A hockey player doing a face plant into the iceLast Thursday, just as the penultimate episode of Friends was about to come on, Holly made the statement, “After Friends, we’re going to Home Depot.” WTF? ??? My agenda for the evening was to stay firmly planted on the couch and submit to the “Must See TV” lineup for the night. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself going to Home Depot, much less check myself for scars afterward.
Going to Home Depot means work to me. If I’m shopping there it means that I have something I’m trying to fix, or I’ve started a new project around the house. Whatever the case, it means that I have work to do. By Thursday night, I’m not thinking about work. In fact I’m not thinking much at all. I’m usually zoned out on the couch until I drift off to sleep and then drag my sorry butt upstairs to finally go to bed. This past Thursday, we were supposed to be cleaning the house, because we had a dinner party planned for Dan and his wife Rachel and the house needed serious attention. However, Holly somehow convinced me that we needed to go to Home Depot first.

It seems that there were some hibiscus plants on sale and she wanted to have them for the party the next night. “Don’t you think it would be pretty to have two hibiscus plants on the deck for when we have the party for Dan?” Translation = this is for Dan, not for us. Whatever twisted logic it was, it worked on me and I was sold on the idea. The added kicker was that if we bought other stuff too, then we wouldn’t have to pay for it until 2005.

There’s a ton of little projects that we’ve been wanting to do and we usually do them little by little as we save up the money. This is probably the best way to do things, but Home Depot was having a deal that if you spent $300 or more on your Home Depot card that you wouldn’t have any interest to pay until 2005. This meant that we could stock up on all the materials and tools that we needed for the rest of the Spring. Do I have time to get to all the projects that I have lined up right now? Hell no! But the idea that I could get everything I need right now far outweighed the logic of waiting until we had the time and money for the project. So we headed off to Home Depot.

We got there around 8pm and since they close at 9pm, we were running around like we’d won some kind of shopping spree where you grab as many items as possible in a limited amount of time. By ten minutes to 9pm, we had 3 shopping carts, a flatbed trolley and a lumber trolley full of junk. Holly had 3 hibiscus plants, 2 butterfly bushes, 2 large planters and several trays of flowers. I had a weed eater, 9 4×4 timers, 2 60ft landscape edging bundles, 12 bags of mulch and 4 bags of dirt, among other things. It wasn’t until we were outside the store that we realized that it wouldn’t all fit into the back of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. 😛 So I loaded up everything but the plants and left Holly in front of the store promising to return ASAP.

Once at home, I unloaded everything out of the truck. There was a lot to unload, but I did it as quickly as I could because I didn’t want to leave Holly all alone any more than I had to. I was sweating buckshot, but I finally got everything unloaded from the rear, including the 9 4×4 timbers stacked neatly 3 timbers high. Since we were going to eat at Steak and Shake and it was after 9pm, I decided to unload the front seat too so that we could go eat right after picking Holly up and not have to unload again before we ate. All that was in the passenger seat was my bicycle handlebar bag and a 12-pack of Diet Coke. Using both hands, I grabbed both items and walked behind the truck to set them on the ground. However, I forgot the 4×4 timbers that were stacked directly behind the truck. :O

As I rounded the back of the truck, I was walking at a fast pace. Both my hands were full and it was rather dark and I never saw the wood lying in wait for me. My shins impacted the stacked timbers and in a nano second my face met the concrete with extreme prejudice. I didn’t even have time to react with my hands, so the brunt of the fall was taken by the right side of my chin. I’ve heard the saying, but I never thought it was true until I “saw” it with my own eyes – I saw stars. I’d like to say that this was the worst part, but it wasn’t. The worst part of the fall was the sound. As the stars flashed before my closed eyes, the most gut wrenching crunch filled my ears as my neck was was wrenched back and the rest of my body folded onto itself.

I quickly rolled onto my back and my hands instantly went to my face to check for blood and broken bones. I looked at my hands and there wasn’t any blood. My teeth were all in my head and my jaw was still intact. I ran inside the house for a second opinion and according to the mirror things didn’t look so bad. The only noticeable evidence that I had gone down like a sack of potatoes was a red raspberry on the bottom right part of my chin. I had some nicks and cuts on my shins and hands, but otherwise I appeared to be OK. Later, once all the adrenaline had been flushed from my system, I found that there were some muscles that had been strained or ripped in my chest, and for the next couple of days my entire body ached and my face felt weird when I smiled for awhile. All in all, I wasn’t much worse for the wear considering how hard I hit the pavement. *Whew*

I went back and picked up Holly and the rest of the Home Depot purchase and told her what happened. It was dark, so it was hard to see and I figured Holly would gush over me at Steak and Shake. Once we arrived and chose our booth, I went to the bathroom to wash up. I took a closer inspection of my face and all I saw was the same little raspberry and believe it or not, I was disappointed. That fall hurt and I wanted some testimony of it damnit! LOL When I went back out to the booth and sat down, Holly said, “Well, you can hardly tell that anything happened.” as if that was a good thing. Of course in her mind it IS a good thing. No one wants their loved ones to be damaged in any way. In my mind though, I wanted some physical evidence and I had been jacked.

As I thought about what was going through my head, I tried thinking of WHY I was so intent on having a scar, or a really bad bruise in which to show off. Was it for attention? No, I don’t think it’s cool to be black and blue and if anyone asked how it happened, I’d have to relay this silly story. I mean it’s not like I got in a fight defending Holly’s honor or anything. I fell because I forgot what I had put on the ground and my hands were full of Diet Coke so I couldn’t catch myself. Not the most macho of pictures. 😛

Then I thought that maybe it was for the sympathy. Most men are babies when they are sick and I’m no exception. We may not be babies when we’re hurt necessarily, but we definitely eek out as much attention as we can, so it’s not far off. I did have to admit that I wanted Holly’s attention and nurturing care for my “boo boos”, but that wasn’t why I wanted physical proof. Sure, I wanted Holly to dote on me, but I could just limp, groan, or whine enough and she’d rally to my side. So if it’s not for sympathy, or for show and tell, then what the heck could it be?

As we finished our hamburgers and drank our cherry diet cokes, I posed the question to Holly, “Why is it that I’m disappointed that there isn’t more pronounced evidence of my fall?” Without batting an eye, Holly responded in a matter-of-fact quick reply, “Because you like scars.” As usual, she hit the nail on the head. It’s true. I like scars. I like being able to look at physical signs that I’ve survived what life has thrown at me. Granted, I don’t want to be horribly disfigured, but a scar here and there is quite all right in my book. I have my fair share of scars already that I’m quite proud of and although none of them occurred though very “cool” means, I still like them.

If you really think about it, all of my scars serve as highlight reels of my stupidity. None of them occurred fending off a bear, or shark attack. I didn’t get gored in a knife fight, or get injured playing football. No my scars have all come from very silly and often stupid things. I broke my knees falling from a rope swing and landing on the edge of a driveway. Nasty for sure, but not cool. The scar on my left side is from falling off my bicycle while standing still and landing on the skewer of the person next to me in Bike NY last year (Pictures at 11). All the other scars are just the same, I did something stupid and got hurt.

So I should feel good that I don’t have a scar on my chin right? When I have a child, he won’t ask “Daddy, how did you get that scar on your chin?” and I won’t have to answer, “I tripped while carrying large amounts of diet coke.” I’ll have other stupid stories to share, but this won’t be one of them. 🙂 Without a scar, there’s no story to tell… hmm… but I just shared this story with you. Sooooo I’m telling a story about something stupid I did, but I don’t have scar, so I’m just illustrating my stupidity without anything cool to show for it?

Damn! I wish I had a scar. 😐