Sometimes in life we find ourselves overtaken by forces much stronger than we are. Sometimes these forces are so strong they cause destruction of property, self, relationships, etc. There are groups for some of these forces: AA, OA, NA, etc. Sadly, there is no group for the force that has, many times in the past, been the cause of complete and utter humiliation or, if you will, my downfall.
That’s right, sir. I am powerless against the Urge to High Five.
Seriously. Can’t help it. Can’t control it. Can’t stop it. And all to the detriment of my own dignity and, unfortunately, at the expense of others.
My Thing is this: who doesn’t *love* a well-timed high five? It can totally change a crummy day into something awesome. A well-timed high five can validate you as a person, make you feel whole and accepted. A well-timed high five can change your entire outlook on a conversation, your life, the world.
Sadly, a poorly-timed high five can cause catastrophic accidents, beyond the spraining of dignity. Like, we’re talking actual, physical injury.
(I still maintain this incident WASN’T MY FAULT.)
About 6 years ago, I was walking to class at A&M. It was a gorgeous day, in the small pocket of Texas springtime that is so lovely–warm and breezy and not even a little humid. My mood matched the weather–my smile was cheery and my steps were purposeful and sort of skippy. I was walking along, probably singing some P&W song in my head (because this was during *that* time). I had not yet made the decision to drop out of college, so I was clueless and optimistic about my future as an A&M student. I was an Aggie; I was happy to bleed maroon and say ‘howdy!’ to everyone I met.
Enter Guy on Bike.
I didn’t notice him, at first. I was so focused on humming in my head, and probably thinking about something I had going on after class; I couldn’t be bothered to actually watch where I was going and notice people around me. Which means everything surrounding this incident is a blur.
Guy on Bike.
Please everyone notice the Guy on Bike.
I didn’t notice Guy on Bike.
But I did notice the blur that rode past me. I *did* notice the hand that went up, right near me. And I *definitely*, without thought or decision, but instinctively and immediately registered the Hand and, in turn, high-fived the Hand.
The Hand that wasn’t proffered for a high-five.
The Hand that was actually just making a right hand turn signal.
You guys. YOU GUYS. Guy on Bike? Fell off bike. My high-five caught him by such surprise that he couldn’t maintain the integrity of his bike-riding balance and, thusly, bit it. Hardcore.
The minute my hand made contact with The Hand of Guy on Bike, I registered what I’d done, what had just happened. But it was too late. As he’s crashing to the concrete, I’m slowly turning around, screaming in my head, “Nooooooooo!” I actually reached out my hand to try to stop him from falling, the same hand that had just turned Guy on Bike into Guy on Ground.
So there we are. Guy on Ground (formerly known as Guy on Bike) and Girl with Wayward High-Fiving Hand. We stared at each other. In my head, I knew I had to say something. And my words would either A) Make the situation better or B) Make it much, much worse.
Do you even need to ask?
(Like, have you read anything else I’ve written ever?)
Girl with Wayward High-Fiving Hand looked at Guy on Ground and said (with the hopes of making everything better), “Oh. Were you not trying to high-five me?”
Guy on Ground said something I won’t repeat. You guys are too precious for Guy on Ground’s words. Suffice to say, they were…pointed. Pointed words. Pointed words of anger.
Some people just don’t appreciate a high-five.
Which brings me to the topic of the second time I had my heart broken. I was driving from Dallas to Seattle, excited about this new season of my life. My sister came along for the ride. ROAD TRIP (SLAP)!!
It was a lovely trip. Until day two. When Ceci actually had the audacity to suggest we impose a moratorium on all high-fives for the rest of the trip. Because apparently someone thought someone else was overusing the high five.
Broken. My heart = Broken.
And you know, I’m realizing as I write this that it’s quite possible one boy I dated for a little bit stopped seeing me because of my penchant for expressing joy in the form of exuberant high fives.
I don’t even care though. Because high fives? Are awesome. And I need to be with someone who, if we ever got married, would be okay with the words, “You may now high five the bride.”