I’ve always heard that one can tell a lot by a man’s hands. For example, if they’re soft and smooth, then they very likely don’t work very hard. I once shook the hand of a very well-known politician. It felt as if I was shaking hands with a very non-threatening cloud. I was almost repulsed at their softness. On the other hand, pun intended, if the person’s hands are tougher than Tarzan’s feet, then he or she works hard for a living. I think my hands are somewhere in the middle.
I don’t necessarily work hard anymore, but I sure do stay busy—too busy. The other day, I was multitasking to a fault. I was transferring clothes from the washing machine to the dryer with one hand while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the other. After fishing that last sock out of the washer and throwing it into the dryer, without hesitation, I threw my sandwich into the dryer, too, and didn’t realize I’d done so until I was ready to press the start button. I didn’t even look at the clothes. I just pulled out the sandwich and washed them all again.
Sunday morning, I picked vegetables from my garden. It was a wonderful little harvest with an eggplant, beans, tomatoes, okra, and peppers. I grew these with my own hands. Sunday night, Lucy used her hands to cook a lot of it. We’ll be eating the rest this week.
Before dinner, Emily asked if she could paint my nails. I thought about it for a second, and then decided that it’d be okay just if I didn’t have to get up out of my chair. She was happy about decorating my semi-soft hands and gave me the option of picking my own color. I went with orange and blue but somehow wound up with sparkly pink nails in the end. I didn’t mind. Plus, I felt pretty. I even had an excuse to turn down a couple of chores because “my nails were drying.”
Since Lucy cooked dinner, it was my job to wash the dishes. I usually do that anyway. About half way through, I realized that the nail polish was coming off. I was a bit sad, because Emily had done such a great job. Apparently, this wasn’t the best nail polish out there, and my nails may have not been completely dry. Now, my nails look awful. They look like I’ve been soaking my fingertips in expired, off-brand Pepto-Bismol and then tried to scratch it off. It ain’t pretty, folks.
We live in a different world than our parents and grandparents. We live in a world where men don’t necessarily need calluses to show how hard they work. We now live in a world where men wash dishes and let little girls paint their nails. It’s simply a different world, but my hands haven’t seen anything, yet, as my world will be totally different in four and a half months when I have a baby on my hands.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com