gotta hand it to me

I write shit on my paw. Left one. Reminders. To-do lists, when I don’t trust whatever pathetic crumpled scrap I’m bound to lose. I have written shit on my paw for as long as I can remember, and for this I blame my late mother, because she wrote shit on her paw the whole time I knew her and presumably decades before. When I was too small to write shit on my paw myself, I remember Mama writing it on hers, although she did so with much neater and more artful Depression-era-perfecto handwriting than I ever managed with my late-late-late-Boomer indecipherable dying-chicken scratch.

When I was a kid, fretful adults suggested I might get “ink poisoning” through my skin, and even then I knew enough about dermatology and simple animal biology to realize that skin wasn’t actually that porous or we would all bloat into giant, flesh-colored, distantly hominid-shaped water balloons each and every time we took a bath or walked through a sprinkler or something. So I tended to discount this as a possibility.

Most days, the real estate between my thumb and index finger is littered with such quotidian directives as: SHOP and CLEAN (which I ignore) and GO TO BANK (which I can’t afford to ignore), as well as reminders to CALL THIS PERSON and CALL THAT PERSON and PAY THIS BILL and PAY THAT BILL, plus the more all-encompassing, borderline-hysterical PAY BILLS!!!!! (with an implied, unstated DUMBASS!!!!!). Occasionally I scribble something down that’s a bit too vague or telegrammatic to be truly helpful, such as the urgent SHIFT!! I penned on my hand one afternoon last week. I’d intended it as a reminder to sign up for a weekend news rotation at work, but all I could do, the morning after, was to stare at it blankly and ask: What what? Which gear?

The idea behind all this auto-graphical list-making is to help me remember things I forget, which is a challenging and also somewhat hilarious prospect, because I forget EVERYTHING. I am not exaggerating. If my hand were big enough to accommodate all the shit I might lose track of on a daily basis, I would have no room on my body for anything else. Think about that for a minute. No, wait. Don’t.

6 thoughts on “gotta hand it to me

    • I do that all the time….. call my different voice mails, set alarms on my cell phone, email reminders and lists! My almost 57 year old mind cannot babysit my to Do list anymore. Oh well we have to do what we have to do to get it done.

  1. Oh too funny. I leave “to dos” on my left paw as we’ll. A colleague saw me writing one day & said “wow – I thought all that stuff on your hand was a tat !” 😄

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