Am I broken?


So yesterday I read about someone “twiddling their thumbs” and I wondered what that would look like so I did what I imagine that is but it looked ridiculous and so instead I decided to twiddle my other fingers and that’s when I realized that my hand is broken.

Not the whole hand, but my ring fingers.  When I put my hands together like I’m praying I can move all of my fingers except my ring fingers which are totally glued together by witchcraft.  I thought maybe everyone was like that but then I asked Victor and Hailey and they could both move their ring fingers and now I don’t know if they’re very gifted or I’m super broken so I’m asking you, internets.

PS.  This is hard to explain so let me see if I can get a video.


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I needed a video to demonstrate. Rolly: I'M HELPING.

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Is it just me?

UPDATED!  Okay, several of you sent me tricks to help and one of them actually worked!  See below.  And then stopped working.  And now I’m just as confused as before.

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There's a trick!

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Updated:  If you’re not following me on twitter you are seriously missing out on the magic of weird body parts.  Click here for the storify.

234 thoughts on “Am I broken?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I can do it! It doesn’t mean you’re broken though! Just built slightly different!

  2. I can move my ring fingers.

    But you have some RA, right? Is it in your hands? I wonder if it might be related to that?

  3. I can do it with my ring fingers but only if I hold my hands out farther away from my body, the closer they are, the harder it gets

  4. Of all the things to use witchcraft for…I feel like you need some practice or something.
    WAIT! Don’t keep practicing that one…if you’re lucky it’ll only fuse toes together. Even that…good lord, I already trip on flat surfaces.

  5. I can move mine, but I have some weird double jointedness / hypermobility. so, in actuality, I believe victor, hailey & I are broken…… either that or your ring fingers are terrified of moving & being bitten by the cat. (no sound card on my work computer, so I’m just guessing)…..

  6. I think it’s totally you, but Rolly will fix it. Or just bite it. He’s totally helping.

  7. I think ring fingers are always less dexterous?

    I just love how Rolly is like WHATEVER HUMAN USE THOSE FINGERS TO PET ME.

  8. I can only move my ring fingers about a quarter-inch apart. I don’t think it’s just you. THIS TIME.

  9. Uh, just you… ;-). But can you curl your tongue? Some people can, some people can’t.

  10. I don’t think you’re broken I can only barely pull my ring fingers apart, and that’s probably because all the fingers in my left hand move weirdly after the third time I broke that wrist.

  11. I can move my my ring fingers but I remember reading somewhere that sometimes people can’t. (P.s. you have a lovely rack. And I’m not even into girls. But I do appreciate a lovely rack when I see one…)

  12. You’re totally not broken. It’s your ring finger tendons. They’re tighter than all your other fingers. That’s why they don’t move nearly as much.

  13. i can do it..barely. its a struggle lol. my kids laugh at me cause they can do it easily. but i can move my pinky toe on my right foot…they can’t…so i win!! 🙂

  14. It’s common. There’s a nifty little thing that uses your fingers like that to show the importance of people in your life. Make a fist with each hand, steeple your index fingers together. Pull them apart. That signifies your parents. Eventually you leave them and go on your own. Put those down, do your middle fingers. Pull them apart. Those are your siblings. Eventually yall part ways. Put em down, doyour pinkies like you did the others. They pull apart, too. Those are your children. Now put them down and do yourring fingers. They won’t come apart. That’s your spouse. That’s real romantic love.

  15. I can do it, but didn’t know until now that I could, so now I’m clapping for you with my ring fingers! Not to rub it in or anything. Just kind of excited!

  16. I know there’s something about the nerves in your hands and how they’re set up re: your ring finger and your pinky finger. Schumann was said to have worked on the strength in his ring finger and pinky by doing things like tying them to the ceiling while he slept and using strange machines to strengthen them. Then again he died from mercury poisoning/tertiary syphilis/dystonia. So, you know, there you go.

    In short, you’re awesome. Never change.

  17. None of my fingers come apart very easily, but to the extent they do, my ring finger moves.. However, I can neither wink nor do the Spock finger thing. I am just digitally different, not broken. Ergo, neither are you!

  18. Not just you! It’s common to have weird body idiosyncrasies that you only realize when you see someone doing something that you can’t do. My husband is completely unable to snap his fingers or curl his tongue. I’m unable to move my pinkies independently.

    However, one of your other posters mentions RA. So, it may possibly be a minor nerve compression due to inflammation or (sorry!) poor posture.

  19. I presume it’s a more extreme version of that old trick. If you put your hand on a flat surface and tuck your middle finger to your palm, you can lift all fingers except your ring finger. Your ring finger and middle finger are linked somehow (can’t remember the details).

    In your case I guess you don’t even need to tuck the middle finger away. Maybe you’re not broken, just evolved?

