This last week, 10/21/10, someone wrote to Dear Abby asking how to handle people who want to greet her with a kiss. As the “cold and flu” season approaches, most of us with chronic illness can relate well with this woman.
We don’t want to be rude, but we don’t always want to go into a long explanation about why we aren’t excited about that kiss on the cheek or handshake. I’m working on an article now about this for the Huffington Post and would love your ideas, experiences and suggestions.
How do you handle the times people extend their hand expecting you to shake it, just after they have coughed into it? Do you always carry hand sanitizer in your purse?
I’d love some suggestions to share with the masses so please comment in the space below!
I have a problem with people in our church congregation who want to greet me with a kiss. Please advise me on how to handle this delicate situation. I don’t want to hurt any feelings . However, lips carry germs, and I have a weak immune system. I have tried extending my hand in greeting, but one man smooched me anyway, saying, “I don’t shake hands with girls!” Abby, I’m 70 and hardly a “girl,” and I didn’t appreciate his rejection of my handshake.
Do you think it will work if I tell him and others that I have a contagious disease that causes men’s lips to dry up and fall off?
DEANNA in Florida
No. It would be more to the point to tell your fellow church members that you have a fragile immune system and are susceptible to viruses — which is why you prefer to shake hands. It’s the truth.