Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Should Have Added an Eighth Item

I realized that, besides strange childhood obsessions, I could easily do a list of ways I have managed to maim myself with inanimate objects. I come by this naturally- my father has lost 1/2 a toe, given himself two black eyes (simultaneously), and 3 concussions since I've been a child. We are both somewhat unaware of where the boundaries of our bodies are, and are prone to walking around lost in thought and oblivious to our surroundings.

I have a dimple from hitting the corner of our tv when I was 3 or 4- fortunately I slammed my cheek into the corner of the tv at the perfect angle to produce an innocuous and normal looking dimple. You know, instead of a dimple in my skull. I used to have a scar in my eyebrow from falling off a slide in daycare. I had a partially detached retina from getting hit in the eye with a badminton racket. Don't let anyone tell you that badminton is a gentle sport- it can be brutal.

Recently I sprained my ankle by stepping on a rock. It was late, I was angry about a homework assignment, and my ever so charming German Shepherd had apparently gotten bored and decided to dismantle the stone wall by our back steps and helpfully leave the rocks at the base of the stairs. I don't know why she was trying to kill me, but ever since then I've kept my eye on her. Afterwards I lay in the dirt crying and getting jumped on by my darling puppy who was just thrilled that I had decided to lie on the ground and play dog with her. Oh, and Danny was out playing darts so I got to lie in the dirt for half an hour until I was able to hop my way into the house. My ankle swelled up, turned fun colors, and I got to gimp around for a month. I still can't wear high heels.

But I think this most recent injury is one for the record books. I spent the day raking up the dead weeds that are the closest we get to landscaping in our backyard and began dragging the bags through the house to the big garbage can out front. I'm going to have to explain what happened next very carefully because thus far the only people who have managed to understand have been my husband, who spent half an hour outside reenacting the accident, and my father, who understood immediately because it's only a matter of time until the same thing happens to him.

Try to picture this:
We have a big plastic garbage can with an attached lid. I opened the lid so that it was hanging down behind the can, then tipped the can back to wheel it closer to the front door. Unfortunately I didn't notice that when I tipped the can back it meant the lid was on the ground. Then I took a step forward, onto the lid of the can, causing the front edge of the can to swing forward into my face. Once again I found myself lying in the dirt trying to figure out what had just happened. I began screaming for Danny when I noticed the blood pouring from, well, somewhere, but he was in the backyard listening to the radio. I finally managed to drag myself to the bathroom where I discovered that I had a big flap of tissue where I used to have an upper lip and what appeared to be a hole in the side of my nose.

What followed was a stereotypical panicked drive to the hospital. Once there we were put in a little cubicle and periodically examined by various medical people who tried and failed to understand my muffled explanation of how it happened. One manly nurse assistant/competitive dirt biker showed me several of his 100 stitches with the reassurance "the doctor you're going to have will do a way better job than the one who did THIS one" and a nurse told me about the man who got both cheeks sliced through with a razor. I think both of these approaches were supposed to reassure me, but instead caused me to picture my poor upper lip deformed and hideous. I imagined myself unable to control my own saliva and having to carry around a hankie to wipe the drool off my chin.

All of my fears faded away when Dr. Woodman walked in. Gleaming grey hair- perfectly coiffed, icy blue eyes, bulging biceps, confident stride. He looked like he walked off the set of a soap opera. He whistled cheerfully as he prepared his needles, and murmured quietly "You can cry, you don't have to be brave" when he injected the anesthetic. I cried more because I felt that's what the script called for than because of the pain. When he finished he strode confidently away after saying, "'re pretty again".

His magic touch left me feeling confident about my face for about an hour- the amount of time it took to get discharged, walk to the car, and look at my face in the mirror. It's gross. I have a big crater on the side of my nose and six stitches on my lip. I have an overbite because my lip is so swollen, and I can't smile. Danny tried to convince me that my swollen lip makes me look like Angelina Jolie, but I think the resemblance is only fair if Angelina's upper lip had been gnawed on by Brad Pitt.

I don't mind the discomfort as much as I mind the fact that for the next 6 days I have to walk around looking like FrankenMia and trying to explain how I got my my ass handed to me by a garbage can. I'm thinking of drawing a diagram on some notecards and just handing them out so I don't have to repeat myself. Danny and I whiled away the hours in the ER coming up with plausible causes for my injury:
1. Bear attack
2. Ninja brawl
3. Knife fight
4. Tiny shark bite
5. Altercation with Chuck Norris

Additional ideas anyone?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you really need to know more weird things?

I was tagged by my old high school friend Sara (no h, she feels very strongly about this) to discuss 7 weird things you didn't know about me. This worries me, because to disclose even more things that make me weird than you already know means that they have to be very, very weird. I realized that the only way to accomplish this is to talk about my absolute most weird stage of life- elementary school. I was a very strange child, with even stranger interests. Thus, I bring you:
Strange Things I Was Obsessed* With During Elementary School

1. Saints- particularly saints of bizarre things, or saints that were protectors of obscure people. For example, Saint Roger the Whoremonger.

2. Chopin- I blamed my nerdom on my parents, because in my formative years I listened to cassette tapes about the lives of classical composers. Then, I saw a PBS movie about Chopin and his romance with George Sand. I immediately developed a crush on the pale, malingering actor playing Chopin. Tuberculosis is HOTT.

3. South Africa during the fall of apartheid- this obsession resulted in me writing a first person account of a journalist in South Africa for a honor's english project with almost no research. When I read an actual book about the apartheid I was pretty impressed by my accuracy. Because it's so hard to predict poverty and racism during apartheid. Child genuis, I'm telling you.

4. Stigmata and weird religious phenomena- People who manifest the wounds of Christ. Did I mention I have never been religious? I attribute this to a weekend I spent sitting in a motel room in Zion, Utah watching some miniseries about paranormal phenomena while boycotting my parent's hiking excursions.

5. Nazis and World War II- This doesn't actually qualify as an obsession, but at one point I remember playing "Barbie rescues the Jews from the concentration camp" with my best friend and this is the perfect example of why my best friend was truly the most wonderful person ever. She was probably the only person on the planet who found this entertaining besides myself.

6. Serial killers- I got a book by a profiler who interviewed all the major serial killers in the US, and actually read the whole thing, and then read even more books until I got a little weirded out by my own interest. This obsession makes no sense because even at the age of 10 I was too scared to stay in my house by myself.

7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail- When I was little my parents would say "neeh!" when they were annoyed by something. I thought that this was something they made up, or was a common expression of irritation. When I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail (introduced by my best friend, another reason why she was heaven sent) I was astonished to discover the "Knights Who Say Neeh!". I ran home and told my parents that they weren't the only ones who said that! And they suddenly realized that I had been thinking they were crazy for most of life up until that point. I went on to memorize almost every line in the movie, including the subtitles in the begining (A moose named Erik!). It was like discovering the secret language of nerddom.

So there you go, 7 more ways I voluntarily allow myself to be embarrassed. gentle :)

*Obsessed being defined as checking out numerous books from the library that I never actually read, writing school reports full of made up information, and acting them out with barbies.