Brad Feld

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There Is No Need To Shake My Hand

Jan 31, 2007

At dinner the other night with an old friend, we somehow ended up discussing TV shows.  I don’t watch much TV beyond my obsession with 24 and my relatively new infatuation with Gray’s Anatomy.  He was explaining several shows to me that he thought I would enjoy.  In response to his suggestion that I would enjoy Monk, I responded that the one time I watched it I was so unbelievably anxious that I had to leave the room, wash my hands, and count to nine three times.

I’ve been on the road all week.  When I left on Monday morning, I felt great – I’d had a nice restful weekend and was ready to go.  On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and a headache.  As the day went on and I had more meetings, I noticed that every interaction started with a handshake.  I started trying to dodge these – both because I didn’t want to spread whatever I was coming down with and I didn’t want to pick up more.

By Tuesday night my cold was in full bloom.  Thankfully a good night sleep wiped it out and I woke up Wednesday with that horse sexy voice that I wish I could figure out how to have permanently, but I felt fine. 

I’ve always disliked “the handshake.”  I already wash my hands a dozen times a day – every incremental handshake increases the number of hand washes.  It’s a weird custom that I’ve never really understood and – with 25% of the people I’ve been meeting with sniffling, coughing, or working hard to keep their noses from dripping – seems absurd this time of year.

So – the next time you see me, just raise your hand in a greeting.  There’s no need to shake my hand.  And – in case you are wondering, I wash my hands both before and after I go to the bathroom.