That would be because it is.
Some people call it “The Mitten.”
Some “The Glove.”
All of these are equally valid and as far as I am concerned, inter-changeable.
But one thing remains constant: whatever the identifier, my love of the state of Michigan is forever, steadfast and true. The real deal. Real like Ross loving Rachel. As a real a thing as Henry James’ The Real Thing. Or Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing (Or Vanessa Williams’ or Kurt Andersen’s or ...) Like the French loving cheese… like teen-vampire love…
Michiganders legitimately, and with a full sincerity free from all whimsey or irony, declare where they are from in Michigan by referring to the area on an actual real-life hand.
“I am from Bad Axe,” this fictional Michigander will say to you in a flat-vowel-ed Michigan accent (so flat, in fact, that you will swear they just said “BEE-ad EE-ax”). And you, after deciphering what they just said, and being a Normal-Non-Michigan-Muggle-type will reply,
“...Where in Christ is that?”
And they, smiling as broadly as their vowels in a manner in which only Michiganders can, will reply,
“Why, it’s in the thumb!”
And then, this person will without question get out their hand and SHOW you exactly where they live on their portable hand-map as if you didn't know where a thumb was located, but perhaps you don't and these people are so friendly they really don't mind the demo.
Um… isn’t that the most charming thing you have ever heard?
...Like, in the whole of your life?
Okay, now, all that said, here is how you do the Michigan Hand shake…that I may-or-may-not-have, made up.
The entire act is what I like to call…
[: ::confetti:: :]
To mirror, of course, the Glove Love in my heart that shall never die. (Not even if I give birth to a werewolf baby...)
Hold up your right hand in front of you (recommended distance is approximately 10 inches from your face, perpendicular, as if touching a window before you)
STEP 2 - DECLARE YOUR “GLOVE LOVE”
Say aloud, “Glove Love” to the handshakes’ recipient, followed by a sincere, generally appetizing look that evokes anything from flirtation to unwavering brotherhood, or everything in between at once.
STEP 3 - INVITE THE “GLOVE LOVE”
Instruct your recipient to match your upheld hand as one might do in a “mirroring” exercise, and feel the “love” as your hands touch.
STEP 4 - TAKE IT “U.P” A NOTCH
If you are really feeling the Glove Love, then you need to take it up a notch, and by UP, I mean the “U.P” and by the “U.P,” I mean the Upper Peninsula.
Invite the recipient to “Upper Peninsula me!” by extending your left hand sideways and crossing it over and above your already presented hand (thus, vaguely resembling the Northwest geography of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and having them match that in the same, intoxicatingly adorable manner. (Have you taught James Earl Jones my now not-so-secret handshake...? Um... because I have. So you can stop making fun of me and buzz off! Because a certain Michigan-native named James Earl Jones loved it. He hand flirted with me by interlacing his fingers post “Upper Peninsula” and laughed that signature “HA HA HA!” laugh he did at the beginning of Coming to America. He loved it. HE GLOVE LOVED IT...)
STEP 5 - BASK.
Bask in the love…
…The Glove Love.