Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jason Ringenberg 'Day At The Farm With Farmer Jason'

Have you ever wanted to tell a friend something and you didn’t want to hurt their feelings?

I’m dealing with that sort of situation right now.

Back in my younger days, I wouldn’t hesitate to say something. I peed into the wind and didn’t care about any kind of blow-back. It’s not that I intentionally wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings… It’s just that I didn’t feel like taking the time to be concerned about those feelings.

Now that I’ve gotten a bit older, I feel differently about those kinds of things. I don’t want to hurt any of my friends in the slightest. Perhaps it was the arrogance of youth, I don’t know.

Here’s the rub…

I avoided all the stupid “cool” handshakes growing up. There were types of handshakes that required a manual to figure out. If you were naturally coordinated, I wasn’t, it was a breeze to learn some handshake that bordered on sign language. I just thought they were ridiculous and wanted no part of them.

I didn’t even really care for “giving five”. But it seemed quick and painless. So I didn’t really fight that one much. Even though I accepted the “giving of five”, I didn’t really practice it all that often. I didn’t need the slapping of hand flesh to celebrate some event.

Then the “high five” came along and I didn’t care much for it. I didn’t ridicule others that did it… I just left people hanging as I said, “I’m sorry. I don’t high-five.”

It just seemed silly to me. And even as a group of my Washington Redskins calling themselves “The Smurfs” celebrated in the End Zone with arm swinging and a group high-five money shot, I couldn’t get behind it. I resisted.

The trend as of late is the fist bump. And there seems to be more and more “cute” little movements evolving from that one. One especially annoying is the “explosion” of the fists after being bumped. I think they refer to it as the “fist grenade”.

After meeting some friends at a birthday get together, Jamie informed me that I left our new friend’s fist hanging several times. Since I don’t participate in those types of things, I don’t know the tell-tale signs of an oncoming fist bump. I had no idea that the guy was signaling for a bumping of fists.

I made an effort to bump fists the next time we met these friends for dinner. I kept an eye out for extended arms over the plates in case he was initiating a fist bump. I managed to catch a couple of them and Jamie seemed proud that I didn’t leave him hanging. Once we were in the car, I made it known that I didn’t like doing it. It made me feel dirty and untrue to my nature.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I met this friend in downtown Winston-Salem for a few drinks and a bite to eat. We bumped fists a few times and I still couldn’t get mentally behind such an action.

Something has to be said. I can’t go on living in a fist bumping lie. I’m not a fist bumper. I never wanted to be one. It seems silly to me. I should be totally honest with this relatively new friend of mine, right?

I’ll clink glasses. I’ll wink. I’ll give a thumb up. I’ll flash an “okay” sign. I’ll get on a mountaintop and send a smoke signal… I just can’t fist bump anymore.

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