Home » Love » The Hands Have It

The Hands Have It

I’ve been binge-watching “Call the Midwife” – I swear, if you have not seen this one, check it out. It’s fantabulous. It starts in 1957, and takes place in East End London, more specifically in the town of Poplar. This is a very poor area of London and the residents count on the midwives of Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns and housing both the sisters and nurses, all of whom are midwives. It is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. For once, nuns are shown in a beautifully positive light. The relationship between the young nurses and the nuns is a lovely and symbiotic one.

Where am I going with this?Β  One of the characters, Sister Julienne, played by Jenny Agutter, has the kindest eyes, the gentlest voice and most beautiful and expressive hands.Β  Which got me to thinking…

I am a ‘hands’ person. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a fetish but I will notice if you bite your nails or not, if your nails are well-manicured or not. Too-long nails on a man turns me right off, even if they are buffed and polished or, heaven help me, filed just so. I have come to the conclusion that I could never date a guitarist who doesn’t use a pick.Β  With one long finger-nailed hand to pluck the strings and the other one “normal”, I find myself shuddering. Sorry to my guitarist friends in this situation. It’s not you, it’s me…

And, obviously, as I have begun this post, it’s not just about the men’s hands, though I will definitely go into detail just below πŸ˜‰

Have you seen Jane Fonda’s hands? Her fingers are so long and slim and arthritic-bump-free considering her age. Yes, they are old hands but they are still elegant.

I have a friend whose hands fascinate me. They are smooth, blemish and bump free. They are beautifully shaped and I cannot lie, I am a tad jealous. She keeps her nails short and natural and are just as nice as one who spends a fortune on manicures. I, on the other hand, have sadly inherited my mother’s and my grandmother’s hands, though my fingers are much longer (for which I am grateful). I wanted to think the bumps and marks were from years of misuse but alas, they are aflicted with arthritic joints. My index fingers, mostly. Crept up on me unnoticed ’til the day I banged my finger against something hard and shooting pain had me blinking back tears. As if that is not enough, I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome which is basically an allergic reaction to the cold.Β  This, too, has been a slowly creeping thing. If I hold anything cold for too long, I can feel my fingers start tingling and am usually too late to stop it. I end up with a few of my fingers looking like they belong on a cadaver! Two to three fingers per hand are affected so don’t be surprised to see me driving with ski mitts come November. That steering wheel causes me serious grief. And is one of the main reasons I have not opened my own restaurant or worked in a kitchen.Β  I cut a large piece of cold fish and every few minutes, I needs must run my hands under warm water.

Now, that said, when it comes to male hands, I take special note πŸ™‚ I like a big strong hand with long fingers (nails kept short – and not by chewing, please).Β  A nice ring with a wide band enhances as well.Β  Where does this come from?Β  I cannot say.Β  Or can I?

My father had wonderful hands. They were exactly as I’ve described above: big, strong, long-fingered, capable… He wore a size 12 on his ring finger!Β  Even when he was ill and becoming ever more frail his hands still held a certain strength and could engulf mind in his. Those hands could build things yet could be gentle. They were eloquent yet stern.Β  A finger pointed in your direction when you did wrong was one thing and I got one smack from them that I’ll never forget! And he regretted it the second he did it.

They were always warm and I cannot say how many times he took my hands in his hands and warmed them.Β  Why, even in the days when we would snowmobile, he would switch mittens with each of us, warming them up and returning them when done. How he managed to squeeze those paws into our children-sized mitts is beyond me, but he did.

If I’m to psychoanalyse myself, I guess there is a comfort in knowing that strong hands mean I will be taken care of.Β  It’s silly, really. I know plenty of man who were not endowed with large hands but who are strong and very much take care of their significant others. The size of the hand does not measure it’s strength.Β  But I’ll still

Maybe This no doubt has influenced how I judge men’s hands today. I used to work with a man whom I’d tease every time I got a chance. At a Christmas party I told his wife he had the most beautiful hands ever – she laughed and said “Don’t I know it!” Richard just pshawed us, blushed and walked away, muttering “You ladies are weird.”Β  We ladies looked at each other and smiled. We knew what we were talking about.

