Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hand gestures

No...I don't mean the one finger salute! I recently learned something about myself and my use of hand gestures that I thought I'd share. Perhaps some of you are like me and find that you talk, in part, with your hands. I speak in front of people quite frequently and I am always pointing, waving, quoting and "drawing" my spoken words with my hands. What I didn't notice until Wendy pointed it out to me is that I gesture with my hands in a very odd way when I order food at restaurants or ask a waiter/waitress for something. For example, if I am ordering a salad and want the dressing to be on the side, I will form a little circle with one hand and point to it with the other (I assume that gesture is supposed to indicate a little ramekin of dressing). I do this without conscious thought it seems because I always do it.

The sad thing is that I even gesture at drive up windows. I pulled through the KFC to pick up some chicken recently and actually started to gesture to the invisible drive-thru order taker (insert a descriptive gesture of your choosing to represent ordering a breast). When we pulled up to the window, I was told they didn't have any breasts in extra crispy so what would I like to do. I promptly made a hand gesture that was supposed to represent that I wanted a thigh instead. Perhaps you can imagine the laughter that ensued from the passenger seat as Wendy mimicked me and then proceeded to ask me to demonstrate how I'd order all the various chicken parts. We had a good laugh.

What I have realized is that I only do this descriptive hand gesture thing when ordering from certain places. I do it at fast-food type places; I do it at places like Chilis or Red Robin. I don't do it at fancy-shmancy restaurants; I don't even do it at Starbucks. So...I have decided that I am a prejudicial hand gesturer. I only gesture when I (subconsciously) believe the person I'm talking to won't be able to understand without the added gesture to accompany it. I mean, if I order at Starbucks, I'm not about to question or be concerned that the barista will not get "grande decaf no whip mocha frappuccino" absolutely correct. But, if I ask for dressing on the side or order a chicken breast, I feel the need to assist with a gesture. Sigh...

Oh well, I guess we all have our faults. I guess this one isn't as bad as some and at least it gives Wendy something to laugh at me over!

Speaking of Wendy...it sounds like she's in need of her sherpa. Must run!

- Karen



Stacey said...

That is too funny. I think sometimes hand gestures could work quite nicely. I find sometimes there are language barriers at some places so the hand gestures could prove to be useful. Although I don't want to even imagine ordering things like "breast" and "thigh"...lol

Momai said...

OK, now that's funny. I do the salad dressing circle, too. I don't buy fried chicken, though, so I don't know about that one. However, I was at KFC this past evening to buy a couple of their potato bowls (fabulous comfort food!) and I definitely "held the bowl" as I was asking if they still sold them.