Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grievous Injuries

This morning, I grievously injured myself. 

No, it was not related to a motor vehicle.  It happened in the office. 

No, there was no office equipment involved.  I will not be collecting any kind of worker's compensation.

How did it happen?  With a great deal of trepidation, I will tell you.  My mother and brother will enjoy this story, so Happy Birthday, Mom.

When I speak extemporaneously, I tend to make good use of my hands.  As in, I like to gesture dramatically with them.  I have been known on occasion to smack my hands into things like walls, counters and people, but that is not what happened today.

I cannot even recall what I was saying when it happened, but somehow, my left hand pinkie finger collided with a finger nail of my right hand.  It should be noted that my nails are not long; I cut them just last week.  Nor are they jagged as I filed them carefully.

Somehow, in this collision I managed to deeply gash and would the top of my pinkie.  Blood began to ooze forth immediately as I stared blankly at the somewhat painful wound.  At first I thought, "Bah!  It's not that bad!"

But the blood did not stop.  I gave in, went to the supply closet, grabbed the Band-Aid box, and went to the sink to wash up.  After displaying my now gruesome gash to a couple of co-workers, I carefully positioned a bandage to stop the blood. 

Now, to take a little side note, I don't know what it is about Band-Aids that is so fascinating, but it seems that all children go through a phase where they are obsessed with wearing them.  I don't know if we all have a secret desire to be seen as wounded or brave, but I held a constant hope that some catastrophe would befall me and necessitate a really awesome and highly visible Band-Aid solution.

Back to the story.  OK, wait, sorry.  One last sidetrack.  Although the sheer act of wearing a Band-Aid was always cool by itself, there was always extra cache for being able to see blood stains through the padded area.  Gross, but true.  Otherwise, how were people to know that you were legit? 

Alright, this time we're back to the story.  I mean it.  So, the first Band-Aid I applied quickly soaked through.  While I know that this would not be a big deal as blood does eventually clot, it is not exactly seemly to look like a bloody mess in a professional environment.  So I changed the Band-Aid. 

Now, this would normally be the kind of thing that fades in importance over the course of the day, but unfortunately, the cut is located on the pad of my finger and is thus irritated every time I type, which is something that I do on a fairly regular basis on a regular weekday. 

As I know that no one feels sorry for me in this situation, I will not share much more.  Except that I should probably tell you why the origin of this injury will be of particular satisfaction to my family.

I am the oldest child in my immediate family.  I am the only female child in my immediate family.  When we were young, until my brothers reached puberty and the accompanying growth spurts, I was taller than them.  This equated to the fact that I was physically more powerful than them as well.

Like most siblings, we occasionally fought, especially me and my brother Michael as we were closer in age and therefore much more likely to be in competition for things in life.  When our fights turned physical, it was not to hitting, punching or slapping that we turned.  No, it was usually hair-pulling, biting and scratching.  The hair-pulling was mostly him.  The scratching was mostly me.

On many occasions, I utilized my fingernails to gain dominance with mixed results.  The main advantage to scratching is that it is truly painful and can be a powerful deterrent.  The main disadvantage is that scratching leaves marks.  Sometimes it draws blood.  Both outcomes are difficult to deny to one's mother who has come to stop the fighting.  End result?  Megan gets in trouble.  No matter that I did not start it or that my scalp was still numb from the severe yanking that was done. 

It also did not matter if scratching was not my intention.  The most famous incident took place when we were visiting our cousins in Texas.  While playing in their pool one afternoon, I found myself floating comfortably on the inflated inner tube.  As flotation devices were limited, we were taking turns.  I had only been on the tube for a few minutes when Michael decided that he did not want to wait his turn and approached me menacingly, threatening to flip me off of my perch.

In what I will only justify as self defense, I reached out to hold him back.  In my attempt to push him away, I misjudged the distance and only was able to swipe at his exposed chest.  With immediate horror I realized that my nails had made contact with his skin and that my maneuver had drawn blood.  As I knew the outcome, I ran.  I believe I hid behind a fence while my brother triumphantly raised his voice to tattle on me. 

My mother was again less than sympathetic, but I do not think that I suffered greatly in punishment.  This was probably because we were guests and she did not want us to look bad in front of extended family.

Even though I was not punished (aside from losing my turn on the tube), this story has been brought up over and again throughout my life whenever my family wishes to demonstrate my violent nature. 

So they will only find it fitting that today I have wounded and drawn blood from my own hand unintentionally.  Although I doubt anyone will send me to my room for it this time.

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