Subourbon Mom

National High Five Day–Seriously?

Apparently, today is National High Five Day.

Seriously.  Somebody made that a day of national recognition.


We’ll, if we’re going to give a celebratory gesture it’s own special day, I think we should also have “slap your team mate on the butt” day; or “dance in the end zone day;” or, for those who like to celebrate the stupidity of others, how about we make note of some of our most-used hand gestures?

Naturally, I Googled it. One website claimed the high five originated in the University of Virginia. Somehow I doubt that—I can’t really picture a bunch of Hoos in their khaki pants and blue shirts spontaneously jumping up and slapping hands—those hands would have been busy holding a bourbon bottle and a cup.

As a preschool teacher, I’m all about the high five, even though when I do them, the kids’ hands are usually sticky and covered in snot. What a simple, concrete way to show a child they did a great job on something!

I don’t, however, have any use for the high fives that sports teams make the players do with the opposing team in a conga-line at the end of their games.  Several times, my kids have complained that the other teams have spit on their hands before doing the walk–classy.  If leagues are going to make the players have contact after the game to show good sportsmanship, I think the players should have to shake hands and say “Nice Game” with the opponent they were lined up against—one at a time, in front of everybody. A little eye contact never hurts anybody, and it might just make some of these kids with bad sportsmanship think twice, either before the game or after.

Of course, if I didn’t like that team, I would do the dead fish handshake—nothing grosser than holding a limp, sweaty hand.

I’m not good at high-fiving. I often miss, which is awkward; and, because I have funky shoulders that dislocate, I tend to pull back at the last second—also awkward.  The other person must either think they are freakishly strong, or that I suddenly didn’t like the way they smell.  It’s even worse when I have my suitcase, er…purse, on that arm.  Sometimes it cuts loose and swings forward, almost knocking the other person over. Then my high-five looks more like an assault.

But the worst part of doing a high five is when you’re left hanging.

According to that bastion of truth, Wikipedia, this could be interpreted as an insult, friendly joke, or form of enlightenment, depending on the context of its use.

Form of enlightenment? What on earth does that mean?

Here’s what I picture:

(Worker, waving one, ignored high five hand in the air): “Hey! Don’t leave me hanging!”

(Colleague): “High fives are for children and have no place in our exceptionally stuffy office.  You should be mature enough not to need physical acknowledgement of a job well-done. It would be better if you meditated on your achievement instead—if you found your center and breathed through your success.”

I high five (mostly little) people every day, and every day it makes us both smile, but I don’t think we need a national day to remind us to do it. Everyone needs encouragement and to celebrate a victory now and then. Patting one’s team mates/co-workers isn’t always PC, so why not high-five?  Just don’t leave someone hanging, especially if his name is Chad. (Ba-dum-bum—silence…crickets…)




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