  20. I know in your hand there isn’t the tendon to the ring fingers that there is to your other fingers.. so if you make a fist and put it on the desk, you should be able to lift each finger separately except the ring fingers, you might get them slightly off the desk, but not to the same extent of the others! Maybe your fingers just are less tendony than normal???

  21. Different people can do different things. Some of us can move our ring fingers, some can only move them a little bit, some can’t move them at all. Just because you cannot move your ring fingers doesn’t mean you are broken. <3

  22. No movement at all is probably uncommon, but not broken. Those fingers are the weakest and least able to be finely controlled for most people. In related questions, can you give the Spock “Live Long and Prosper” hand salute? With both hands? Can you do it with the pinky separated (rather than two fingers)? With both hands? I’d be willing to bet the answer to most of these questions is no. :-).

    (I totally can. ~ Jenny)

  23. I can do it – but you not being able to doesn’t mean you’re broken. Plus, you have Rolly – and I think that puts you into the “win” column.

  24. I can, but it’s harder to do than all my other fingers. And as I was testing it, I laughed to myself thinking about how there are probably thousands of us all trying to do this at the SAME TIME. I think this is how you take over the world.

  25. I can get maybe half a centimeter of spread with my ring fingers, which is significantly less than my other fingers, and it also results in an uncomfortable strain. (My ring fingers still ache from the effort.)

    So I don’t think it’s a “your broken” thing, I think it’s a “genetic thing that has a spectrum” thing. You should see if other family members have the same quirk!

  26. Mine don’t want to move very far. The others move, but not as far as yours, which is weird, right? I think it’s cat bite damage, frankly.

  27. You’re not broken! Did you know that the ring finger doesn’t have a full muscle that goes down into the arm like the rest of the fingers? It’s a very short muscle that only goes partway down your palm and then connects to the 3rd fingers muscle. That’s why the ring finger is so weak – it can’t do much without the 3rd fingers muscle. I teach piano and that’s how I learned this. You are not broken! ❤️

  28. I can do it with my ring fingers, but can only barely do it with my middle fingers. I think it’s like wiggling your ears…some people can do it, some people can’t. And I just discovered that Joy Pearson (commenting above) is totally right about the distance your hands are from your body making a difference.

    Also, this is the most significant and important think I’m going to do ALL DAY!!

  29. I can move my ring fingers apart, but it’s about half as far as I can the other fingers. Does that mean I’m defective instead of broken? That somehow sounds worse…

  30. Yeah, pretty sure I see your problem there. You have a cat attached to your hand. If you stay really still it will get bored and move away. Or eat you. One or the other.

  31. I have very little range of motion when doing it with my ring fingers.

    And of course you’re broken. Your friend Pat can sell you a sticker with the rest of the phrase.

    I’m furiously happy because of your helpful Rolly.

  32. If it feels super important to you, you CAN get them to move with work. I used to have “brick feet,” like, none of my non-big toes could move except as a flappy unit. If someone said “lift just your second toe!” I’d focus on it like I was trying to bend a damned spoon and nothing happened. Until one day it did. I had to grow that neural pathway or something. Now I’m practically a tree frog. Or at least less flipper-footed. You got this man, I have faith in you.

    (YOU CAN MOVE YOUR NON-BIG TOES SINGULARLY? Fuck. Now there’s another thing I didn’t know I couldn’t do. ~ Jenny)

  33. Not broken at all! Your (well, not just you, all of us. Probably. I hope.) second and third fingers share a tendon, while your first finger and little fingers have their own tendons to play with. You can’t move your ring finger because the tendon is already fully extended by how you’re holding your hands. Others might be able to move their ring fingers a little bit, but it won’t be as much as they can move their other fingers.

  34. I can totally do the Star Trek Spock thing, and roll my tongue and dislocated my shoulders. But I cannot move the ring fingers or do a cartwheel to save my life. Bodies are weird, y’all.

  35. I just tried…..
    I can move my ring fingers but only the tiniest distance apart.
    I got my chap to try.
    He could hardly do it either.
    We are broken too it seems, but broken in some damn fine company

  36. To be clear, my focus was as if trying to bend a spoon with MY MIND. Otherwise, I’d just pick it up and bend it, easy peasy ’cause i’m wicked strong.

  37. Lol, can’t say that I have ever tried before now, but turns out that it’s kind of hard. So, I have to go with I can, sort of. 😊😊😊😊

  38. I can move my ring fingers, but my pinkies are difficult. I also can’t twiddle my thumbs because the fingers of my left hand are weirdly flexible compared to my right. My right thumb’s normal, but my left one does a kind of back bend that makes the twiddling not work so great. I am not sure if I am broken, or this is the downside to having some kind of thumb-flexibility super power.

  39. No, you are not broken. Maybe Victor and Hailey are double-jointed or something. When you’re doing a human subject study, you really need to have more than three people.

  40. I can do it, but it hurts a little. And they don’t go as far as the other fingers. But, to be honest, I always thought I couldn’t do it… I mean, I’m pretty sure I tried this before and wasn’t able to separate them.

