some.days.

Some days I find twenty dollar bills in the laundry.

Some days, I find plastic tubes relieved of their chapstick.

Some days, I find lint and dog hair and besogged receipts left over from lunches long forgotten.

Some days I find love letters and shiny change and missing guitar picks.

Some days, I’m the hero. Some days I’m the villain. Some days, I’m grateful for the treasures hidden in the laundry. Some days I curse the inside-out-socks, the forgotten pocket mementos, the unending cycle of dirty/clean, dirty/clean, dirty/clean.

Some days I find humor in the trap. Some days I find pity.

Some days there’s poetry in the detritus.

Some days, there’s just debris.

Some day I’ll miss all this.

Some day, I’ll wish.

I’ll wish for lint and change; dirty socks and broken toys; receipts and notes; ruined lip gloss and rogue guitar picks.

Some day.

safe.harbor.

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

–John A. Shedd, 1928

Ships in harbor aren’t necessarily safe. I know, I know. It’s a metaphor. ANd it’s just a saying. And it makes a really good point. Despite my disagreement with it’s main premise, it’s one of my favorite quotes. In fact, it’s because it’s not completely and unequivocally true that I like it.

The first thought brought to mind when hearing or reading Shedd’s poignant words, is a cozy port wherein a sturdy ship is snuggled close to shore away from the elements, away from war or saboteurs. Rocking gently in lazy waves and bumping melodically against a dock. Its passengers carefree, its cargo safely stowed away.

It’s a nice image even if you know that’s not what ships are built for. After all, ships can’t be out all the time. There is a time and place to moore oneself to a stationary spot. But, as with all things in life, nothing is guaranteed. Which brings me back to my original point: ships aren’t necessarily safe just because they’re harbored.

In 1915 a passenger ship rolled over and sunk while tied to the dock on the Chicago River, killing 844 people. Just this past week, a ship in port was damaged by Hurricane Sally. And, lest we never forget, the ships damaged or destroyed while moored at Pearl Harbor. There are dangers great and small, man-made and of natural origin, that can bring a boat down no matter where it is. There is a weird, morbid brand of comfort from this information. Knowing that there are no guarantees. That you have no control and things might just happen whenever they’re supposed to happen no matter what you do or where you go. Whether you take to the seas or stay in one place.

Still, I understand the appeal of staying in one place. Not risking anything. It’s nice, the feeling of being tethered to a dock. It gives you a sense of security, a sense of grounding that makes you feel like, “Ah okay. We made it.” It can also be fun and anticipatory to be there, waiting to head out into a new adventure. That prelude to excitement you can only get right before you embark on your journey that is, sometimes, more adrenaline-inducing than the journey itself. You are still safe and free to wonder at what could be. You could still decide to stay put. You have options before you set off.

To stay or go.

But staying doesn’t mean you’re going to be safe, so if you’re already aboard the ship, you might as well go. After all, that’s what ships are built for.

so.good.

so.good.

It’s not a particularly happy song, but it has one of my favorite lyrics hidden towards the end of it. You get through the angst and sorrow of Flyleaf’s song I’m Sorry and there is the line, “This story ends so good.”

It’s not a clever lyric. It isn’t deep or existential. It isn’t even grammatically correct. But fifteen years after the first time hearing it, it sticks out in my mind.

This. Story. Ends. So. Good.

It’s important to understand, if you aren’t familiar with the song I’m talking about, that no other parts of this song lead the listener to believe that anything about this story could be good, let alone the ending. And aren’t we programmed to believe that bad and broken things will always be that way these days? Aren’t we prepared to hear that a story which starts out with lines like, “I’m not ashamed, Of that long December, Your hands coming down again, I close my eyes and brace myself…” ends tragically?

Have we forgotten that stories can end so good?

Or do we just write the end and forget it before we get to the good part? Maybe we’re too impatient. Maybe we stop the tape before we let it play all the way through.

My daughter will be fifteen tomorrow. I remember her birth as if it were yesterday, I remember not being able to see her because she wouldn’t cry, I remember her cord being in a knot, I remember a crash cart and yelling nurses and frantic people everywhere. I remember me asking everyone to stop stop stop, for someone to let me see my baby. I remember finally seeing her and feeling nothing but exhaustion and shame and pain. No euphoria, none of that New Mom Glow.

