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Then: Sticky Fingers

Now: Snap Yo Fingers

Fingers play an important role in our history.  Musicians from Stevie Wonder through the Rolling Stones to the rapper Lil Jon have referenced them in songs.  They appear in ad campaigns, such as the ever popular, "Finger Lickin' Good."   On Laugh-In, Rowan and Martin gave out the weekly "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award."  In daily speech we have expressions such as "Fingered by the snitch" and "The world at your fingertips."   And probably the most popular and most widely used saying, "Cross my fingers."  

Yes, those ten digits show up in all types of media.  Why?  Because they are a much needed part of our body.  We use them everyday for a multitude of functions: eating, writing, grasping, wiping.  We use them without giving them a second thought.  We simply take them for granted.  

Well, as that “Fickle Finger of Fate” would have it, last Saturday I broke the ring finger on my right hand and let me tell you I now have a greater respect for these digits that have been with me since birth.  I promise never again to chew on a cuticle, bite a nail or use one in a profane gesture - unless, of course, it's absolutely necessary!

What happened involved the pizza man, a boxer named Max, and a blue vinyl leash.

Now if this were an X-rated story, I would have ended up on the grass with the pizza man, my hands tied to the leash, rolling around in pure ecstasy, while Max feasted on pepperoni and cheese pizza.  His barks adding lustful background music.  

In reality, Max unexpectedly jerked me toward the pizza man.  My fingers got twisted up in the leash and hours later I left the emergency room, with my finger in a splint and less money in my checkbook.  Not a pretty situation for someone who spends her days at a keyboard.

But I've been managing.  And I've been looking at my hands a lot this week.  Thinking about how they've changed over the years from ones that used to look like my granddaughter's to ones that now look a lot like my mother's.  I've been thinking about how they held my mother's hand on that first day of kindergarten, my daughter's on her first day and now my grandchildren's.

No amount of anti-aging hand creams, age-spot removal potions or wash-away wrinkle lotions can change what my hands and fingers have been through.  Nor would I want them to.

They have been clasped together hoping above all hopes that Billy would ask me on a date.  They were crossed behind my back when I told my mother I had finished my homework.  They wrote a few checks that bounced.  They pointed at my kids while I held back the words, "I told you so."  They have typed novels, poems, short stories and now they are very slowly typing these words.    

So, I've made a promise to stay out of harm's way.  No more getting between a dog and a pizza.  Unless of course anchovies are involved.  No, even then, I think I’ll leave it for dog.    

Because as Stevie Wonder sang years ago, I intend to.. "Clap my hands, just a little bit louder" -  for a very long time.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • What a wonderful tribute to your hands!  I believe they age less gracefully than other parts of our bodies—give away many truths, whether we want them to or not.  Probably the reason I like to get manicures, to drive the attention away from the signs of Father Time.

      Thanks, Janie!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Oh, Janie, I hardly focus at all on my hands.  But since I’m a writer too, they‘re such a vital part of who I am and what I do that your post really made a vivid point!  My hands are clapping now for your great post.  I hope your finger heals fast and well.   —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Awesome! Two snaps in a semi circle!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Janie...I’d like to hear more about your fantasy version of the pizza guy ohhhh.

      As usual, awesome blog that really gets me thinking about things.

      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Tina - I can’t wait to get another manicure, but I guess I’ll have to.  

      Linda - I never really focussed on my hands either, until now.

      Inakika -  Thanks for your comment.

      Sandy - My fantasy version was definitely more funestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Janie,

           I really liked your story .  I started looking at my hands also.  I’ve been looking at them for many years rubbing Those bleaching creams over them nightly.  Having it lighten my age-spots,temporarily. When I forgot my sun-screen they’d show their ugly faces again.  But I am thankful for my fingers. I need them to put my make-up on, comb my hair, and most of all to call my friends.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Janie,

      I loved this story.  The part of the situation with the dog sounded like something that could be used in a romantic comedy movie.

      I love the thought of how our hands take us through every action in life.  It made me think of the pictures I have taken of new born babies with their hands around a finger.  I also thought of when I was a child and I would sit next to my mom and study her hand next to mine.  

      Hands are our actions—You captured how our hands play out those actions, and how those actions are attached to feelings and memories.  I loved that.  Great Post.

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Janie
      Thanks for yet another really great post.
      I have never been particularly fond of the way my hands look.  However, all it takes is a small sprain (or even a paper cut) to remind me how lucky I am to have them and all ten of those great digits attached. Once again, you have shined (shone?) a light and  perspective on something we do not always remember to appreciate. Here’s a two-fingered victory sign for this one.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Givalook - You‘re so right.  We do need our fingers to call our friends.

      Annie - I do think hands sometimes tell more than eyes.

      Cathie - Hmm...A romantic comedy.  I might have to use this scene in a book.

      Justjer -  Two fingered victory sign back at you.

      BTW, my finger is slowly getting better.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Djd258 wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • I loved this blog!!

      I look at my hands often, they remind me of my mother!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • BRILLIANT!!  You are a marvelous writer.  I look at my hands
      every day and cannot believe how old they look. I once had
      lovely hands with long beautiful nails. Now, my hands look
      red and my nails have ridges. Like everything else, hands
      grow old. But they do tell a story. My hands are old, but
      they are happy hands because they held my children, my
      grandchildren and now my great-grandchildren. And, they
      still hold the hands of the love of my life—my husband.
      Your great story makes me appreciate all tweleve of my
      fingers. Keep these wonderful articles coming. I love them.
      Sylvia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Djd - My hands remind me of my mom, too.  And somtimes my grandmother’s.  Thanks for the comment.

      Sylvia - I hope you can hold hands with the love of your life for many more years.



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