I feel bad about my hands.
I have always thought they were ugly and have never treated them particularly well. They’re small and square and tough and there’s fuzz on the knuckles. They’re scarred and freckled. The fingernails are short and brittle and the cuticles are raggedy. I pick and gnaw at them like a dog. My grandmother called them “hangman’s hands.” She never explained.
But! For their part, never seem to want do what I tell them to. “Let’s catch that fly ball!” I’d say. “We think we’d rather flap around uselessly in front of your face!” they reply. “Let’s play this piano!” I say. “We don’t work separately like that,” they answer. “Let’s create this idea I have,” I’d beg. “We’ll give you 80% of it,” they say. “After that, you’ll have to negotiate with our agent.”
They are bastards, my hands.
So–I like gloves. I love gloves. Gloves are awesome. In fact, I think a large part of my interest in many sports is directly an interest in the gloves: fingerless cycling gloves with the padded palms; roping gloves with all that groovy fringe, fencing and falconry gauntlets, crocheted-back, pig-skin leather riding gloves, cricket batting gloves. I can’t resist a pair of opera-length kid-skin vintage gloves. Or the little cotton summer ones with the pearl buttons and the perfectly dainty embroidery at the cuffs. Goatskin gardening gloves with the stiff canvas gauntlets. Brown Italian leather, elbow-length that fit like…well, you know.
Because I think there’s definitely a window of opportunity here to bring back the glove. And not just for fancy sports or as a fashion runway subject for style bloggers. And not just for winter. Maybe especially not for winter. Consider all that hand sanitizer and grocery cart wipes we use as we interact with our greasy grubby world. The sunscreen! Shaking hands with hacking, phlegmy strangers in church!
Yes–like many once-indispensable wardrobe items: hats, corsets, fans, bed jackets, tiaras–gloves can make some less-intrepid types feel uncomfortably conspicuous and maybe even plain old uncomfortable. (When to put them on, when to take them off? Won’t it be too hot? Will it look too fussy? Will people think I have a weird thing about touching things? How will I text? And so on.) I get that. Personally, I have never understood scarves as summer accessories, for instance. All that fabric up around your neck and rubbing on your chin when it’s 90 degrees outside? What a friggin’ hassle.
But gloves? An elegant pair of gloves can cover a million hangnails, as they say. A glove elongates your fingers and makes an elegant line of your entire arm or a polished finish to short sleeve dress. An excellent pair of summer gloves can protect you from UV exposure and bugs and sticky, grimy subway railings and chipped nail polish. Little buttons at the wrist are outrageously understated sexy. And ou can slap someone across the cheek for being fresh. Or to challenge them to a duel. And excellent fitting leather glove is perfectly suited to texting.
I should be wearing gloves at all times for the same reason crazy people wear straight jackets: to keep me from harming myself. Most obviously to prevent me from nervously picking at my hangnails until they bleed, as well as the sheer knocking about–splinters and rope burns and lacerations and blisters and bloody knuckles of a basic work day. But also, they remind me not to absent-mindedly pick my ears or put my fingers in my mouth.
And they just look just so badass. Even the ones with the little flowers and bows embroidered on ’em.