Just, nothing.

I remember people telling me how lucky I was. I remember people being more excited about my new baby than I was. I remember not sleeping. The crying. The colick that only Daddy could quell. Thoughts of throwing her off the roof. Thoughts of, “There is no way I can freaking do this, no wonder single moms or poor moms or moms with no support system drive their vans into rivers. I can’t even do this with a husband and other family members nearby. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?!?”

I remember when she was a toddler, screaming for no reason I could discern, while I sat on the front porch and cried. I remember hearing about all these other new moms feeling so fulfilled and light and wonderful after giving birth. I remember thinking they must be lying. I remember hating myself for thinking that. I remember wondering what was wrong with me, if I was missing some integral part of my brain and I should be studied for science.

But, this story ends so good.

And I know it’s not really the end of this story, but it IS the end of the torment and the shame and the worrying about if I should have ever become a mother in the first place. Because my daughter will be fifteen tomorrow. And she is the coolest person I know. She speaks up even when her voice shakes. She likes Rage Against the Machine and Taylor Swift. She crawls into bed with me when she’s had a bad day, and she tells me all about her hopes and dreams for the future. Every day she is finding herself, and every day she lets me watch. She challenges me at every turn and still makes me cry sometimes, but I no longer wonder if I should have been a mother. I never wonder if I was wrong. I don’t worry about those first few minutes together and how they didn’t go the way we wanted them to, the way we expected them to. I try to tell other mothers who feel like they’re broken those first few days or weeks or even months and years… Just wait. This story ends so good.

dark.light.

dark.light.

The fireflies used to lead us down, single-file, through the woods. Onto the bridge. Over the lake where Kelly tried to save the fish she couldn’t bear to see die after one of the campers took to long on the release part of the catch & release policy. Past the amphitheater lit up paranormally, as if the light was coming straight out of the core of the wooden slab benches and the cross itself. Past the empty cabins that would soon be filled with campers who had found their way back by the light of the fireflies.

The sound of a firefly darkness is a thing I can’t describe with words. Maybe not with paint, either. Nor song. Maybe it takes all these things. The sound of the silence that isn’t really silence–if you listen closely, you hear the bullfrogs down by the lake and the buzz of insects you don’t want to know the names of and the shuffling of shoes through the dirt and the sniffling of someone trying to stop crying after leaving the tabernacle and the rustle of campers reaching for their new friends’ hands. But for some reason, your brain still lets the silence claim these sounds. They belong to it, they are right at home with the silence and the dark.

The dark that isn’t really dark. There are stars in the sky and that ephemeral glow of the cross that seems to come from nowhere and the reflections of it all in the lake and, of course, the fireflies. The fireflies that belong to the dark. The fireflies so small and dainty that you can only notice them when it is this dark. So dark that you swipe three or four times before you make contact with your best friend’s hand. So dark that the lake seems magical in the way it can grab onto the smallest of light and propel it back out into the world to be seen. So dark that the light is almost an offense.

Only in a dark, silent night like this, do you even notice the fireflies. Only here, as you make your way back to your empty cabin from the joyous tabernacle, do you realize how amazing the smallest contrast to your surroundings can seem. How little you actually need, to find your way back to where you’re supposed to be. How big the light can seem, once you quit being afraid of the dark.

scary. things (part.two.)

scary. things (part.two.)

“Let’s go around and everyone say their name, where they’re from, why they’re here.”

“I’m Becca, I’m here by accident, I thought I was taking a writing class and I’m absolutely terrified to be here.” 

“Great!” 

 

It’s astonishing how quickly you get comfortable with a group of strangers when you’re all thrust into the same uncomfortable situation. The writing class I’d signed up for a month ago was cancelled due to low enrollment, and the center had called me a week prior, asking if I’d like to take another class that was at the same time on the same days, but would be improv in the morning, and writing in the afternoon. I said No the first three times the admission’s person asked. But at the last minute, right before hanging up, I’d blurted, “Wait! Okay I’ll do that one. The improv/writing one!” I figured 1.5 days of writing instruction was better than none at all. And hey, maybe I could just be late to the improv mornings, or make up some excuse to only come in the afternoon. After all, I’d already booked and paid for the hotel and train ride. I’d been looking forward to this. But there was no way in hell I was interested in doing improv.