A funny thing happened after Mick passed away. I put his wedding ring next to my father’s. Exactly the same size.Β  Although his hand was a worker’s hand, strong and big, his fingers were not as long…go figure

Comparing Zeke’s paw to Mick’s hand


Keeping me safe

193 thoughts on “The Hands Have It

  1. Oh, we’re Raynaud’s pals, we are – and John, too! We can probably exchange some horror stories on THAT! I’ve come quite close to losing a toe … thankfully, more informed minds prevailed …
    And …yes … hands matter. As do eyes.
    I loved this post. So real and so layered!
    The hands to have it, don’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I too am very fussy about hands, especially on men. I love long slender fingers, not creepy though. I found my husbands hands so attractive I married him. Long legs are good too. I like well groomed nails too.
    Sounds so snobbish eh? It’s a thing though! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I trust what a persons hands tell me more than their eyes or words. And a handshake,yeah, I will form an instant impression of the person with whom I’m shaking. Woe to the man who’s shake is limp or grips too aggressively or, heaven help him, grasps my arm with his other hand! Firm grip, eye contact and keep your other hand to yourself Bub! I am lenient toward youths who haven’t learned and ladies who may be intimidated by contact with someone they just met. Hands are absolutely fascinating. BTW, mbrazfieldm, words less spoken, posted ‘hand’ on Oct. 19, just thought you might like it.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hands and eyes… the first things I notice, every time. I love that last photo, Dale. Just perfect.
    As to Raynaud’s… yes, me too. We seem to be in good company and I too hate that cold steering wheel or scraping the ice from the car in winter. Even the gear lever… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, what an interesting post. Started me thinking about my hands and hands in general. Nah, no arthritis in mine… or no visible signs of, and I suppose they are beginning to show signs of ageing, but nothing much, a lessening of skin elasticity, but not by much. But you really don’t want to know about that, so I’ll shut up.
    Good post, Dale. Thought provoking

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Guess what… by now you’re probably waiting for it… Me too (Raynaud’s) partners with my autoimmune! πŸ˜‰ However, a couple of years after following a vegan diet, they’re doing a whole lot better and no chilblains! Hands have their own expression and I’m with you! I also appreciate a firm handshake as oppose to a slimy hanging hand! πŸ˜‰ Happy hump day! πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As soon as I saw the fingers I knew it is Raynaud’s….my mother suffered.. along side scleroderma. her hands could go dead on the hottest of summer days…I have slight symptoms, worse since the onset of Diabetes…. interestingly (after your comment on guitarists) I have known at least three of that species who suffered Raynaud’s

    Meantime, if we ever get to meet I will keep my little hands and their cleaned nails in my pockets…… I am afraid that I used to chew my nails until my mid forties when I a) self hypnotised and b) went to Whitby Folk Festival…. now I find, having grown my nails, that they get caught and tear and also collect soil from the allotment and elsewhere… so I file them to a manageable length and keep them clean……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. And we are many to suffer from this disorder. I don’t see why guitarists would be exempt πŸ˜‰

      Now, now, David, don’t be silly! Trimmed and filed nails are not a no-no. it’s the long nails that compete with a woman’s that are yucky to me. There is a member at the club whose nails are long and filed to pointy-rounded tips, competing with his wife’s…. Not my cuppa, is all.


      • I suppose that it is that knowing /meeting so many guitarists it seems a high proportion… where as knowing even more teachers and proportionately fewer of them suffering it seems strange. Mind you the one teacher/guitarist who was in the intersect on the Venn diagram was actually “cured” after taking up Taekwon-Do…. he had a fall and bashed his neck.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That would make sense.
          Uhhh… that’s a tad too extreme for me as far as cures go.
          I did karate for years and thankfully, by the time class started, my fingers were back to normal. That would have been disastrous.


