I think hand shaking has got to be about the worst custom, especially for a germaphobe. I just hate it when people want to shake my hand. It drives me nuts! Over the past several years, I have come to the point of outright rejecting the revolting hand shaking custom. It's MY hand and I do NOT want it being handled by anyone (husband being the exception - IF his hands are clean!)
I can easily and without any qualms reject a stranger's proffered hand that I know I'll never or rarely see again. Someone like a sales person or other such people who want my business, I guess I don't care much if they think I'm odd. I just tell them, "I'm not into shaking hands."
The biggest problem is at church though. There is always, very unfortunately for a germaphobe, a greeting session during the beginning of the service. We're supposed to greet and shake hands with everyone around us to show how warm, nice and friendly we are, I guess. I really HATE it! Dude/ dudette, I don't know where your hand's been and I don't want your germs on a vital body part of mine that is used to rub my eyes, scratch my nose and pick up food to stuff into my mouth. Do you know how easily I get sick?!?! Egads!
I've seen too many people in church, sitting in front of us, who pick their noses, pick at their heads, pick at scabs or zits, cough or sneeze into their hands, chew on their fingers or nails, and then they want to shake everyone's hands? Not mine, buddy!
There's also those official greeters at the door I have to try to dodge. How many people's hands have they touched before they want to spread all the germs to my hand? Ewww, no way!
Most of the time I'll just give everyone a hug so they don't think I'm stuck up or haughty or something. These are people I might have to see every week, after all. I still tell them I'm not into shaking hands, but I offset it with a nice hug so we're all happy little clams.
Clams, hmm, that actually makes me think of the little clam creature all safely tucked inside its shell, never opening up unless it wants to. I bet it doesn't have to worry about getting sick from some other clam wanting to touch it and spread germs around. It doesn't have to worry what others think of it, all shut up inside its protective space. Everyone just knows it's a clam and it's supposed to be locked away from all possible harm. Gee, I wish I were a clam!
If I feel I can't get away with rejecting a hand shaking episode, I make sure I use my hand sanitizer before I touch anything else again. My husband always shakes people's hands, so I'm always ready with the sanitizer for him.
I also refuse to touch the collection plate passed to everyone for offerings or any of the Communion trays. My husband automatically takes them as they're being handed to me because he knows I won't touch them. Sheesh, since we sit in the back row, it's as bad as if we'd gone around shaking all the germ-ridden hands of every single person in our section of the church! Yuck!
Yes, hand shaking is a very serious pet peeve of mine. I would think more people would be aware of how germy hands are and how easily illness can be transferred by them, that no one would want to shake hands anymore. I like Howie Mandell's fist bump. It's a much better idea, don't you think? Let's all boycott the hand shake until we rid it from the earth! YAY!