  41. I can do this. There are probably a ton of body-weird things that others can do that I can’t, however. For example I can’t clover my tongue despite years of trying.

  42. It’s not just you. I have very limited range of motion of my ring fingers. My ASL teacher told me have a speech impediment when I sign because I can’t move my ring fingers independent of my other fingers.

  43. I believe your fingers are glued together by cat snuggles, aka that sort of nose blowing thing they sometimes do when ‘claiming’ you. I can do it, but def harder if hands are closer to my body.

  44. If your wrist are swollen at all you won’t be able to do it. You may be able to do it on another day but I wouldn’t try. When your slacking off and victor yells at you just tell him you couldn’t do it your fingers won’t work. Best excuse and it’s the truth.

  45. I can move each set of fingers apart, but the ring fingers do not move as far apart as the others. Further experiments find that if I separate my pointer fingers and ring fingers at the same time, the ring fingers only move about 1/2 the width away compared to the pointer fingers, but if I separate the ring fingers in conjunction with either the middle or pinkie fingers, the ring fingers will move the same distance apart as the other fingers. I don’t know what this means, except I just got paid for testing out my finger movement and typing up the results.

  46. I think its just you, but I’m sure it’s just a weird aren’t broken…even if you are…we love you and aren’t we all broken in some way anyway?

  47. I can move them, it definitely takes more effort and they don’t move as far apart. I’ve heard the muscles in those fingers are the weakest, which is why we use those to apply eye cream in a gentle tapping motion.

  48. I lost the end of my left ring finger at the knuckle when I was very small, due to an exercise bicycle, a pre-safety-conscious time, and extreme dumbth on my part. Yesterday I whacked the tip of that finger, and OWOWOW, because it’s basically just cartiledge and nerves under a teeny layer of skin. That finger immediately decided to hibernate by folding down to the palm, and I am now wearing it taped and buddied up to the pinky to keep it straight while the bruise goes down. So yes, tighter tendon right there.

  49. I can move my ring fingers, but it is way harder than the others. And when I try, a cat does not appear. So you are not broken, you are magic. The cat proves it.

  50. I like what Bella had to say.

    But yes, I can. I can’t put them or my pinkie fingers as far apart as my middle and forefingers, but I can still separate them.

    It does however, hurt to do it, and they go even less far apart than usual, on a bad hand-pain day (fibro), so perhaps your arthritis (etc) stuff has something to do with it?

    That or your hands are just defective. Probably past the warranty date though, so you are stuck with ’em like that.

  51. Ring fingers are the weakest, this is why you are supposed to use that finger for applying eye cream – to protect the more delicate skin around the eye.

  52. Well, I can get all my fingers apart doing it your way. The ring finger is the hardest, but I can do it. However, I can only do the “Live long and prosper” finger thingie with my left hand; it doesn’t happen at all with my right hand unless I use my left hand to put the fingers into place, and then they slap back together the minute I let go. So, my right hand is kind of a “I hope you’re still alive next month and not completely destitute” greeting.

  53. this is one of the things we played with back in elementary school when learning about genetics. It’s just like attached vs detached earlobes or eye color or tongue rolling. Some people’s tendons in their ring fingers prevent the ring finger from having full, independent motion from the other fingers (at least as far as i recall what i learned over 20 years ago while distracted with rolling my tongue).

  54. That is perfectly normal. I have been playing guitar for thirty-eight years. What you are doing is one of the exercises my first teacher gave me when I was 9 years old to show the different amounts of flexibility each finger has. The ring finger is typically less flexible than the others since its tied so closely to the pinky. 🙂

  55. I can, but I have Marfans syndrome, and we’re naturally extra bendy. There’s some bad stuff that goes along with that, but I’ll spare you that. It is Marfan’s awareness month thought, so maybe I should tell you? It’s a congenital connective tissue disorder (your connective tissue runs all over your body), and it makes us long-limbed, extra bendy, we can have aortic problems (like spontaneous aortic aneurysm), it can cause us to go blind…big fun. But we’re just people, like everyone else, we just have to be more careful. Anywho, I digress…. in short, I can move my ring fingers. Maybe Ferris Mewler broke yours by chewing on them?

  56. It is definitely harder to pull them apart and I can’t move them as far as the others. It is not just you!

  57. Try laying your hands flat on a table and try lifting your fingers one by one. I have trouble with my ring fingers there, too.

  58. Rolly made me laugh. My dogs help like that. I can do it. But maybe it’s like ear wiggling. Some can. Some can’t. I can’t ear wiggle. Or roll my tongue.

  59. So, I can move all fingers except my right ring finger. It’s like my finger is waiting for a high five but not really participating, which is really lazy. Super weird.

