When Scarlett goes to visit Rhett while he is temporarily incarcerated in a Union jail, she wants him to think she's doing just fine and not about to starve to death out at Tara. She needs his help, his cash, to keep the family homestead afloat. But like the wise little Southern Belle she is, Scarlett knows better than to look desperate; she is looking for money, not pity. So, with Mammy's help she rustles up some pretty fancy duds out of the velvet green draperies, complete with a smart little hat and drawstring purse.
Looking resplendent in her emerald finery, she waltzes into the prison and begins charming the hard-hearted Rhett. Everything is going well until Rhett takes her un-gloved hands into his. Immediately, he noticed that the palms are hardened and calloused. All is not well at Tara; the plantation princess has been working-scrubbing laundry, hoeing in the fields. Her no-longer baby soft hands betray Scarlett's ruse.
Ah, to think that there once was a time that a lady never had to lift a finger for herself and that her adult hands were as tender as a newborn's.
The noblewomen of Dynastic China wore tiny, intricately embroidered slippers with beautifully decorated soles and proclaimed their elevated social status through the pristine state of their shoes. They hardly ever walked anywhere on their teensie little feet, being so rich as to have a cadre of servants to care for them. While I am sure those bound feet looked horrible, like deformed potatoes, the skin on those seldom-used tootsies was probably smooth and petal soft.
After my massage/manicure/pedicure this morning, my hands were not as delicate as antebellum Scarlett's nor were my feet as tender as a ancient Chinese lady's. But damn, they sure felt smoother and softer than they have in a long time.
What a great Mother's Day gift.