Thursday, May 27

meet finneas

I lied. I am not a one-armed girl. I actually have one arm and 1/4 arm, a subtle yet significant distinction that my friends are quick to point out, lest I elicit too much sympathy. However, I feel, as titles go, “One Arm Girl” is a bit more catchy than “One and One Fourth Arm Girl.” Yes? Alright. Are we all still here? Retractions over, I would like to introduce you to Finneas, my left 1/4 arm.

I realize naming your appendages is not normal, and I would like you to know that I am not personally responsible for this. My friend Lucinda decided my arm had too much personality to remain nameless, and decided on Finneas, which I understand is the blanket name for cab drivers in Zimbabwe, akin to Jeeves among butlers. Lucinda’s husband is from Zimbabwe, so I’ll have to take her word for it. And I like Finneas, though I’m not sure how to spell it. It’s a better name than ‘little arm’ or ‘flipper’ or ‘What the hell is that?’; other descriptions employed. Ok, so I’ve never heard ‘What the hell is that?’ said to my face, but I’ve definitely imagined it.

Hidden under shirt sleeves for most of my life, Finneas is about eight inches long (I’m really bad at estimating, so he might be anywhere from five inches to a foot) with three fingers attached by skin, so they cannot move separately. From the best I can make out, what I have is a miniature deformed version of an upper arm attached to a hand. Interesting to note that, apparently, your hand develops in the womb before the rest of your arm, because I’ve seen other people with small hands attached at the shoulder. No one knows why my left arm never fully developed, though from time to time my mom confesses that she had one glass of wine and a Tylenol during her pregnancy with me. I generally look sadly at the floor and shake my head, “Yeah, that probably did it. Will you buy me a car?”

Finneas certainly deserves a name since he helps me with most everything that I do, primarily by holding things like milk cartons and books and small children; well, he can’t hold small children on his own, but he’s a team player. Lately, he’s been spending most of his time playing with the ends of my curls as they are now dangling long enough for him to reach. I’m hoping the novelty will eventually wear off. I recently found out how popular Finneas is while hanging out with some friends. It was raining and freezing, so I asked Ariel, who was sitting next to me, to feel how cold Finneas had become. When Kristen and Rebecca realized what was going down, both reached across the table to get in on the action. These are two of my closest friends and I had no idea getting to touch my small deformed arm had been a hidden dream, or how close I was to making that dream a reality. I do what I can.

And that’s just the beginning, but I’ve already written more than I intended. A quick note of appreciation: despite our rough start, and your probable decision not to trust anything I say from now on, I am ecstatic to see that I already have five blog followers, though I have yet to discover what exactly that means. And even more of you stopped by and left kind comments. This came as a surprise since I was mostly hoping my mom might read it from time to time.

(Also, my hair in the above photo was going through a bad time)




  1. I love you, OneArmGirl.
    You are no joke - you rock!!
    It is a delight to be reconnected through your blog.
    Keep 'em coming :)

  2. Great writing, as usual. And although you've yet to complete that book we edited in writer's group, this blog is the beginning of something great, I have no doubt.

  3. i've always kind of thought of your arm as more of a deformed chicken wing/flipper . Ha? anyway coming to town near

  4. I am so glad you decided to do this! I can't wait to see and read more! Oh by the way the second pic is gorgeous...ok well all your pics are gorgeous!

  5. "From time to time"? You know I will read it religiously! This is "marvelous"—Think Billy Crystal! Made me lol several times.

  6. Hey Tasha, welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. Great stuff so far! I've added you to my feed reader and look forward to seeing more :)

    I think it's interesting that Finneas has a male identity. My association with the name is the zealous high priest Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, who performs the righteous act of killing a man who was sleeping with a Midianite woman and thus bringing a plague upon Israel: "When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel" (Num 25:7-8). Now that's a powerful hand! :)

    Peace, Pat

  7. "I love you more every day." --Rebecca

  8. I also thought it was funny the Finneas is male. :)

    And did you know that you can change your prefs in photo booth so you don't end up with a mirror image? Just go to the "edit" tab and select "auto flip pics".

    I love reading your writing. It's like having a conversation (where I don't say anything!). :) Love you.

  9. This is great! Thanks for the shout out! In the event that your blog makes you famous, I feel special to have a part in the naming of your 1/4 arm. I feel special anyways... regardless of your celebrity status! You're great and I like you a lot!

  10. Just read this... Loved it, and now must know: What kind of car did you get from your Mom?

  11. Re: the hairdo, just remember, if the McEnroe look makes a comeback it'll be entirely your fault.