By the time I realized, on the first day of class, that I’d been accidentally put into a third class option–the all day improv class–I’d already emotionally bonded with my five fellow hostages and couldn’t imagine starting over the next day with brand new people who hadn’t traversed my awkward dance activity with me. Hadn’t encouraged me through a round of gibberish. I’d already learned important aspects of my fellow weirdos and I didn’t feel right saying, “Um, excuse me Second City people… I think there’s been a mistake. Please put me in the other class where I’m going to have to bond with new people who already bonded with their own people.”

There was some legitimate panic. I’m not an actress. I can’t even lie very well. I was making the decision to stay in this class so far out of any comfortable activity I’d ever decided to take up, but I was terrified to do it.

One of the first things our improv teacher for the weekend told us was, “You are all going to be okay.” I’d be lying if I said I believed him when he said this. I was pretty sure that if there was such a thing as dying of embarrassment or discomfort, even if no one had died of that yet, I would be the first person in history it would happen to. Medical people for years to come would study it, the Becca Syndrome. Poor lady died in the middle of a black and green film room that was inexplicably air-conditioned in the middle of fucking winter in Chicago while trying to come up with a new, funny way to portray the sad side of a fish market. The textbooks would offer a little picture of me in the corner in black and white, looking, myself, like a dead fish too petrified to move. Medical students reading about my tragic demise would laugh to cover up their own insecurities, the worries they had about their own mortality when facing uncomfortable situations in their sought-after profession. What if an elderly person or a baby pooped on them? What if a really ill person pre-quarantine spewed blood all over their face? What if they were asked a hard question during medical rounds that they couldn’t answer or were asked to perform a procedure that, done wrong, would surely kill the patient? Would they die of Becca Syndrome?!?

Luckily, Sean, our instructor, was right and everything was okay. We all made it through the three days without any of us dying. There were two or three times I thought, this would be a good time to burst into tears, but luckily, I was able to refrain from doing that as well.

So, in the absence of a desire to move classes, and with a newfound sense of camaraderie with my classmates, I stayed. I decided to see how this all works, this improv bit. How do people get onstage and somehow, coherently create one scene together on the fly. How is this sausage link made. How do people become so comfortable with themselves onstage. Maybe you had to be born with certain criteria that I lacked and always would… but maybe there were tricks you could learn. Maybe by being here, I would learn how to let go a little. It was worth a shot, anyway.

 

 

be.still.

be.still.

Since the beginning of our learning about personal motivations and behaviors, we’re taught about the fight or flight response to threats, fear, trauma. We’ve all heard it. Some of us are fighters, some of us are flight-risks. Some of us swing back and forth between the two like it’s our own personal extreme sport, always experimenting with new ways to untangle ourselves from things that are uncomfortable at best, threatening at worst.

There are obviously times when fleeing is the best option. House on fire? That extra adrenaline pump into your veins might help you get your ass out of harm’s way. Giant grizzly bear tearing down the trail you’re jogging? Might want to learn, quickly, how to scale any nearby tree.

On the other hand, sometimes fighting your way out of a situation–or confronting the source of stress or conflict–is the best way forward. Fleeing is going to make it worse, or make your blood pressure explode your eyeball. Fight, fight, fight until you get closure.

And that’s it. Those are the two choices we’re given to deal with those moments that seem inescapable, unbearably imminent. The moments that make your pulse pound and your gut clench.

But sometimes you can’t outrun a thing. Sometimes you can’t fight it or wish it away or ignore it. When I was in the throes of grief, mourning the loss of my mother, and trying to fight my way around it, and failing, over and over again, thinking if I just cried hard enough or went to sleep long enough or got drunk enough, I could get away from this terrible feeling. I could make it go away. Then one day I remember hearing–well, maybe not hearing, more like feeling–the words: Be Still.

That was it.

Be Still.

Just Stop.

Sometimes the flailing is what makes it hurt worse, makes you sink faster, makes you unable to see the footholds around you, makes the water too choppy to navigate.

