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whatAs I was doing what I doing yesterday I happened to look down at my hands and a thought occurred that I have every now and then: “I don’t like my hands”

Now don’t get me wrong they are fine, perfectly functional just not particularly pretty. They aren’t ugly either just not the kind of hands I would like to have. My sister has long elegant hands and I always was envious of them, my mum ‘s hands are similar to mine, although a lot rougher which I hated as a child. My brothers hands are quite manly, larger sturdier versions of mine with longer fingers.

As I was looking at my digits I remembered how, as a little girl, I use to chew my nails down to the quick and how my mother use to give out to me for it. Now I hate the fact that they grow and I have to cut, file and trim them all the time, endless attention seekers in my busy life.

While I studied my palm and extremities I remembered an article I read a while back in the the New York Times from 1909. It was a little essay on the psychology of hands and was quite an interesting if very one-sided read. The piece claimed that if you study someones hands you will be able to, not tell their future, but to see someones personality.

It said that slender hands with long fingers showed an artistic personality, passionate but also quite violent and often the marks of a criminal. Short fat hands told you that the person was more likely to use their muscles than their brains, good solid people, working class in essence. If you have short fingers but slender hands that indicates ambition, a good sense of humor and very charming personality. Strong medium hands with a large palm are the mark of  someone with great willpower and capability, but a little bit of a tyrant. A well-proportioned, dimply, fleshy hand shows that the person is vain and selfish but also very clever. Someone who makes friends easily but can’t keep them due to their self-involvement. If you have square palms and fingers that indicates someone who has purpose and pursues it and is also very upright.

Now I can’t really say which kind of hands I have as they seemed to be a mixed lot. I think I have strong hands, medium length fingers, a square palm, slender well-proportioned build which in essence means I am a bit of all of the above: a little bit artistic and ambitious (really?) with a good sense of humor, some willpower mixed with a tiny bit selfish traits and possibly a wee bit clever too.

So now all I need is a good manicure and someone who will understand what I mean when I wave my expressive hands in the hope they will know who I am even if I still struggle with that at times.

New York Times: Psychology of Hands, 1909

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