  60. Well I can move mine but I don’t think it means yours are broken, just different. Maybe better?

  61. Mine do go apart, but not very far! Need to work on their flexibility lol

  62. It has something to do with the tendons in your hand – I broke one of my hands in a car accident and now my finger dexterity on one hand is shot.

    I don’t think what you’re doing is ‘twiddling’. I always thought it meant to fold your fingers through each other (like praying) and then your thumbs do circles around one another.

    God, this is IMPOSSIBLE TO EXPLAIN. I’ve never wanted to post a video in a blog comment section before, but there’s a first for everything. WordPress? New request please.

  63. I can do it and without feline help. Must be a sign of genius…just not sure which is the pro-
    genius and which is the anti-genius.

  64. I heard the only the super intelligent, like IQ of over 195 can’t move their ring fingers like that. As your IQ goes up, it just gets harder and harder.

  65. I had a piano teacher who made me practice moving my ring finger in order to focus moving only that finger. She had me place my hand flat on a table, and tap each finger multiple times. Even with years of practice, my ring finger still moves clumsily, but I have some independent movement with it.

  66. Well fear not my friend! I am a freak like you! I too cannot pry my ring fingers apart. I got a few interesting looks from coworkers for my efforts!! 🙂
    But then again I can’t wink my left eye and hot liquids make my inner ear feel funnny so this just adds to my overall “quirky” status.

  67. Tell them to put their hand down flat on a table, palm down. Now tuck your middle finger up under your pal. Now try to move your ring finger! While keeping the middle finger down. No one can do that!

  68. There was a “game” we played as kids where you would tuck you middle finger under – and lay the rest or your hand out flat to a table surface. We’d attribute a weight to each free finger – and the ring finger? Would be “light as a feather” and IMPOSSIBLE to lift. I think that is why you are having trouble. Same muscles and ligaments involved and if you are pressing your hands together with any decent amount of pressure? That would have a similar effect.
    If I’m right do I get a prize? Ok that’s just mercenary – I’ll give you this one for free – because I know you need to have yourself relieved of this burden! 😉

  69. The flexor tendons in your fingers are just constructed differently. Same reason when some people bend down their ring fingers their pinkies go down a bit too. Each finger has its own flexor tendon, but they can also branch out in a funky way. Thank your DNA. And also possibly your 3rd great grandmother…who hailed from Narnia. These little quirks make us perfectly imperfect, no?

  70. @Lise thanks for spreading the word about Marfan’s. My Aunt died prematurely in her early thirties because she was undiagnosed. She had all the symptoms.

  71. I have to chime in on the toes thing. I can move my baby toes completely independently of the others. My husband calls them “monkey toes” and says he must just be more evolved than I am. I think it is awesome, and if I ever lose my hands in an industrial accident, I will be able to write, feed, and groom myself with my talented feet.

  72. I am very used to my body not doing things that some people consider normal, but it turns out that my ring finger just does what it’s told. I feel like I must be winning at something. The right genes for finger mobility, in fact. I’ve got every other bad thing, so this is a small victory

  73. I can 100% move my pinky toe independently of my other toes.
    My cousin & I taught ourselves when we were 5. I cannot, however walk & chew gum

  74. So I tried it, I can move all my fingers…except…my middle finger on my right hand…so who knows what that means

  75. I don’t know if you are broken or not but damn girl, you are ADORABLE!!!! Especially when you scrunch up your nose…..Please make more videos!

  76. I can circle my pinky toes, independently. I suspect it is because I keep breaking them by tripping on stuff.

  77. I think your real problem is with an under-petted kitty. I can barely pull my ring fingers apart, too.

  78. Sorry, I totally missed what the video was even about because ROLLY! Omigosh, so funny. He’s all, “Who cares what fingers you can move, human. LOVE ME or I will EAT YOU.” lol

  79. You’re a writer and I assume you type a lot and your wrists probably get fatigued, and all that crap. My point is that’s why. Last year, I had severe carpal tunnel to the point where I had to have surgery on my right hand. And after the surgery, I was still having problems, so they sent me to physical therapy. My therapist had me doing these ridiculous looking exercises for weakness in my hands, which involved basically placing my hand flat on a table, and lifting each finger individually. It took me a week to be able to lift my ring fingers individually. So wondering if you’ve ever been diagnosed with carpal tunnel – because that’s apparently a symptom. You’re not broken. You’re just a writer. 🙂

  80. Yes, you are broken. I’m totally jealous of your brokenness (is that word). We’re all broken; only most of the world is too afraid to let people know. The only thing I can move independently is my middle toe on my right foot. Yep, I can flip the bird with my toe. It’s pretty awesome because I can flip the bird to my boss and he’ll never be the wiser.

  81. As my doctor would say, “I wouldn’t worry about it.” Like you were worried, and not just curious.

    My index finger was permanently cocked for over a year, as if I was pulling the trigger on a gun. It’s called “trigger finger.” I did a lot of visualization and finger exercises to get my brain to recognize the finger again and release it, which worked. Weird. Trigger finger happens to people who use their fingers rapidly, like pianists and typists. I guess it becomes a blur for the brain.

