He could be sitting behind you, beside you, or in front of you. He could be of large stature or slight. He could be old or young. There is absolutely nothing about his appearance that would give you any sort of indication or warning of what's to come.
But then it happens.
At the Sign of Peace, his handshake is SO STRONG that your fingers smash together, your rings angrily pinch your skin, and--when your hand is finally released from his death grip--you're horrified to discover that your rings are now ovals instead of circles.
Maybe it only happens to me once or twice a year, but it takes about that long (6 months) for an oval ring to round out into somewhat of a circle again, so now I'm overly cautious when we select our pew and take our seats at mass. The choice can have some lasting effects!
I find myself glancing around, noticing the people in my vicinity, wondering if That Man is here today. Taking precautions, I begin to discreetly empty my right hand of its rings and pile them all onto my left, usually fumbling to do so just before my husband reaches out to hold my hand for the Lord's Prayer.
Or, if I haven't swapped them all over successfully, I'll cowardly oblige the wiggling Vera for a walk in the hallways if she starts to act up just about then, thus bypassing the handshaking hazard altogether. It's so convenient!
Lord, help me to better focus during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! And thank You for giving me the chance to write about silly things like this again. Oh, how I have missed blogging. :)