I Actually Don’t Mind Being Called Mate.


I think I’ve got it.
Yep, I can’t say I never achieved anything in my life.

I have the ugliest pinky. I might even give it a name like Paul.
Or Patricia. Or Patrice. Or Pa–whydoyahavetolooksostinkingugly.

Long gone are my chances of being a left hand model or even a two handed model. I just think my right hand lacks the confidence to carry out a photo shoot without the inclusion of my left hand. Yes my left hand might not be the dominant hand of my body, but lets just say, no one puts Lil’ Left Pinky Peta in the corner.

Pamela looks like two different left pinkies sewn together.
It was like the surgeons weren’t originally happy with the upper half of my pinky, so they swapped it with someone else’s who they were also working on that day:

“Ugh, what was God thinking? Giving her a pinky like this!”

“Hey lets give this poor girl what she deserves. A new pinky.”

*clicks fingers
*nurses roll in a fresh corpse
*surgeon checks ankle tag

“Wow this woman specifically wanted to be a small limb donor! Hayley, today is your lucky day.” 

*nurses give a teary eyed standing ovation


*surgeon and staff commence surgery
*surgeon begins widening gash to find the other ends of the severed tendons
*gets a little bit too into the stevie wonder banger in the background

“If you BELIEEVE in Thiiings that you don’t understand, then you suf–F*#k.”

*cleanly slices off left pinky
*everyone gasps, except Darryl who gets terribly gassy in shock
*Martha opens a window
*surgeon looks to first year nurse Wendy

“Surgery comes at a cost for both the patient and medical staff in charge of surgery at this moment in time. And today it is your duty, your opportunity to pay that cost for us all. Give us your fresh left pinky Wendy.”

“But sir I–”

“C’mon, do it for the team Wendy.”

“My children deserve a mother with two pinkies!”

*surgeon puts both hands on Wendy’s shoulders

“It’s for Hayley, Wendy. Does this kid look like she has the confidence to carry on in life without that pinky? She probably loved that pinky, gave it a name, dressed it up on special occasions, read it stories.”

“Well actually, I think she looks like someone with the confidence of a tone deaf singer on the X Factor, with great hair. And besides her left pinky is still there, just sew it back on.”

“I can’t do that to her. What is the number one rule in surgery? Go above and beyond for the customer. Let’s give her a pinky she will never forget.”

“She doesn’t have brain damage, Ron. How could she possibly forge–”

*Ron turns to face rest of his team, smiling wide like a proud dad

“Let’s do this Lads. Let’s give Hayley a pinky she’ll never forget!”

*team cheers. hoots and hollers. whistles. high fours. high fives.
high nines. high tens.
*Wendy bolts for the door and rethinks her career as a nurse


I saw my new hand therapist Ross this week, who is giving me a hand with the rest of my left pinky restoration project for the summer.
He seems like the man for the job, who understands how much this pinky means to me.

*takes off bandage around pinky

“Ugh it’s so ugly!” I wince in complete repulsion.

“No it’s not, it looks fine! It’s a clean cut, you have nothing to worry about.”
He tells me like an encouraging father figure. In the same way Mum tells me I’m not fat, after I complain to her about the look of my body while she helps me get dressed.


He pulled out all of the stitches in my fingers, taking around around an hour to get them all out. Apparently I have really good skin.
So good at healing, that it began growing over the stitches he needed to pull out. As it took longer than I thought it would take, I seemed to get more light headed as the appointment went on.

Holding my head in my right hand, it began to feel heavier and heavier, as he continued to point out the bits of skin attached to the stitches he pulled out. But what kept me going was Ross’ words of encouragement.

“You’re doing great Mate.”

“Good job Mate.”

What I learnt there and then in my appointment, is that I actually don’t mind being called Mate.

Throughout my 23 year long stint as a female on this earth I realised I have been missing out on this for far too long!

How warm! How encouraging! How inclusive!

Male? Female? Doesn’t matter!

I knew it was a thing that women could be called ‘Mate’.
I just never thought I would like to be called it. I really thought it was more of a blokey, male thing to do than a female thing to do.
And I don’t think many people have ever called me mate before.
I think they observe my quiet introversion as just having really good manners. The June Dally-Watkins kind.



Main points to take away from this post:

  • I have an ugly pinky called Petunia.
  • I like being called Mate.
  • I have a weird sense of humour. Buckle up.


image credit –





Published by Hayley McManus

I'm a writer who wants to share more content, instead of keeping them jammed in many notebooks in fear of anything and everything illogical.

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