This morning on NPR they were discussing a new finding that indicates a correlation between the length of your fingers (the difference between the ring and index, to be more precise) and its translation to your tendencies to live your life as either a worrier or a warrior. According to their research, if your ring finger is longer than your index finger, you are a warrior. As the panelists were talking, I absolutely removed my hand from the steering wheel to assess my finger length. After admiring my manicure and noting to myself that I could use some moisturizer, I was immediately perplexed. As it turns out, I am a warrior.
Only I am not.
Yes, my ring finger is longer than my index finger. By quite a bit, actually. I even made sure to check the other hand to see if they were consistent which, not surprisingly, they were. But, I know myself pretty well and would argue (as would most of my most intimate acquaintances) that I am solidly a worrier. In fact, there are people in my life (RRL and MLS, I am talking to you) who have given me the moniker “pre-worrier”. You see, I don’t just worry, I worry about things that maybe, possibly, if the stars are aligned and in a particular sun, could happen. Most of them never do, yet I still worry.
On the other hand, big things are a breeze for me. My mother often grumbles (with a bit more than an air of irritation) about my unique ability to sail through monumental things like a bi-lateral mastectomy, but freak out if my hair isn’t cooperating. I can handle (with a fair degree of aplomb) notifying my entire community that my son would heretofore be my daughter, but when some bitch who normally registers nothing on my radar of people I give a crap about looks at me sideways I am in a puddle. Sounds more like a worrier than a warrior to me.
According to dictionary.com, a warrior is a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness. Oh, well, if you put it that way…perhaps I am part warrior. Color me confused.
But I have long owned (embraced, even) the realities of being a worrier…and a hardcore worrier at that. I have more full-fledged, certified panic attacks under my belt than I care to remember. I like knowing that I have a Xanax available, should the need arise and I have spent countless hours obsessing over the infinite “what ifs” of the world, with little positive outcome. I fret over the minutiae of life and constantly weigh myself down with unnecessary anxiety. Given those actualities, you, too, would consider me a worrier.
However, that whole longer-ring-finger phenomenon must be based on some kind of fact – it was on NPR, after all. Add to that dictionary.com’s definition and, well, a pattern is emerging. I have shown vigor, courage and, most certainly, aggressiveness in my lifetime. I have, in fact, exhibited each of those characteristics on more than one occasion, and sometimes all at the same time. I am fairly certain that many on the outside looking in on our story as it unfolds would call me a warrior, if, for no other reason than my having gone wide with what many would consider a very personal adventure. As the ride continues its ascent (or are we on a descent?) I am, with slightly more regularity, embracing my inner warrior and telling the worrier to pound sand. This does not, in any way, shape or form, solidify my warrior status, though.
Which got me to thinking…and looking at my hands. Perhaps the fact that my index finger and its neighbor the ring finger lean in towards one another suggests a cosmic pull between my inner worrier/warrior. (Or it could be early arthritis.) And maybe there is some sort of meaning attached to the fact that I have enormous hands. (Or I might just have inherited them from my mother who, in turn, got them from her father.) And perhaps there is a study going on, at this very moment, looking at the significance of long nail beds versus short nail beds. Regardless, it is not lost on me that when you say “worrier” or “warrior” quickly, they are nearly indiscernible. And maybe, just maybe, that means more than any research may seek to prove. And perhaps I am a new breed: a warrior worrier.