    So my guess: your brain doesn’t think those ring fingers are all that important in prying apart. Which symbolizes your deep and abiding love for Victor.

  82. The short answer is that some people have more/fewer muscles/tendons controlling their fingers than other people.

    For another example, can you fold down your pinky finger with all of your other fingers up? I can’t, but my half-sister and half-brother can.

    I suspect it’s a French thing– In many parts of Europe, they count using different fingers:
    1 – Thumb
    2 – Thumb & Index
    3 – Thumb, Index, & Middle
    4 – Thumb, Index, Middle, & Ring <– Impossible for me to do.
    5 – All

  83. My ring fingers can move apart just fine, probably because of the number of times I regularly pull out the ironic “villain finger steeple” gesture. Good exercise for the hands, I’m sure.

  84. Not just you. I can barely separate my thumbs, or my ring fingers. I had a broken wrist, and think that might have screwed up the tendons plus, back in my self harm days, I used to punch the wall when I was super upset, and I busted the knuckles by my ring finger. That’s all I’ve got. Lol!

  85. I read the title and thought this was going to be a really deep, emotional post; was very concerned until I read further. Hahaha

    I can move my ring fingers, but only, like, an inch with intense effort. (Unless, of course, I move my ring finger and my pinky and/or middle finger at the same time.) It’s not surprising to me – I’ve always known that ring fingers can barely move apart from their little friends, pinky and middle…It’s kind of their main distinguishing feature, besides the whole “wedding-ring” thing. Codependent little digits…


  86. I can move mine but just barely. On another topic, there is a new show on Netflix that Victor will wonder WTF you made him watch again. 🙂

  87. I JUST had my boyfriend do it! I personally, physically cannot.
    There’s an anatomical explanation about tendons on that finger are linked to the neighboring fingers’ tendons.

  88. OK, so the reason for this, if I remember correctly, is because there is a ligament connecting the ring fingers to the pinky fingers and it is super stiff – it’s actually hard for most people to move their ring fingers independently so your husband and daughter are broken, not you! Yay! (well actually they have a small mutation that allows them to be able to do it – the kidlet probably got it from her dad.) But there are tricks to stretch and loosen the ligaments, often used by musicians. I used to play the flute as a teenager and I had super, super tiny hands until well into adulthood so I had to be really diligent about my hand exercises. Unfortunately, my memory is utter garbage so I can’t remember exactly how to do them anymore but Google is your friend! It won’t be an instant fix and you’ll have to keep up with the stretching exercises to keep the mobility you gain but it is possible…it will also improve typing speed and fine motor coordination to an extent.

  89. Huh. I can move all of mine. I’m sure there is a simple explanation though. Hopefully it’s a matter of doing some exercises to strengthen the ligaments or something.

  90. I can. I can also move my little toes independently. But my daughter can bend her forefinger JUST AT THE TOP JOINT ie not also at the knuckle. She taught herself as a child, lying awake for hours each night waiting to go to sleep. Sometimes I get nervous about the power she’ll have over me when I’m an old lady.

  91. My daughter has a trick with her toes. She can spread her toes apart, then, cross the big toe over the next one AND the pinky toe over the one next to it WITHOUT USING HER HANDS!!!! It is so freaky! But cool to watch, lol.

  92. I can do it but I credit having really long fingers. However, I cannot bend my hand backward like you show in the second video. Apparently we are broken by different things?
    The “ring finger” is the weakest one on each hand, which is why it’s the one you should use to pick or rub goop out of your eye. You’re welcome.

  93. In the grand scheme of things, ring finger movement is not that urgent. However, moving the ring finger is tied to movement of the pinky finger- try stretching your fingers to see if it helps. My ring finger is pretty limited

  94. I can do. But i can’t move my thumb without moving my first two fingers. Does this mean my thumbs are codependent?

  95. kewl!
    as a kid, we practiced the putting your hand flat with the one finger folded under, and the star trek live long and prosper, and the magic trick to shorten your arm by “winding up” your elbow. as my kids came along, i showed them all of those.
    one of them asked about doing your hand like the dr seuss critters – can’t tell you how long it took me to get that to work. even still, if i do the star trek hands, it takes me a while to get the dr seuss hand to work again, and vice versa.

  96. I can do this with all 5 pairs.

    I also can do the gimpy-finger-tips thing somewhat. Used to be all 10, but now it’s only middle and ring-finger (old age is a bitch).

    I have always, and can still, do that thing where I can hyper-extend all my fingers significantly, such that I can put work gloves on backwards, on the wrong hands, and COMPLETELY freak out my mother. (I should make a video of that, ‘cuz it’s totally gross.)

