Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mom Finger

I can’t believe I’ve never told you the story of the Mom Finger! Well, looking at my followers (hello! Thanks again!) I’m sure I’ve told all of you, but I haven’t told The Internet, and that's a different thing entirely, don't ya know...

So… this tale starts many years ago when my mother and father were living… somewhere with a split sink. That’s important. Their sink had two sides and therefore in the middle was that big metal no-man’s-land that’s like a bar of metal, except it’s really just the two edges of the two sinks joined together. (Photo courtesy of Elegant Kitchen Cabinets)

Anyway, I should say that neither my brother nor I were present for this event, and by “present” I mean “present in the world” or “born”… I don’t think. I definitely wasn’t there, and as far as I remember, my brother wasn’t either, but I’ve been wrong about my brother before, so take that with a grain of salt.

EDIT: Updated information from my mother! The Mom Finger was created on August 5, 1983... I was there, I just don't remember it, being only slightly less than 3 at the time... that's my excuse & I'm sticking to it!

So, my mom is washing dishes, specifically some really nice wine glasses that may have had some emotional importance or sentimental value... I don't know, I wasn't there and that part of the story is escaping my memory at the moment. So, she's washing these very lovely wine glasses. (Photo courtesy of FurnitureFind)

She is washing them by hand. Hands + soap + water = slippery. Basic math. She’s washing and washing and then… one of the wine glasses slips. Cue gasping!

My mother tries to salvage the situation by reaching for the glass to save it. However, in between the glass leaving her hand and her brain saying, “Hey, you can totally catch that!” the glass has hit the center not-a-bar-but-two-edges-of-sink part, thus breaking the pretty bulby drinking part of the glass into a wickedly sharp, jagged edge thing of hurting. She cuts her finger. She is calm mother, who may or may not be a mother at this point in history, but regardless, is calm. She calmly grabs a dishtowel and wraps it around her hand before calmly telling my father that he needs to take her to the emergency room as fast as possible. Which he did, and she was fine.

Not The End!

See, that’s just the story of how my mother’s index finger on her left hand came to be scarred in such a way that it neither extends nor curls fully. This is important because that finger became The Mom Finger. With capitalization and everything. It didn’t become The Mom Finger for many, many years however because even though that was the finger with which she would scold us when we were being smart-alecked brats that was just regular Mom finger. One time, she was shaking said finger at us (and for the life of me I don’t remember which one of us did it) and told us to, “go over there!” And she pointed. With the crooked finger! So we followed the bend in her finger and went where she actually pointed, not where she meant… oh, there were consequences to that action, let me tell you! Not the least of which was that the angrier or more upset Mom got, the more she angled her wrist, so that eventually, her hand would be bent perpendicular to her arm and the crooked finger would be pointing straight at you! A well-trained eye could actually tell the difference between "in deep trouble," "up the creek without the proverbial paddle," and "your best bet is to move to Canada and change your name," by the angle of her wrist. That was the beginnings of Mom Finger, but only the beginning!

No, it became The Mom Finger on whatever fateful day my brother or I turned to someone and started wagging our finger at them and noticed something odd…

The finger we were wagging was not pointed in a firm and stern manner. It was relaxed, and thus half curled… just like Mom’s! It turns out that the natural bend of a relaxed index finger is nearly identical to the amount my mother is able to extend her left index finger. Subconsciously, my brother & I were so conditioned by the shape of that finger that when we scold or nag or lecture or fuss at someone, we make sure that we give it the proper emphasis, and in our brains that emphasis is a curled index finger, JUST LIKE MOM’S!! Ok, only it's not just like Mom's, because we both do it with our right hand... because when she was facing us, that's the side it was on... and our brains never did translate it to the other side...

There it is, The Mom Finger!


Anonymous said...

first of all - i love hearing this story! second of all - i was scrolling rapidly up your page after reading earlier posts, and got a little vertigo from your plaid background. fyi! kind of funny, in a spinny-woozy kind of way.

Barb said...

Re-post of earlier commment that went somewhere in the ether but not to this blog-post. Date of initial injury creating Mom Finger was August 5, 1983. Therefore already a Mom times two. So says the Mom!

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