When I was little, my elementary school playground was rife with all kinds of rumors and secret facts.
I don't know how these all started, but they were immediately accepted as infallible truths.
One of them is still ingrained so deeply that to this day I still have to remind myself that it's a complete lie.
We were all told that when we hold out one of our hands, we need to pay attention to how much it shakes. The more it shakes, the more girls we've kissed. Since I had only ever kissed my mom, I was pretty confident I wouldn't have a problem.
So, one by one, we each held up our hand for inspection by the group.
To my horror, when I held up my own hand, it looked like my fingers were desperately trying to play Flight of the Bumblebee.
Immediately, everyone started laughing at how many girls I must have gotten to pucker up. This was back when girls had cooties, so the idea of kissing was particularly disturbing.
I realized that I wasn't immune after all because I kissed my mom goodbye each morning before school. So, I had a huge choice ahead of me. Should I deny my mom a kiss on the cheek, or should I suck it up and deal with permanently shaky hands for the rest of my life?
Knowing that my mom would feel bad if I didn't give her a kiss, I made the charitable decision (one of only a small number in my largely selfish life) and kept laying one on my mom's cheek each morning.
I don't think my mom ever found out what that cost me on the playground.