Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but birds will never hurt me -- much

It was the summer before my freshman year in high school. I had made the cheerleading squad and was mastering the fine art of the herkie. If by “mastering” you mean “looking as if I suffer from grand mal seizures” while I tried in vain to bend my leg in just the right way. But we’re not talking about my short lived cheerleading career.

We’re talking about how I used to be pretty accident prone. If I could trip over it, I would. Bump into it? Done. I have scars that have stories. Not just “I fell off my bike,” but “I fell off my bike after my dad convinced me that it would be a great idea if we BOTH rode it home from the park at the same time because he didn’t want to walk and then we wiped out and I was so mad that I made him carry me up the hill to our house while wheeling my bike.” Not just “I fell on a rock” but “I fell on a rock when I was running at top speed across the playground to catch my friend who secretly sold candy at our elementary school and that’s a fact I’m leaving out of the story I’m telling my mom about how this happened because she frowns on candy.” And not just “I skinned my knee – again,” but “I was doing a perfect approach on the diving board in front of the hottest lifeguard ever and when I came down for the spring off the board, my knees buckled and I fell ever so gracefully into the pool where I wanted to stay underwater forever or at least until his shift was over.” Those are the kinds of scars I have.

Anyway, I have now reached the point of this post, which is a story about the aforementioned summer and my proclivity for injury. I had a parakeet at the time, and when cleaning the cage, I used to blow the empty seed shells out of the cup and into the trash can. On this particular night, I got one in my eye, which had happened before, so I just rubbed it and then I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, my eye kind of hurt, and I was looking in the mirror trying to see what the problem was. The light hit me just right, and I could see a little birdseed shell embedded in my right eyeball – just on the edge of where the white meets the color. I told my parents, but downplayed it, because I was supposed to be leaving that morning to go to Vail with Beth and her family and I wasn’t about to miss that. So off I went with my painful eye.

The whole point of Beth and I's vacation was to be in the pool. All the time. Hey, I thought, maybe the water will wash the birdseed out of my eye.

Or perhaps the impact of my face hitting the bottom of the pool might jar it out of there. This was the time when I became a proponent of not diving into shallow pools – it’s just not a good idea. So yeah, I dove into the water and I hit my face on the bottom of the pool – one of those pools that had the rough concrete bottom. I came up, and my face is covered with blood. I had a fist sized bruise on my forehead, and I had managed to skin the bridge of my nose, right above my lip and my chin. I looked so pretty. Beth’s mom was loathe to return me to my parents looking like I had been severely beaten with an unusually rough brick, but I assured her that their reaction would probably be to roll their eyes and apologize to her for having to deal with the results of my hyper “leap before you look” life philosophy.

So I get home, and I have to go straight to the doctor because remember? The birdseed was still there. My doctor put this little piece of paper in my eye that apparently numbs it, and then he said “hold on while I go get my really big needle.” Pediatrician humor, apparently. So as I am no fan of needles, I started to get all teary, until I realized that tears might wash away the numbing stuff. So I watched him dig the seed shell out of my eye (a very weird experience) and he says “Well, it’s a good thing it didn’t go a fraction of an inch into the color, otherwise you’d probably be blind.” Wow, his bedside manner is FABULOUS. He then gave me an eye patch and sent me on my way. Arrrrr.

I didn’t have to wear the eye patch for very long, however I did have to go to freshman orientation looking, well, like I looked. Orientation that included getting our school i.d. and yearbook pictures taken. I don’t think I have to tell you who got retakes that year.

Anyway, I think I’m still a little bit accident prone, but thankfully not as much, especially since I live alone. I’m dreading the day my mom finds me lying on the floor, when, because I was too lazy to get out the ladder, I jumped up to grab the curtain rod over the couch, came down, misstepped, and landed in the fireplace. Not that that happened. It’s one of those things that COULD happen though. But it hasn't. Really.

23 comments:

Hope said...

Oh God I cringed through that entire post. A birdseed stuck to your eyeball! I was a pretty klutzy kid too. My brother and I were constantly getting stitches in our heads. But this really takes the cake.

Jill said...

I have scars all over the place as well, but I have to say your eye for detail (please disregard the "eye" pun, it was unintentional, I assure you) really had me squirming throughout this entire post. Nice job. (On the writing.) No sarcasm about the curtain rod intended. Ouch.

