this blog post was supposed to be about, but I'm in a serious conundrum about those darn handshakes. Okay, officially switching gears back to what I was originally excited to share with you today, which is thank you cards. The handshake may be going out of style, but nobody can tell me that thank you cards will ever fade away!

 I LOVE getting thank you cards, and just cards in general, in the mail. To me, it means that this person went out of their way to say thank you and show their appreciation for something I did. Sometimes, I'll just send an email thank you or a text thank you, but I really love sending and receiving hand-written cards.

Recently, I've added cards from The Elusive Narwhal to my card collection. I love that I can use these for more than just thank you cards. Since they don't say thank you, and they're blank inside, they work for almost any occasion. Aren't these designs adorable?
^^Last week, I sent a letter to my cute little sister with this card. I even added a fancy cursive hello on the front.

 ^^ I set aside one of these cute cards to add to a package for my friend who's about to become a mom.
^^ I wish I had ordered about 5,000 more of these. I love them so much I keep using them for decorations. One is going to hang in our office workspace (once we finally get it set up), and I want to hang one in the nursery too.

Check out the darling Matisse and her shop, The Elusive Narwhal, for more gorgeous hand-crafted paper goods. I'm loving these monogrammed floral notepads, and these thank you wreath cards.

And, just because I'm feeling happy today, how about winning a set of each of the cards pictured in this blog post? That includes a set of three in these four prints: 1, 2, 3, 4. Enter in the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait for the giveaway to end? Use the code SILVERLINING for 15% off your order! Code expires September 12!

Thank you to The Elusive Narwhal for generously sponsoring this post, and thank you to YOU, my awesome readers, for supporting the brands that support my family! Wish I could send each and every one of you a hand-written thank you card!

But I'm serious about the handshake dilemma.
Are handshakes on their way out?
What's proper handshake etiquette these days?
Help a girl out!

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