How could I have believed that a coat of polish would make my large, chubby hands appear less manly? My palms looked so wide. My fingers were thick. And the lines — so many lines everywhere. There were creases on the backs of my hands, creases on my knuckles, creases on my palms. What was happening to me?

In my mind, I remembered hands — other people’s hands — as being perfectly smooth, lineless, flawless, artistic arrangements of elegant fingers and slender palms. My hands were the exact opposite of the hands in my mind’s eye. They weren’t hands; they were anti-hands.