I love reading other people’s blogs. No matter what I’m reading, I always walk away knowing something (or thinking about something) I haven’t before. Or at least thinking about something I haven’t in awhile. So when I saw my friend Rachael Seda’s post, “11 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me“, I was reminded of how lovely it can be to share a piece of yourself with friends, family, and even complete strangers. There’s a special trust that comes with hitting the publish button. In the spirit of Rachael’s post, and Amber Naslund’s “What I Wish More People Knew About Me“, I’d like to share a bit of myself too.

So, here we go. Here’s something you didn’t know about me.

My favorite parts of my body are my hands.

My hands are very large, with long fingers and short nails. There’s a patch of rough skin that runs along the inside of my palm, right where it meets the base of my fingers. On my right hand there’s a hard callous on the side of my middle finger, just below the nail. It’s from gripping my pens and pencils too tightly when I write. I use my hands a lot for that. I’ve had that lump for as long as I can remember.

My hands are pale and pink. The lines in my palms are deep. Most of the time, they are just a smidge too dry. I get that from my Mom. She’s constantly searching for a lotion that will ease the cracking. Her secret solution for dry hands? Nipple cream. I’m serious.

My thumbs look exactly like my great grandfather’s thumbs. They’re not gnarled with arthritis or bespeckled with spots of age. The nails are the same shape. They bend at the very same angle. They’re tradition, I guess. I love them all the same.

When I was younger, my great grandmother would look at my hands and tell me that I had the hands of a piano player. Long fingers. Clumsy but graceful at the same time. I’ve never learned how to play piano, but I’ve always wanted to. Those long fingers are good at untying knots and typing blog posts.

My hands rarely wear rings. If they do, I usually take any rings off before I do anything. I’m curious to know whether or not I’ll feel the same way about a wedding ring one day. As for the pads of my fingers, they’re  lightly calloused too. Turning pages, high fives, handshakes, and back rubs can do that.

My knuckles crack often. It’s bad habit. Like my nail biting. I don’t bite my nails or crack my knuckles as often as I did in high school, when I was constantly a bundle of nerves. Now I let my hands relax. They’ve got a lot of typing to do at home, at work…really wherever I am, I’m using them.

On my right ring finger, near the top knuckle, there’s a thin white line. It’s a scar. I got it when I was working in the kitchen at a tea room. Accidental slice. But it was worth it in the end. Working there taught me the magic that happens when someone decides to combine butter, eggs, sugar, flour, milk, and cream. My love of baking started there.

I’ve always loved the rough line along my palms. I run my fingers over that patch and remember that I’ve worked hard. Broom handles, shovels, rakes, grocery bags, bookbags, serving trays, boxes, trash bags, popcorn scoops, knives, paper towels. They all add another layer.

The center of my palm is soft. It’s reserved for petting my cat, small animals, and handling the most precious of objects, like a baby or a freshly baked cupcake. The lines there are noticeable, but I’ve only ever had my palm read a handful of times. Each reading, a different result. I wonder what you would see if you looked.

The nails are clear and short. I like them that way. I don’t paint them because I’ve never liked the way nail polish felt on them. I keep them short because I hate not being able to pick things up. No snags, no worries. You’ll find half moons on the index fingers and thumbs only. If you look closely in the right light, you’ll see thin vertical lines along the nails. I read somewhere that those ridges mean that I worry a lot. How true. Also explains why my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother all have similar ridges.

They may just be my hands, but they say a lot about me. If you meet me, it’s likely that they’ll reach out to you and say, “Hello!” or “I’ve missed you”, or “Thank you.” My hands are friendly, but not too friendly. Don’t worry – I won’t let them get fresh.

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