When you’re little, your parents tell you while you’re out in a crowded shopping mall, or Disney World, or Wal-Mart on a Sunday night: “If you get lost and can’t find us, stay in one spot.” If you keep moving, you’re too hard to find. If you keep moving, searching for the relief of being found again, you’re actually being counter-productive.

Sometimes the best thing–the only thing–you can do, is to be still and let the hurt come. Sit there and feel it, get to know it, figure out how to carry it around with you until it’s not as noticeable anymore. Befriend the pain.

Stop your flailing and fighting and running.

Be still.

 

 

get.lost.

get.lost.

I’ve written previously about my proclivity for getting lost. Unlike some people, this doesn’t cause me too much anxiety, I just factor Getting Lost Time into my commute. My friends are no longer surprised when I’m late, or have some zany story by the time I finally do reach my destination. Just a month ago, one of my friends stood outside his new apartment, calling me five minutes before I was supposed to arrive, because he knew he was going to have navigate my dumb ass around his neighborhood so I could find him.

Last night, I was driving to a gig at a venue I’d actually been to before, and still somehow, I was able to get lost out in rural Midwest America. The sky was overcast, just bruised to hell with rainclouds and a sad-looking horizon warning of shitty weather. I wasn’t in a bad mood, per se, but the sky wasn’t making me particularly jubilant, either.

Another thing not making super excited about the commute, is that many of the roads aren’t marked where I was driving. Also, halfway there,  my GPS stopped talking to me. Also, even if it hadn’t, history predicts I still would’ve missed that road I was supposed to turn on. Also, when the GPS did  start talking to me again, it kept telling me TURN RIGHT over and over again when there was not a damn road in sight for miles and I really didn’t want some farmer to shoot me for driving through his field.

So I just kept driving straight into gray skies, looking for a place to turn around.

When I did find a place to turn, I had to immediately pull over (you can do that on old country roads, because no one else is on them) because the sky that had been behind me this entire time, was insane. It felt like God had finally gotten fed up with all us wannabe artists down here and was saying, “Look, that’s cute. But I can do this better than you. Here you go, enjoy.”

It felt wrong to take a picture, like I was stealing someone else’s work. Or like there was no way in hell the picture would ever live up to the real thing, so it was sacrilegious to create this mockery out of the sky.

I mean, I did it anyway. But the pictures really don’t do it justice.

For a little while I just sat there. I’d built enough Getting Lost Time in, I wasn’t going to be late. And when I drove back the way I came, I got to watch the brilliant sky the entire way.

Maybe sometimes you get lost so you can arrive at your destination from an angle with a more appealing view.

 

pull.over.

Sometimes I get restless and develop an itch to drive up the river road here and just watch the Mississippi chug by. The midpoint of this trip is usually a woodshop I like to stop at before turning around and heading back home. The shop has lumber from different wood mills around the area, as well as little scraps of misshapen wood, interestingly sliced branches, reclaimed driftwood, and tree stumps you can imagine being turned into chairs or yard signs or any damn thing your heart could think up.

Also in the shop are creations other people, more talented and handy than I, have carved into intricate wall-hangings or furniture. Really magnificent pieces of art that take into consideration every knob or imperfection in a piece of wood and make those little things other people might think of as flaws, into a feature of the work. I like to wander around and look at it all. At one point I had convinced myself I could do some of it, too (much to the chagrin of my family, when I brought home a backseat full of weird-looking wood… out of which a weird-looking bug crawled and infested our house at one point).

I’m not sure what is so calming about walking around all the milled wood, the different varieties, the colors, textures, densities, and shapes. Not sure why I am so interested in seeing all the planks lined up, one after the other. Or seeing all the furniture someone else has already crafted. All I know is that, when I’m driving up the river road towards this place, I am in a hurry and I don’t slow down, I don’t stop and pull over on the side of the road, where there are many places I could pull over safely, and take pictures of the sun slicing off the water, or the bluffs baring themselves to the sky. I tell myself, “Yeah yeah, that’s great, I’ll take a picture on the way back.”

I’ll feel better on the way back. And I will slow down and pull over.

Today when I went to the wood shop I was met with a surprise: it had been cleaned out.

