In my life, I have met many men who could be considered the cream of the crop. Now, this doesn’t mean they are the wealthiest or the best dressed; these things are unimportant at the end of the day. I’m talking about honest, hard-working individuals that know there is nothing more valuable than earning your keep, and showing pride for your country. Real Americans. From Fortune 500 CEOs to the guys who mow my club’s golf course, there is one very easy way to judge the character of a man prior to knowing a single thing about him. It is independent of his occupation and net worth. It is not the clothes he wears, the car he drives, nor the place he is from. It relies on something much simpler: his grip.
Many professional golfers will tell you that the way you grip your club makes all the difference in the world. The same rings true for my hand when I extend it. If a rushee comes through my house and doesn’t offer his hand for me to shake on being introduced, alarms go off in my mind like a high school fire drill. If you cannot offer me your hand, then there is clearly something you are trying to hide. Furthermore, if you can’t even extend me the courtesy of whatever bullshit you try to pass off as a firm grip, why the fuck would I want you to know the grip of my brotherhood? I digress.
Let’s say you do stick your hand out for the world to judge. Although it’s a good start, there is still a lot left to be told about your character. For instance, if someone shakes my hand and it feels like I’m holding a dead fish, they may as well be a doormat in my eyes. The world is full of the meek and timid, and hell, I heard somewhere that they are even supposed to inherit the whole damn planet, but you will never see me call one of them my brother.
The other side of the spectrum is an interesting one, and there is some guess work involved. A firm handshake is expected, but someone clamping down on my hand like a bear trap is as uncomfortable as receiving an Old-fashioned without any lube. Two things cross my mind at this point, and they both involve confidence. Either a) they are nervously overcompensating for their lack of self-assurance, or b) they are an overconfident prick. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the two apart, but the latter will usually distinguish themselves by gripping your fingers instead of your actual hand.
If you fall into the “a” category, lighten up. No one likes a stiff, especially during rush, one of the most monotonously boring events of the semester. Occasionally I see the cut-off handshake as an opportunity, when the handshake in question comes from a potential pledge. Any idiotic rushee who thinks he can bring my hand to a premature stop will be quickly “corrected,” and a happy medium is usually found after a long night of having a whiskey-bent super senior teach you what the fear of God really means. There’s nothing wrong with confidence, but grace is a virtue, and if you think showing off your big-boy handshake to a superior will make him like you more, think again.
All in all, a good grip is fundamental if you want to get anywhere in life. It affects everything from a golf swing to an interview and it’s a shame that more men do not understand the importance of having one. I guess this is just another reason it’s great to be in a fraternity. Remember, if you can keep your grip firm and your eyes focused, the rest will see itself through.