Hand Talk

My hands look really old. They say you can tell a person’s age by their hands, more than their face and I believe this. I have very few wrinkles on my face, but the hands show every single year, all the digging in the dirt and callouses from holding rakes and hoes and the burns and scars from doing everything these hands do.

I am not ashamed of them. Vanity has never been one of my weaknesses (for instance, the bottle of foundation makeup I have is 6 years old and only about 1/3 empty), and while I recognize when someone has beautiful hands I do not really wish for them myself, because in order to keep them that way I’d have to give up everything I really love doing. That is not happening.

But, every now and then, like right now, I catch an objective look at them and see how much like crepe paper the skin looks.I’ll notice the short, chipped nails and the dirt under the corners of them. I’ll see the chemical stains and notice a cut from the rose bush that I didn’t see before.

I have tough hands. I honestly do not feel it when I get a cut or a burn. I’ll see the blood, or the peeling skin and do something about it, but tender, they are not.

They are, however, dexterous. I actually kind of love my hands. They are more indicative of who I am and what I am capable of than any other part of my body. They can play the piano, sculpt a face, sew tiny stitches or open a jar of pickles. I can plant the tiniest arugula seed (seriously, arugula seeds are TEE-NINEY!) with an even distribution or tap out a solid 70wpm on the keyboard. I can use them to express tender love, or anger, or or show reverence or contempt. I think I could wear a mask over my face and you would still know exactly what I’m thinking,by watching my hands.

I have my mother’s hands. They’re in a box on the fireplace mantle. (I’M KIDDING!). Rephrase. I have inherited the genes for hand size and conformation from my mother. They’re small, with dainty nails that do not shape well into long nails, so I keep them cut short. Also short nails are much easier to keep clean. I rarely wear nail polish, but when I do it is a subtle color. usually. Right now I am wearing this ridiculous glitter stuff that I bought on a whim and isn’t really fitting for a 46 year old woman, but I don’t care. It’s fun.

They’ve been through a lot, these hands. There are little half moon scars on the tips of 4 fingers of my left hand, from holding a tomato and slicing a little too close. Dad always kept the kitchen knives razor sharp, and my left hand testifies to this.

Last July, Terry bought me a new wedding band for our 25th anniversary. It’s platinum and set with small diamonds. It’s really lovely but made me a little nervous, because I always work in the garden and rarely remember to do things like taking off the rings (so I just don’t wear them at all),but I also disliked not wearing a band because it felt like I wasn’t wearing a bra, or maybe I was advertising to the world that I wasn’t married. So, he bought me another one- stainless steel, and it is perfect! Cheap enough that if I lose it I won’t panic, and wide enough to let anyone know that I’m married. Then I had hand swelling issues, so he bought me another one, one size bigger. So there’s all sorts of bands now, for any occasion, and my left hand isn’t naked.

What do your hands say about you? Sometimes I wish I was like Ozma of Oz, onlyinstead of changing out heads depending on my mood, I could change out hands, and occasionally have really pretty ones.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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