The Phantom Hands

I could have been a hand model.

I have delicate hands, with thin wrists, elegant long fingers and silky skin. Some have said that my hands don’t suit my thick, “handsome,” matronly body, and to those people I say, “rude.”

If I had known how to go about being a hand model when I was younger*, I would have definitely pursued it, and I’m sure I would have made millions (if not billions, trillions, or zillions).

I always thought that it would just happen… I’d be spreading cream cheese on a bagel, or putting money in a parking meter, or squeezing an orange at the supermarket, when an aging bald man wearing a pin-striped suit and dark aviator sunglasses would approach me and say (with an Italian accent), “You have the most lovely hands I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Please, come with me to Milan, and become the next Delphine.” And I would have gone with him to Milan, and taken the jewelry and dishwashing detergent advertising world by storm. I would have been invited to all the best parties and events, and when I arrived the host would try to kiss my hand (as Italians do), but I’d pull my hand away, and offer my lips instead.

It would have been an amazing life, hob-nobbing with the crème de la crème…

But I guess there’s no use crying over spilled milk**. A life of luxury hand modeling around the world was not meant to be***.

My hands (which, as we have established – are extremely beautiful, delicate and definitely the embodiment of grace and dignity wrapped in soft, supple skin) have some issues.

They are phantom hands.

No matter how hard I try, no matter the situation, location, or scenario, I cannot get a hand dryer to work.

Yes, they appear normal (although obviously way, way nicer and more beautiful, graceful, etc. than “normal” people’s hands), but they are phantom hands when it comes to hand dryers.

I’ll go to a hand dryer, like this one…


Just your typical hand dryer                       (that refuses to acknowledge my existence).

… And I’ll wave my hands like crazy, and then I’ll stand there for 15-30 seconds, doing a variety of gestures, motions, and actions, and… nothing.

The hand dryer refuses to acknowledge the existence of me, or my hands.

And it’s not just one kind of dryer, it’s all dryers, everywhere… in every bathroom, in every country, in every hemisphere. 

Recently, at the London Heathrow Airport (site of the unfortunate incident known as “The Shirt“), I went to the washroom, washed my hands, and then went over to the hand dryer – a Dyson air blade. I stuck my hands way down into the crevice, and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing. I tried the air blade next to it. Nothing. I removed my hands, and watched as an elderly Japanese woman inserted her hands and had them dried within seconds. I had to dry my hands on my jeans.

There have been literally hundreds (if not, thousands or millions) of times when I couldn’t get a hand dryer to work.

This is my life now. I dry my extremely beautiful hands on my pants or my coat.

A curse? Maybe.

I was blessed with the hands of a Greek god, and so this is my fate in life… phantom hands.

You see? They are exquisite.


* I’m obviously still extremely young and thriving, but the hand modeling world is a cruel, cruel microcosm of agist buffoons.

** Or, what your life could have been…

*** Instead, a life of writing stories like this one.


3 thoughts on “The Phantom Hands

  1. Christe-Belle Choy says:

    I now see that it gets automatically posted. I hope Peter feels good about himself. *Shakes head* By the way, I picked this post to leave a comment because I love this post the most out of the 6 I read. I do agree with you though about the ‘6-month’ guideline to being able to say ‘I lived there.’

  2. Christe-Belle Choy says:

    So I’m assuming that you go through these comments before actually posting them… I tried your email address listed in the ‘about me’ section, but it slammed the door in my face. Lucky for all of us, I’m persistent as hell… (Language!)

    My dearest sister from my another mother,

    I had a flashback of when you came home and found me crying all by myself on the floor. It was suppose to be a romantic lovely movie?!

    As you may remember, I leave nothing to chance and go with my instinct that I should contact you. I’ve missed you so! You were hands-down my favourite roommate besides (mostly-naked-most-of-the-time-Norwegian-National-Team-Swimmer-Peter roommate). Sorry… he’s tough competition… He cooked meals for me and offered to clean the kitchen when it was my mess. (Don’t worry, Mr. Jiro loved him too.)

    How are you and where in the world are you now? I married Mr. Jiro and we’re living happily and frolicking in Toronto.

    With love,
    your beloved Christe-Belle

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