When I was in Jr. High. I remember locking myself in my room for an entire day until I was able to do it properly.
NO, not THAT.
I taped my fingers together in such a way that it held them together perfectly while I separated them into that ever iconic Vulcan Salute from Star Trek.
(Christian Slater can’t do it!!)
I was born a boy. Well, certainly not ALL boy and certainly not typical, but I did my share of things to fit in with the rest, as best I could. Most of my ‘boy interests’ were certainly things that I would have liked if born a girl. I am a Sci-Fi and Fantasy nut!
Star Trek also gave us boys a reason to play with dolls. The MEGO line was amazing, and even though I had none of these myself, my friends did. Spock was my favorite followed by Scotty and Uhura. Of course, I would play with Uhura as much as possible and my friends didn’t seem to care. I’m sure I drew the line just shy of being too convincing. Nichelle Nichols was my new Eartha Kitt. She just had that certain…..something. I love her to this day.
But Spock was my favorite. Leonard Nimoy has always had a spell on me, reaching all the way back to Mission Impossible reruns before I discovered Star Trek. I tried and tried to make the salute work but I couldn’t manage (like many other things that came quite easy to my friends). Then Robin Williams had to go and up the ante by turning it sideways for his Ork hand shake (NANOO-NANOO). That was it. I had to be able to do this simplest of tasks.
That’s when I did it. I figured out that, if I were to tape the sets of fingers together, I could work these fingers and their muscles into obedience. I remember telling my friends I could not play that day. I sat, listening to the Star Trek soundtrack cassette, and went at it with all the determination of an Olympic athlete (and I was in no way an athlete).
Hour after hour I worked my fingers. Hour after hour I willed it in my brain. Hour after hour….I still wasn’t making much progress. Minor, but not where I thought I needed to be. I began to deprive myself of needed things. No bathroom break. No water. No food. I was a tyrant trainer. Then it happened. After almost 4 hours, I was able to slightly move my fingers apart without them raising up at an odd angle. I was almost there.
After another hour or so of work, I decided to take the tape off (luckily I had not put it on too tight) and sat, staring at my hands, willing them to make the salute…..and I DID!!!!!!!
I ran out of my room to show my brother…..who had given up on me ever being normal. He brushed it off with a smug, “You mean you couldn’t do that?”. I then ran outside and up to my friends’ house. “LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!!!!!” I shouted as I waved my new found coolness to the world. “THAT’S why you couldn’t play?” they asked, except for one, who gave me my props.
To this day, I can proudly give the Vulcan salute to anyone who would appreciate it (and all the hard work that went into it).