  8. I love Call the Midwife, too. There is usually a Christmas Day special, so you can watch for that.
    I have small hands–I call them baby hands–with short fingers, and now they’re showing their age. My younger daughter used to always say she has man hands because her hands are big, but I’ve always thought they were beautiful and elegant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I caught one of them! I love this show and find myself watching at least an episode per day (if not two or even three) I’m on season 7 so the end is nigh!
      My mother’s hands are tiny, so though I inherited her bumps, I also got my father’s longer fingers. Considering my size, they are surprisingly slim, though. I wear a 4.75 on my ring finger.
      My sister feels she has man-hands because they are the same size as her husband’s, who are small πŸ˜‰ Lookit us with this whole discussion… πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post, Dale. I’ve never given much thought to hands, mine or another person’s. But it sounds like I need to up my game. I don’t think I’ve used a nail clipper in 50 years, I’m a bite my nails kind of guy as a way to keep them short (and probably to calm my nerves).I And I do agree with the importance of a good handshake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jim. Goes to show. Some focus on the eyes, some on the smile…and others on other parts of the body πŸ˜‰
      It’s funny… chewing them to keep them at a short length is not as bad as chewing them down to the nub.
      A handshake can be make or break..


  10. Q,

    I have to . . . wait for it . . . hand it to you, this was so much fun to read. Because I too am weird, and thus enjoy it very much when someone shows their vulnerabilities in such colorful ways. Skill with the quill is like personality- as that Pulp fiction scene goes- in that it goes a long way.

    I notice hands as well. Maybe not to the degree you do, but every so often I come upon a pair of hands that is yea or nay (opposite ends of the spectrum usually attract my attention first). A nice pair of hands, I stare at and think to myself “Are they a hand model?”. And conversely, a grimy pair of hands makes me think . . they don’t touch another person with THOSE hands, do they?

    And not to make no mention of your show, which I probably won’t check out through absolutely NO fault of your own since you are the ultimate show seller. But you’re absolutely right, and I never thought about it but . . . nuns really HAVE gotten a bad rep over the years.

    Beautifully manicured post!


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Dale,

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I feel the same way about hands. It’s one of the things that attracted me to Jan. He thinks his hands are too big and ugly. Nay, I say. They’re well shaped and strong. My hands get lost in them. Hands say a lot about a person…particularly in the way they use them. Short stubby fingers with bitten nails are a turn-off to me. Although I concur with you about guitar players. I’ve noticed the same thing and feel the same way.
    I didn’t know you suffered from Raynaud’s Syndrome. We have a niece who does also. 😦
    I’ll let B have the puns this week and won’t put the finger on him. πŸ˜‰ A piece well handled. (Okay…I lied.)

    Shalom and lotsa warming hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Nope, I know there are many of us out there who dig on hands. But it is funny to see the reactions of my co-workers when I say things like: Did you check out So-and-So’s hands… Oh man they are gorgeous! They look at me like I come from another planet. Oh well.. It is what it is πŸ˜‰
      Funny how Jan thinks his are too big yet you think they are just right.
      And it’s not fair, really, hand size is what you are given in your DNA. Yes, they can definitely get bigger if you are a manual person but the fingers can’t grow longer. I just like ’em bigger, is all.
      Guitar players – blech. I just can’t.
      Yes, I do. It’s quite ghastly and can be more than disconcerting. Thankfully I only have it in my hands and not my toes.
      Glad you were gonna hold back on the puns πŸ˜‰