Whinger said...

Consequently, I became horribly afraid of my own parakeet's seed leavings. I used a vacuum to clean out his cage.

And as I recall, even with a giant bruise, you still managed to pick up some older boys (they were like 15!) at the hot tub.

Stephanie said...

Oh goodness gracious! Amber took her funny pills today! I had TEARS rolling down my face while reading your entire post! Either you're exceptionally witty today, or I just really needed a good laugh! Either way, thanks for sharing of your clutzy nature. Funny side note: I was the same way growing up. In fact, my "middle name was Grace" according to all of my family members. I think I've evened out a bit in my "old" age. At least I hope I have. ;)

Stephanie said...
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Romeo Jensen said...

ouch!!! I dont scar easily... got tough Norweigen *sp skin. this remeinded me of the time my unlce boo (his nickname) and my other uncles were playing cards and drinking... all night long uncle boo kept rubbing his hand up over his forehead to comb back his hiar... as the night went on my other uncles kept noticing uncle boo dint look so good... he was actualing turning color and looked blueish... so they took him to the hospital and a couple hours later one of those asian doctors came out so my aunt ask him how my uncle was... now I'm gunna give it away a bit... this is actually funnier hearing it but I got to write it... the asian doc says... Blue Die... Blue Die so my aunt faints... right there... and my other uncles start crying and just let aunt carol lay ther on the floor... the doctor just keeps saying blue die... blue die... they all thought he said boo die... and what he was saying was blue dye... my uncle was rubbing his sweat onto a new deck of cards and everytime he rubbed his forehead the blue dye from the cards got on his skin


I've heard this stupid story 100 times... so now you have to LOL

romey

Romeo Jensen said...

oh and ps... id love to see a post from you and jill showing some pics of your scars... the more revealing the better :)

romey

Miladysa said...

"I have scars that have stories." LOL! You are a star Amber, an absolute star.

I would loved to have seen one of your drawings illustrating this whole post!

Jenn said...
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Jenn said...

Amber, you always crack me up!

There's nothing cuter than cute girls bumping into things! I really do think that too!

Jenn said...

I'm accident prone with Blogger. Sorry for the triple post. I did my best to get rid of 'em.

Stephanie said...

Amber -

(Study break! lol) I just wanted to tell you that while I was at Starbucks last night, cramming "Systematic Theology" into my brain, my mind suddenly wandered back to this post, and I found myself doing everything in my power to stifle an outburst of laughter that was desperately trying to spew forth. Thanks for the laughs, Amber. You crack me up, girl!

The Zombie Lama said...

Amber Pirate? Sign me up!

Cheryl said...

I don't want to laugh at your misfortune, but they way you tell this story makes me think you can laugh at it now. So hehe! I love the way you told this.

I hear you on the accidents and that damn herkie!

Rico said...

Those are some good dingers. When I was little I was a clumbsy bastard too. Back in 85 I was fresh out of the theatre after watching Back to the Future and immediatly tried kicking up my skateboard and catching it while still moving (Micheal J Fox style). What wasn't supposed to happen was my cheap-ass plastic skateboard knocking my two, just grown in, adult front teeth down my throat. That sucked.

Kiki said...

My eyes were watering the whole time while reading this. But seriously that's some funny stuff.

Thomas said...

I have been away from this blog for a few days. What is going on, guys?

Alice said...

aaahahahahahahah! i'm laughing WITH you amber! WITH you. honestly ;-) i've gotten a little bit better on the clumsy front with age. a little. on the eye front, i once walked straight into the branch of a tree, which scratched my open eyeball. this was especially impressive considering i was wearing enormous glasses at the time. how did the twig get past the glasses? no one knows...

The Husband said...

can you forgive me for not visiting you while you were injured. i haven't been able to sleep at night knowing that i screwed up. what...if anything, can i do to make it up to you?

love,

carl

Thomas said...

What is on the "Amber Agenda" this weekend?

Marissa said...

I am laughing so hard right now! You just picked up my mood so much! Not that I'm laughing at your injuries or anything, but you have the BEST way of telling stories!!!!!!! Thank God you got that birdseed out of your eye!

Timmortal said...

I would like to retract any statements I may have made in the past about perhaps seeing you. At this point in my life I just cant be putting myself in that much danger. Holla!

The Other Half said...

ha hah !!funny timmy...