Monday, October 26, 2009

Giving karma the upper hand

There’s nothing like karma to make you run out and buy lotion and a nail file.
I recently had the distinct pleasure of chatting with three family friends late into the evening. All much younger men, they hold a special place in my heart, perhaps filling the void of the little brother that I have always wanted.
And because I care about these guys as if we’ve shared family meals and taken turns taking out the trash, I somehow feel that I need to share my elderly wisdom with them when I get a chance. In the past I have given them countless tips on finding a good girlfriend and provided them with my short list of criteria that their girlfriends have to meet in order to pass my elite standards. These criteria are very simple, and include such things as, a. she needs to be able to cook a decent breakfast and b. when wearing long pants, she can’t get worried about whether or not her socks match.
Little things, all because these are really great guys who deserve really great girls.
Honestly, it’s all in the best interest of my friends, which is why I don’t quite understand why my latest last bit of advice seems to have come back to haunt me.
The recent guidance came in the form of a question. “Tell me, boys, what is the most important part to ‘check out’ on a girl?”
And while you can imagine the answers they gave, I quickly cut them off and told them they were all wrong.
“Hands. You’ve got to check out her hands.”
Before my husband and I got married we were required by our church to attend a marriage weekend where we given a whirlwind course in the holy sacrament and what lay in store. The thing from those two days that I remember most, however, is nothing about the church stuff. What I remember was receiving a poem about hands, and how the hands that you marry not only carry the ring that you present, but will also someday hold your children. Those hands will work together to build a home. They will hold each other until the very end, until one hand goes cold.
It was all very moving and still brings tears to my eyes, which is why I told these young fellows to check out the girl’s hands.
“They’ve got to be soft, but not too soft or you know she can’t scrub a dish or a bathroom floor,” I proclaimed. “They’ve got to show that they’ve seen the tests of time, but are still feminine and attractive. They’ve got to say that they are strong but still need to be held.”
Naturally, they all laughed at the crazy old lady.
The day after our conversation I looked down at my own hands. They had spent the last few days elbow deep in pumpkin goo, pulling out the rest of the garden, changing diapers and bathing children. They hauled firewood, knitted a scarf, and roasted a chicken.
And they looked terrible.
The top of both of my hands are speckled with scars from poison ivy. On my right hand my pinkie nail is deformed because I nearly sliced off the whole finger while making pickles. My nails are cut down to nothing on the left to accommodate guitar playing, and on my right are abnormally long because I’m always forgetting to trim them. There are two fresh cuts on my fingers, both received while trying to rush through life. They are dry, calloused, veiny, and I swear there is a part of my third finger that has been stained brown for a number of days and I’m not sure what caused it although I can guess what the average passerby might assume it could be. (It’s not.)
It got me wondering if my alleged advice to my friends was a call to the universe to send me a message to schedule a manicure, and then wondering what the manicurist would think.
If she was smart, she’d say “wow, those are some good-looking hands.”
“I know,” I would answer. “But try telling that to a bunch of crazy kids.”

1 comments:

BECKY said...

Loved it, as usual, Karrie!!

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