  97. Huh. Mine come apart but I can’t roll my tongue (and apparently whistle wrong since I can’t do the scrunchy tongue or rolled). I also apparently have more than one set of nerves where there should only be one, so maybe the fingers thing is my tradeoff (the nerve thing I would not call a plus).

    As the surgeon said, every body is different (much more pc than the freak of nature designation the neurosurgeon gave me). So depending on your mindset, take it as the variety of biology or fly the freak flag. Apparently it’s normal to not be normal.

  98. It may have already been stated, but anatomically, the ring finger’s tendons don’t move independently very well and are tethered to the middle finger. You’re normal.

  99. That’s why make-up ladies say to use your ring finger to appy eye cream and concealer with your ring finger….its the weakest. Don’t ask me why I know that……

  100. You aren’t broken, you’re just different. It’s probably of those genetic quirks. I can move my ring fingers, but I can’t roll my tongue like the husband and daughters. Love the helpful cat!

  101. My dad’s motto about just about everything applies to your fingers (and to my little fingers which are always curled up as if I’m having tea with the queen):

    Nobody’s gonna get down off their horse to look.

  102. Naw, you’re just Fine! My ring-fingers just Barely separate… so, I’m with you, and, in this way, at least, you Are normal 😉! What it is, is probably, the tendon and muscle/s for our (technically) third fingers, just Are That Way. Doubt if there’s a lot of variation- except for the inevitable “outliers”, who have exceptional 3rd finger strength/flexibility!

  103. Did you know that the ring finger and pinky are the two weakest digits?? Yep, that’s why when applying eye-makeup with your fingers (remember doing that before brushes became the norm and not just for make-up artists??) you use either of them so as not to pull at the delicate skin.

  104. Not sure what you mean about the moving toes thing – in our family, our second toes are longer than our big toes, and we can all pinch people with our toes, and pick things up off the ground with our toes (small things, like pencils – I mean, we’re not freaks or anything 😉 ).

  105. nahh not broken, just a tad different. I can do it, but with effort, and maybe only an inch or less apart, The cat, however, had me in stitches.
    I’d not worry about it, its probably the same kind of human glitch as being able to wiggle your ears or not, or roll your tongue (yeuwww) or being able to lock the bottom joints on your fingers and just bend the toppest one (without helping it). That one I can do.

  106. i can only do it a little bit. but i had a pretty nasty skating accident and my hand is limited anyway. i wave like a t rex. i think not being able to do it is a thing. but I’m a writer not a doctor, so who knows!

  107. I don’t know if it is the power of suggestion, but I tried and I can’t do it either!

  108. This is a thing for MOST people to some degree!

    I learned something similar as a magic trick when I was little. Here’s that trick:

    Basically, the tendons in your ring and middle finger are connected, so you can’t move them independently very well, especially when your middle finger has force applied to it (like presing your hands together or on a table) because there’s no tendon flexibility left for your ring finger!

  109. Just recently I found out I have arthritis in my hand. I started doing hand exercises, and also found that my ring finger is the most uncooperative of all my fingers. I think there’s a reason for that, but haven’t found out what it is. Note: I can do the Spock “Live long and prosper”.

  110. My son and I can both move our ring fingers but we learned my husband is just like you and can’t.

  111. I can separate my ring fingers, but I think it’s only due to years playing the flute when I was in school. thanks for showing me a new party trick!

  112. Oh, Jenny! The things you make us try to do! 😂 You’re not broken, just differently-talented. I can do the finger thing, but I can’t whistle properly (I can only whistle by inhaling instead of exhaling). Apparently, people are capable of moving toes individually, but it takes constant practice (and I can’t be bothered). It was so good to see Rolly; I think he makes fewer appearances than even Victor does!

  113. It’s a weird evolution thing involving the tendons in your hand. Some people can’t move their ring finger independently from their middle finger.

  114. I could not do this with any of my fingers until I did some hand stretches. :\

  115. This is not twiddling, you know! Fold hands, pull palms apart, and roll your thumbs over and under and around each other.

  116. My grandfather’s version of “twiddling his thumbs” was to rub the top of each thumb with the other- back and forth, back and forth. I had never seen this before nor have I seen it since. It’s probably some mind game your brain is playing on you. IDK.

  117. 100% normal (and I’m a hand surgeon). At least with respect to this part of you (c; There is a single muscle that is connected to 4 ropes (tendons) that go to each of your 4 fingers (thumb is separate). Then there’s two extra muscles that go specifically to your index (pointer) and small (baby) fingers, so they can move independently. Ring finger is designed for strong grip, so he doesn’t straighten as much as long (middle).

  118. I can do the Spock thing, I can’t roll my tongue, I can’t dislocate things. And can only barely get my ring fingers apart.

    I am sooooo..weird!!


