Frank Mahony: Bathroom Hands
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How many times has this happened to you?
You use a public restroom. You wash your hands. You dry your hands.
And by pretty much, I mean how much drying can you do?
If you’re at home, it’s home base. You know the tactical situation, all available exits and the location of all useful materials for accomplishing your mission.
But when you’re at work, at a restaurant, at a neighbor’s house... you’re at the mercy of whatever you might find.
I've routinely had to deal with:
- Damp community towels (what else is on this thing?)
- A giant box dispensing an endless roll of some weird white cloth from the 1950s
- Puffy/fluffy disintegrating decorative paper hand towels
- Electric Hand dryers that take 14 hours to do minimal drying
- Generic non-absorbent sheets that resemble sandpaper
- Nothing at all
So, in most circumstances, you probably just alternately brush your hands up and down your sides and use your pants to dry your hands. At least you know how clean your clothes are. You think to yourself, “My hands will ‘air dry’ within a few minutes – this is fine.”
But then, inevitably, and usually within seconds, people descend on you like a SWAT team, dragging along a person that you absolutely MUST meet at this exact moment.
As the person extends a hand to shake, you’re partially mumbling some excuse about just coming from the bathroom and then you realize that story doesn’t sound good. Are your hands damp because you just washed them? – or because you just didn’t?
This is the awkward situation known as “Bathroom Hands”
You can try to quickly give your hands a few more passes up and down the sides of your pants – but you know they’re still going to be sufficiently damp. That moment of squishy hand contact is inevitable. You can only stall for so long.
If you try to explain the reason your hands are damp, you sound either like you are lying or like you are overcompensating (possibly unbalanced).
Bottom line - There is no easy way to get out of this.
So my newest recommendation is this: Don’t even try to dry your hands anymore. Come out of the bathroom/restroom with water dripping off your arms and hands like you're in the middle of fixing the plumbing in there and you just stepped out to take a break.
Then, go ahead and shake hands vigorously and proudly. Make it the other guy's problem to wonder about what just happened. And don't say a word about it.
You’ll feel better – trust me...
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