The 5 Universal Truths Of Having Clammy Hands

Eminem’s palms got sweaty before his rap battle, but for you, it’s no special occasion.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

For most of every waking day, my palms are balmy at best, and sweaty bogs at worst. Eminem's palms got sweaty before he had a once-in-a-lifetime rap battle, and Ferris Bueller licked his to fake an illness, but for me, it's no special occasion.

Basically, my palms are almost always wet to the touch, covered in a thin layer of shimmering perspiration. Even though I'm a person who tends to be cold, my hands specifically feel like they're a solid 110. It's not a serious medical condition or anything, but it is plenty of fodder for teasing from my sisters, a governing factor for many behaviors, and the basis for some undeniable truths.

Here, a select few:

First of all, it’s all day, every day.

First of all, it's all day, every day.

I know, I know, everyone gets clammy at some point, and lots of people experience it daily. I'm in a state of nearly perpetual clamminess. If I found out one day that my hands are actually encased in invisible saunas, I'd believe it. Sometimes — when it's hot out, when I'm sick, when I'm nervous (more on that later) — it's really bad, but most of the time, things are just… sticky. So, save for a few rare moments when my palms are actually dry (and, let me tell you, it feels weird when that happens) I'm always feeling clammy.

I'm #blessed, in a way. Left to my own devices, I might assume that we all live a clammy-handed existence and unknowingly haunt people with my ~heat~, but when I was little my sisters loved reminding me how gross I was every time I touched them or grabbed their hand. Being called out on my alien trait at a young age set me up for a lifetime of being hyper-aware of the state of my palms. Case in point…

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

The prospect of shaking someone’s hand is enough to make you curl up in a ball under your covers and never come out.

The prospect of shaking someone's hand is enough to make you curl up in a ball under your covers and never come out.

My typical nightmare fuel is no different from most people's: accidentally calling someone “mom,” receiving phone calls from my family after 10 p.m., and, of course, meeting new people. But that last one carries with it a special sort of hell: I will probably have to shake someone's hand at some point.

Certainly in the case of an interview or a first date, I'm hella nervous, and for me, nervousness isn't just a state of mind. It's a physical condition, a many-headed beast. My stomach churns, my skin buzzes, and yes, my hands turn into literal swamps, so much so that I marvel at how it's possible for them to be more clammy than their usual extra-moist condition. Heat and moisture just radiate from them; I feel like I could warm an entire studio apartment with their touch. Just thinking about it is making my palm pores leak like broken faucets.

And no matter how many times I wipe them on my clothes, the sweat regenerates! So when I go in for the shake, I keep it firm but brief, hoping that we can silently, mutually agree that we shan't touch hands ever again. (Yes, this is great for my dating life.)

In a perfect world, handshakes — a swift way to transfer germs, in addition to palm sweat! — would be replaced with hugs and fist bumps. I am a strong proponent of both. But until hugging a potential employer upon first meeting them becomes socially acceptable, I'll have to live in handshake shame and fear.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed


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