  119. The classical composer, Robert Schumann, became a composer because he failed as a pianist. According to NPR, “The 1830s were the dawn of a new kind of piano virtuosity, exemplified by Chopin and Liszt. Schumann was eager to make his mark, and to try to speed up the process he constructed a weird device using a cigar box and some wire. It was intended to prop up his fingers while practicing, the idea being to strengthen them and develop independence. But instead, two fingers on his right hand were permanently injured.” It’s okay to be broken, Jenny, cause the cure might be worse!

  120. We are sitting here at 10:30 at night doing this! Ha! My husband can’t do it either! He’s not broken and neither are you. You are both unique, special and wonderful!

  121. You are like me! Akhilande! The little known Hindu goddess, who rides around on the back of a crocodile! Her name literally means NEVER NOT BROKEN! SHE IS BROKEN AT ALL TIMES! This is us! Also, like many things… evolution gave us 10 fingers, but only enough workings for 6. Kinda like how some men can only think with one head at a time. And the toe thing? I have a dear friend who suffered a horrible foot accident. As part of her pt… she did learn to operate her toes independently… and it’s pretty fucking creepy. Loves!

  122. I saw the title of this post in my email subject line and thought “Of course you are broken. We’re ALL broken.” But that was before I read about your fingers. I’m sure that must be some kind of hereditary trait. Or something.

  123. Jenny, you are so cute. Really. I hope that you always remember that.
    If I met you somewhere, not knowing that you write this awesome blog or have written books that are practically (or maybe literally) lifesavers to people, I would like you instantly just because you are adorable.
    But too bad your cat seems to hate you so much.

  124. My fondest memory is of spending hours talking to my Grandfather as he sat on his couch, hands clasped across his stomach and his thumbs twiddling (rolling around each other). There are times when I’m deep in thought, I catch myself twiddling my thumbs the exact same way he did (even though I’m a few years younger 🙂 than he was when I noticed this little habit of his). It is very therapeutic for me, and has helped me think through many difficult situations. I now (on purpose) try to twiddle my thumbs as I’m spending time with my own children in the hopes they will pick up this trait my Grandfather has passed on to me and maybe in the long run, I will also help them to be able to think through life’s problems as they come their way.
    Thanks for conjuring up a very comforting memory!

  125. I wonder if there is any correlation between this and the ability to give the Vulcan salute which is usually accompanied by the phrase “Live Long and Prosper”. Which, come to think of it, is probably something Victor is more familiar with so you might need to consult with him on this one.

  126. Oooh! On each foot, I can move my big toe by itself, my big toe and second toe together, the next three toes as a group, and finally the pinky toe by itself. My father can, without practice, wiggle each toe completely independently, which always amazed me. However, no matter how hard I tried, I could never duplicate that feat in the least!

  127. It’s an extra challenge for me to move my ring fingers, but I can do it. I can’t bend my fingers back/up like you did in the video, though. And I can’t move ANY of my toes independently, even my big toe. It’s all or nothing, baby. Though my husband and daughter can move toes independently. And my mom. So I guess my toes are broken.

  128. I am shocked that neither 23&me nor predicted this. Also, making the necessary explanatory video obviously cut into Rolly’s Very Important Kitty Petting/Smooching Time. Check-is he sulking somewhere? He needs EXTRA Smooches and Petting!

  129. For the record…I tried this. My ring and pinky fingers want to move together, not separately. I can move them separately if I try hard, but they want to move together.

  130. So long as you’ve got opposable thumbs you’re broken. It’s just part of the human condition.

  131. Here’s another humorous URL, we can all use a little humor. You may have seen the video from the Netherlands vying to be second to America. Many countries have submitted their own videos and this is the site where you can go as each country posts their video, just click on any flag and you can watch their video:

    You can also follow on twitter: @itsgreateu

  132. Do not start thumb twiddling! My stepmom does it so I tried it and now I can’t stop! Highly addictive for us OCD types.

  133. I can only pull them apart from the 2nd knuckle down and that hurts like hell due to severe arthritis so, maybe if I didn’t have arthritis I could move them more? I don’t know.

  134. I can’t do it either! I wonder if it is a weird genetic trait, like rolling your tongue up like a taco, or your urine smelling lol asparagus when you eat asparagus?
    It is strange, because I am super bendy(which used to be awesome, but now but now I am all arthritic). Yep, bodies are weird.

  135. Ok so, I was just now able to respond to this after seeing all kinds of funniness last night about it. And yes, I tried too. I can do it!! 🙂 Yay me 🙂 Can’t separate ring fingers a lot, not as much as the other fingers, but they do separate! yay 🙂
    (Also, you are broken, but aren’t we all, that’s why we’re here and you’re our leader <3 )

  136. I can move all my fingers from that position. BUT I have a different problem with my fingers. When my hands are in a loose fist (fingers curled in), I can only put my pointer fingers up straight from that position. The others only go up part way. The weirdest thing is my pinkies. I can lift the right pinkie up straight from a fist position, but not the left pinkie! Most people I know can raise their pinkies up all the way. So I guess I have a finger defect!

