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?  One of the characters, Sister Julienne, played by Jenny Agutter, has the kindest eyes, the gentlest voice and most beautiful and expressive hands.  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.  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 😉

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.  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.  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 🙂 I like a big strong hand with long fingers (nails kept short – and not by chewing, please).  A nice ring with a wide band enhances as well.  Where does this come from?  I cannot say.  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!  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.  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.  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.  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.  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.”  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.  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