The other day at work I was re-listening to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants. (So good, listen to this or read it immediately if you haven’t already.) When I realized. We had the SAME childhood!!!
Okay, there was just one story that was the same. Okay ‘the same’ might be pushing it. But hear me out.
In the ‘spring semester’ of kindergarten Ms. Fey was slashed in the face by a stranger in the alley behind her house. (Side bar: Ms. Fey is the one referring to the time of year as the spring semester. I dunno about you guys but I never had semesters in grade school. Or we definitely didn’t call them that.) To this day Ms. Fey has a scar from the experience. A physical one. Not sure how she’s doing emotionally, we’re really not that close.
Now, there are slight differences between her story and mine. For instance, I was not slashed in the face. I was slashed in the hand. Or thumb, if you want to get specific. It did not take place in an alley behind my house. The only thing behind my house growing up was woods, and my friend Peter’s house. It took place in my dining room. Finally, I was not slashed by a stranger, I was slashed by. . .well. . .me.
But as you can clearly see, the main details of the story are the same.
Note: details of this story may be edited by time – in that I may not recall the events as they took place, but this is how it happened according to me.
In preparation for two birthday parties I was to attend that weekend, I was wrapping presents. The best thing you can do to adorn a present is to have fancy ribbon on it, curled. This is where I ran into trouble. While I had never curled ribbon myself, I had seen it done on a number of occasions and felt it was within my seven year old abilities. I will warn you now, if you’ve never curled ribbon, ask someone first. or check Youtube. It’s harder than it seems.
I, at least, had the basics down. Take the ribbon you wish to curl. Start at the base of the ribbon, as close to the knot on the present as possible. Place one blade of the scissors under the ribbon, and hold it there with your thumb. This is where the concept got fuzzy for me. It seemed as though one just pulled the scissors as fast as possible while holding the ribbon flush with the scissors. The detain I failed to deduce was that you don’t actually put your thumb on the blade. Merely next to it. When I pulled, as hard as my monkey bar swinging arm could manage, I sliced open my thumb.
I’m sure I screamed, or made some sort of commotion that sent my parents running to my aid. I remember my dad wrapping my thumb in a towel, possibly with ice, and my Mom rushing to assemble the things needed to get to the emergency room. I was carried to the car by my father and deposited in the back seat. My memory holds that both parents accompanied me to the ER, however at this point I had two small brothers aged 4 and 1, so I assume someone was home with them. My mother rushed me into the ER upon our arrival, and the next thing I remember is her suggesting we count in Spanish while the doctor injected local anesthetic to my gushing thumb.
Four stitches later I was all patched up. This remained my most serious childhood injury to this day. You can still see the scar on my left thumb, in a small V shape slightly distorting the gentle swirls and curves of my fingerprint.
As a result of my ribbon curling shenanigans, I missed the first birthday, but was able to go to the second the following day. I was still determined to rock at all the games at Chuck E Cheese.
So, any childhood injuries of your own that left a lasting impression, if not a scar??