This is Mr. H, the finger puppet.
This is Mr. H, the man, holding Mr. H, the finger puppet.
This is Miss A, my niece, holding Mr. H, the finger puppet, on her lap while touring Argentina on a bus.
Miss A and Mr. H are, to borrow a phrase from Facebook, "in a relationship". They are, IMHO, MFEO. Absolutely perfect together with one exception: they are not together. This couple is continentally challenged. You see, Mr. H is in Berkeley writing a thesis on a Henry James story while Miss A is in Chile immersing herself in the Spanish language. (I seriously envy them both).
I thought I'd help ease their separation just a bit by making a portable Mr. H for Miss A. A boyfriend she could put in her pocket, wrap around her finger, and best of all, sneak through customs. I think it's working, though maybe a little too well. Miss A recently asked her friends on Facebook if it was possible to fall in love with a finger puppet. Look out Mr. H - you've apparently got some mercerized cotton competition.
Not to worry, though, as a finger puppet can't hold a candle to the real Mr. H. I think he's just swell. It's amazing how a family can grow and envelop new people so readily and naturally. Not so many years ago (OK, 14 years ago), I was the new person to my husband's family. I'm sure they wondered how long I'd be around. Perhaps they guessed that I'd become a permanent fixture at the dinner table and bear new family members to fill up the kid's table. With nieces and nephews growing up, dating, marrying and bearing children of their own, our family has continued to grow in the most delightful way. Let me just go on record to say I hope Mr. H. is a permanent fixture at the dinner table, both the man and the finger puppet. Especially if he continues recommending great reads, such as Michael Chabon's, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I had no idea who Michael Chabon was until one morning a few months ago when I heard him interviewed on Weekend Edition. He read a few snippets from his collection of personal essays, Manhood for Amateurs, and I knew at once I had to hear more. I picked up the book on CD from the library and was not disappointed.
A few weeks ago when Mr. H recommended Mr. Chabon's novel, I was intrigued but skeptical. A book about two Jewish boys in New York City circa 1940 breaking into the comic book business didn't exactly strike my fancy at first. I should know by now not to judge a book by its synopsis. I spent last week sprawled out on the living room floor in front of the fireplace completely absorbed in The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I think I looked up more words in the dictionary last week than I looked up last year. The book made me think, made me cry, made me laugh and expanded my vocabulary. Defenestration. Need I say more?
I'm currently reading Bad Mother by Ayelet Whitman, Michael Chabon's wife, and next up on my queue is The Yiddish Policemen's Union. My dictionary is all warmed up and ready to go. I'm just in awe of The Third Most Annoying Literary Couple (according to Gawker), and it's all thanks to Mr. H, one half of The Most Adorable Couple (according to me). Thank you Miss A for bringing Mr. H into our fold.