I shared this story on a friend's blog, Juggling Scarves. I don't know how to insert links yet, so you'll just have to Google it or something until I have time to figure it out. I'm lazy, I have lots of work I need to finish so I can get paid, so it's reprinted here for your reading pleasure.
My most embarrassing scar is about a half inch long, running along the orbit bone of my left eye socket. It’s barely noticeable and looks like a Picasso crow's foot. (Or crow’s toe, perhaps?) The embarrassing part is how I got the scar.
One blistering-hot Sunday in August, The Oracle and I drove to church and parked in our usual spot by the evergreen trees. The Oracle and I are talking about whatever, and as I got out of the car, I felt/heard something buzzy-tickly in my right ear.
In an evasive maneuver to get away from the yellowjacket about to dive into my ear canal and sting my brains, I jerked my upper body downward and to the left - WHAM - into the corner edge of the still-open car door. Immediately dizzied by the impact, I covered my new injury with my hand and continued my downward motion, bending at the waist to avoid passing out. It was more an instinctive thing than a conscious action. I think the intense throbbing in my skull takes the most credit for keeping me conscious.
As I stood there, bent over in the lot, it took The Oracle a second or two to notice I was missing and ask if I was okay. I told him what happened, and, bless his heart; he asked if I was bleeding. "Bless his heart" because blood and guts make him utterly nauseous, and he was thoroughly together and calm. He took me home to assess things, and I patched myself up. I had no idea whether I needed stitches, and I couldn’t reach my mom. There was no way I was setting foot in an ER unless it was absolutely necessary, because I worked as a 9-1-1 operator at the time, and my coworkers were not going to learn about this if I could help it.
We had no butterfly bandages handy, so had to cut up my own while The Oracle held paper towels to my injury (without passing out). A funky-looking bandage and two Advil later, we were back at mass in time for the Eucharistic prayers. (See what a good Catholic I used to be? Then we had kids…)
Later I checked with Dr. Mom, who said I didn’t need stitches. In hindsight, stitches probably would’ve left me with a smaller scar. Ah well. First, I'm amazed that I didn't hit my eye. Thank you, Lord, for that. Second, the force of my self-imposed impact actually bent the corner of the car door.
The worst bit, though, was starting my new job at the police station later that week and forever memorializing my resulting Technicolor shiner in my employee-file photo. All of the officers kept asking if my husband did that to me.
The punchline? When we returned to church that afternoon, we parked in the same spot, and that same tickle attacked my ear. This time I didn't jerk away. I held my breath and turned my head a little to the right. That nasty yellowjacket was nothing more than a few needles from the pine trees poking me in the ear.
I injured myself over nothing more than my stinging-insect phobia.
How 'bout them apples?
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