For years, nay, decades, I’ve wanted what I’ve called a pair of writer’s gloves. Basically a pair of gloves without the fingertips to roughly the first joint of the finger, I also referred to them as “chimney sweep gloves” because that’s what Dick Van Dyke wore in Mary Poppins.
Years ago – we’re talking the late 70’s here – I saw someone selling them as writer’s gloves in the pages of Writer’s Digest. I wanted a pair and never ordered them, and forgot about them.
Then about twenty years ago, we moved into a house that won’t repair itself, with it’s windows cracking and a roof held together with holes (thank you, Andy Partridge). Because the house used heating oil to generate warmth (think the price of diesel fuel minus ten or twenty cents a gallon), we keep the temperature down and wear sweaters or hoodies a lot in the winter. And it was always cold on the hands when writing.
I tried to make myself writer’s gloves a couple of times… I had an old pair of Isotoner gloves that were too battered to wear in public, and I cut the fingertips off. It worked until the tips became an unraveled mess. Ditto those brown gloves you get for like $0.99 a dozen at hardware stores.So a few days ago I was in Target shopping for a new winter jacket, when what do my wondering eyes does appear… but gloves without fingertips! Lots of them! A rack full of them! And of course, I snatched up a pair.
I wondered for a moment about my good fortune and why there were so many of these in different colors – including models with sewn-on mitten tips so you could cover your fingertips – and then I realized they why of the renaissance: touch screen devices. They work off of the electrical resistance found in your skin, but when you wear a pair of gloves… no dice, Charlie. The giveaway was a pair of gloves (with fingertips) that had a special conductive tip in the index finger of each hand. You know, for app-tapping.
So the needs of smart phone users everywhere has turned into my good fortune. And yours, if you work in a cold writer’s garret, you literary romantic you. Lots of colors and styles to choose from. And if there’s not a Target store nearby, I’d bet a ream of printer paper that you could find them at one of the Marts, Wal or K. Happy shopping!
And yes, I’m wearing mine right now. Not that it’s particularly cold at the moment. I’ve got them on for, you know, practice.