  137. I can move them but it’s definitely harder and they don’t move as far apart as my other fingers

  138. I love you so much. We are secret siblings in a completely noncreepy fashion. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pop up in your rear view mirror. Or any mirror for that matter. Because that would be creepy. But you are so not broken, and I love you. I have Ehler Danlos so I can move my body in several weird ways but even I can’t do that ring finger thingie.

  139. It’s difficult for me to look at your fingers when I obsessed with that gorgeous black panther that is rubbing and begging for your attention! Purrrrrrrrr & Luv from Duluth. x

  140. OK, I can do the Spock thing, but when I went to move my pinkies only, they moved, but my first fingers moved with them. There was no independent movement of the pinkies, basically the middle fingers stay still and the outer ones all move. The first fingers can move on their own though. Like you said, weird.

  141. Okay, physical therapist here with one more theory. I think the previously mentioned theories, observations, scientific facts, and comments all make sense, too, but I’m curious to know if this “trick” makes a difference.
    I notice that in the video, you have your elbows bent and your hands close to your body. I don’t know how Victor, Hailey, and other people are trying to do it, but what happens if you extend your arms straight (or straight-ish) out in front of you? Is it easier to separate your ring fingers then?
    I think that – along with the issues around tendons and muscles specific to the ring finger, when you have your elbows and wrists bent, you are compressing and shortening the muscles and fascia in your forearms and wrists, which is going to tighten the area even more. If you straighten your arms, you free up the tissue a little more to enable more movement. I’m a little rusty in my anatomy, and a real stickler might get at me b/c they would argue that the muscles that extend the fingers start below the elbow, but the body is all interconnected. Muscles pull on each other, and fascia pulls on everything.
    Try it?
    Kate, Rusty PT

  142. On a slightly different note, I actually can move my little toes independently. Just needed to say that after watching the second video 😉

  143. I CAN’T DO IT EITHER! Well, I can barely do it. They come apart, but only by a few millimeters. I also can’t bend either of my pinky fingers down without my ring fingers bending down too. I think these issues are related…

  144. Ok, so I’m sitting in a public lounge of a hostel, wiggling my fingers around. Big announcement: I can move any and all fingers while in the prayer pose (thanks for the visual aids, so I didn’t need to google prayer hands – it’s been that long).

    Now, I ask you, can you pull off Mr. Spock’s vulcan ‘live long and prosper’ finger trick? If you can’t do that, you’re well and truly hooped!

  145. Thank You!!!! Furiously Happy is great!!
    “Yours is no less or more imported then mine. We all need a hand some times”

  146. I can move all my fingers, no problem. However if I concentrate hard enough I can also move toes independently. I also wiggle my ears and nose. I think this will go on my resume of useless things I can accomplish.

  147. You are not broken, just not as special as a minor percentage who can lift their ringfinger independently. Your little finger has its own muscle (extensor minimi) and tendon (attaches muscle to bone). Try lifting your little finger and “pulling” your ring finger with it. Should work.Science matters;)
    Can’t stop laughing at your cat trying to aid you with your uncooperative finger.

  148. This will get there, I promise. My mom broke her wrist and had to have a metal plate put in her arm. Over the following year, that plate destroyed the tendon that runs her thumb, making her unable to use it. So they did surgery and took the tendon that runs her ring finger, split it in two, and ran half of it to her thumb. That’s apparently something they do. So now, with some retraining, she can move her thumb again. BUT. If she tries to move the ring finger, the thumb comes along for the ride. Bodies are weird.

  149. I read somewhere that when you do this (put your opposite fingers together), the weakest ones that are hardest to pull apart are the ring fingers, and that is why we wear our wedding rings on that finger: to show that we need to support each other and shouldn’t move apart.

  150. I read somewhere that the reason your wedding band goes on that finger is because those are the only ones that don’t move apart like your bond!

  151. MY RING FINGERS GO A WHOLE INCH APART. I nearly failed high school gym so being able to do something like this is a REALLY BIG DEAL. Wahoo

    Where do I sign up for the Fingerlympics?

  152. So I’m double-jointed in my fingers so when I tried this it looked really gross. Haha. More importantly, I got a closer look at your cat, Rolly, and I’m pretty sure that my cat, Annie, is Rolly’s long-lost twin. Obviously, they have the same personality. I don’t know how to post a pic in a comment because I’m kind of internet-dumb so go to my Instagram page and you can see some photos of her! We should get them together for a play date. Haha. P.S. Thank you for bringing so much joy to my life, Jenny.

  153. So I can’t do any of the things you said or anyone in the comments is saying. I basically can’t do nothing. Except for hang out with my dog Chichi. I know I’m broken, never needed anyone to tell me that.

  154. I have read many say they can move their toes independently of the other, but… for what I have seen so far, that is impossible. I mean, like fingers, curling one, stretching the other, and so on.

    Contact me please, I would really like to know more about that.

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