      Shalom and lotsa love with a firm, yet gentle handshake,


      Liked by 1 person

  12. Enjoyed your article. I’m with you on the hands part; I also notice men’s hands and think of the work they do. I have friends with long, slim fingers…beautiful hands, perfect for a pianist and piccolo player. I have smallish hands and short fingers…sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 1st of all: YES, EVERYBODY should watch that series, I’ve read the book The midwife years and years back, then went and bought series 1 to 5 plus 2 Xmas shows, when living in various locations, but I think it went on and on – and it’s worth watching…. And YES again, I also was quite focused on Julienne’s hands…. I am a tad of a hand fetishist (is that an E word?). Which, big confession time here, made it VERY difficult for me to go for Hero Husband as he is a terrible nail biter. But then, let’s assume he does that so that he can play even better on his piano (and he’s a good player!)…. We all have to give in on certain points to enjoy life, don’t we?! But I often (too often selon mon mari) point out beautiful hands in films, plays, in general – and honestly, mine are nothing to brag about either.
    For the 2 last years I also suffer from Raynaud Symptom, albeit without knowing its name. I just was scared out of my (frozen) skin and I’m quite glad I now know β€˜what’ it is. One learns something every day.
    This is a post I ADORE. I like that you allow yourself to go for these inspirational ideas. Way to go, Dale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it a wonderful series? I so love it. and I love how much history is involved. I almost always call out what sickness or disease or problem before it becomes known (like the cystic fibrosis, or the thalidomide babies…).
      Sister Julienne’s hands are simply beautiful.
      I understand. I have dated nail biters begrudgingly… Mick’s hands had two fingers with the smallest part of the tips chopped off from work accidents. But they were big and strong – but yes, if that is the only thing and the rest of HH is perfect for you…
      Mick gave up on my fetish with hands πŸ˜‰
      Raynaud’s is an annoying thing.
      So very glad you adored this post! I shall always allow my muse to go for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have now flown through the main comments. Yes to firm hand shakes. Yes to beautiful hands, Yes to stellar nails – Haven’t got any of these. I’m the girl whose body reacts instantly to my inner turmoils. Had a very bad case of emotional shake-up and bingo, found the same evening a quarter-sized round ‘rush’ on my throat (can’t swallow ‘it’….), the next morning my left hand had two nails ‘underlaid’ with white large patches, meaning that the nails will fall or have to come off in due course. NOT NICE to look at and even though my fragile state is better, the nails are not. I try to hide them which is difficult as I have another finger of the same hand badly damaged from a nail jammed in a heavy church door…. I’m only glad I don’t have to do manicure.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t look at them (any longer) as negative; ’cause they tell me exactly and instantly in ‘bodily’ ways when something is wrong, out of order, doubtable….. From the moment I learned that by listening to what my body says I’ve become a person more rooted in myself, I know I can and should trust my instincts, it has calmed me down (a bit) and therefore I consider it a good thing, although with quite ostentatious reactions. Luckily, apart from you and me nobody knows the reasons why…. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  15. You quite handily grabbed the attention of more than a handful of handsome minded readers. I’ve got to hand it to you, you are digitally gifted ,you nailed it, (h)and have fingered a surprisingly popular topic. We are all in the palm of your hand. Thumbs up!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, they do. I remember going to see Elton John and Billy Joel in their joint show and the cameramen would zoom in on their ugly-ass-fat-fingered hands – how the two of them could play piano so beautifully…beats me!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, well, this is one handy post! πŸ˜€
    Hands are wonderful! I’m very happy about mine. They: sew, type, draw, bake pies, take pictures and… okay the housework.
    I love what you said about your father. I love it when people have wonderful father memories. I can enjoy the dad I never had, vicariously.
    The shot of Zeke’s paw/Mick’s hand. What does Zeke use for hand lotion? His paw is perfect.
    NUNS; I won’t be watching. ⚑️πŸ’₯

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Girl, your father is a handsome man, beautiful hands, and you look so much like him ❀

    Amazing how we memorize every little detail about the ones we love.


    Liked by 1 person

  18. I notice hands, too, although I often hope nobody notices mine (especially in winter!). I have Raynaud’s too. I was just reading that wrist warmers help by keeping the capillaries open so you get better blood flow to the hands. I’ve been wearing fingerless gloves indoors (when I’m not doing something that requires bare hands) and that warmth at the wrist does seem to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boy oh Boy… So many of us are afflicted. It’s funny because they say it is not a circulatory problems but if keeping the wrists warm helps…
      A friend of mine sent me a sample of frankincense essential oil. I rubbed it on my white fingers and watched them change immediately…

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m laughing while reading your story Dale, I have a fascination with hands too! I personally don’t like mine but when I first say Dany’s, I fell in love. Although his drum fingers are short and stubby, I find them strangely cute πŸ™‚ But I totally understand where you’re coming from, hands have subtle characteristics that either turn us on or off. Then I think of my grandmother’s hands, they went through so much hardship and showed signs of her past struggles. Hands hold us through hardship and celebrations, we all should celebrate and appreciate them. I know I appreciate yours – so many yummy things are made with them! XOXO

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know you do πŸ˜‰ And Dany’s fingers are not short and stubby – they go with the rest of him! I always liked his hands too πŸ˜‰

      Hands definitely do show a lot, don’t they? I’m no longer a fan of mine now that they have those damn arthritic bumps on the knuckles but they have helped me accomplish much!
      Glad you stopped by, Bella! xoxo


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