Not totally cleaned out. It was still there, it was still operating. But all the artwork I’d admired last fall was gone, as if its creator had quit showing it there. The back of the building, which used to seem like a labyrinth leading to a treasure hunt of furniture and that perfect scrap of artsy wood for whatever the hell it was I used to imagine I’d make, was organized and clean and held nothing but giant, tree-height planks of wood. No scraps, no cutesy signs or old chairs. Nothing.

I might be the only person in the world to be saddened by order.

I left the building, it having nothing I wanted to look at now. (Plus if I bring home anymore wood, my family will probably kill me.) Got back into my car. Drove back the way I came, fully intending to pull over somewhere and snap some pics. To slow down.

The sun was out, the weather was perfect. But there was nowhere safe to pull over on that side of the road. Sometimes life is just like that. You want to slow down and take it all in because you didn’t before, because you were anxious to get to a place you weren’t even sure would be there when you arrived. And now you can’t.

There’s nowhere to pull over.

no.roots.

no.roots.

Traditions are held up as the gold standard of society. People described as traditional often evoke images of stoic, genuine, pure people. Immune to corruption. Immune to the progression of society. Or at least, the unsavory parts of it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with any of this. I come from a long line of traditionalists. Family on all branches of my tree have shaped and molded me through traditions that I’d never trade for anything else in the world.

But there’s something seductive and freeing about the thought of having no roots, isn’t there? Something that says, “You can do whatever you want and no one will care.” It plucks free the guilt like a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth. If you want to go on a cruise for Christmas, you can do that. If you want to bake cookies and go caroling through your neighborhood, you can do that. No one expects any certain behavior from you if you have no roots.

So I’d be lying if I said I never thought about what it would be like to not have such tethered roots, especially during the holidays. The bustle and busyness of it all, the way we’re expected to do too much with too little, the unrealistic bar to which we’re all held by others or maybe only by ourselves, can get exhausting year after year. Sometimes we need a break. Sometimes we need to say, “Yes, Tradition. We see you. But we’re going to sit this one out so we don’t hurt ourselves irreparably for what’s to come later.”

For some of us, the exhaustion builds over time. We know it’s coming. We know that it’s been years since the last breakdown and we’re due for another. We know that the memories of those who are no longer with us are too heavy this year and are bound to break our thread-bare sanity when they’re dropped, one-by-one, throughout the holiday season.

Other times the exhaustion comes out of nowhere, blindsiding us with its strength, the way it so effortlessly and viciously knocks us off-balance. We have to stop. Catch our breaths. Remember that traditions are important, but they’re not everything. Sometimes, we have to be okay with the knowledge that others are carrying the traditions on in our stead, holding the torch until we can catch up again.

And that’s okay.

Last year, for me, was a no-roots type of holiday season. Everything was wrong. I wished we could go for a cruise and never come back. I wished no one expected anything of me at all. Even this past Thanksgiving, I still felt it. That hole where tradition should be. A hole that wouldn’t be there at all if no one had started the traditions in the first place.

Then yesterday was another Christmas. And some parts of the day were missing major players. Some sections of my day would’ve been made infinitely better by a brother or cousin or nephew. Some parts of my day could’ve been cheerier or lighter. I could’ve been cheerier or lighter. I could’ve gotten more done, baked more cookies, addressed Christmas cards, made more homemade gifts, been more thoughtful and present.

But I didn’t.

Not gonna lie, I wasn’t feeling much like hitting our last stop of the Christmas Day. I was tired. I was missing people. I felt like I hadn’t done enough, hadn’t settled into tradition enough this year. I had decided that maybe this was just going to be my new normal, and that decision covered me in a sadness I thought unshakeable.

And then I got to “the hall.”

The hall for those who aren’t aware, is a VFW Hall where my mom’s side of the family meets for Christmas. It’s tradition, since I was little. I have fond memories of running around the VFW with my cousins, singing Christmas songs and opening presents. Watching my uncle balance chairs and canes and books and anything we could find on his chin. Being able to skate or bike inside. The hall was a Christmas haven for us kids. We could do anything, it seemd.

Eighty of us were there this year. I know, because my aunt makes us count off before we can eat. Tradition. There were so many of my cousins present, cousins I see only once a year. We sang the Hallelujah Chorus, something we’ve done in the past, but had neglected to do last year. At the end of the night we went through old treasures of our grandma’s, on a table marked “Grab-Bag.” Another tradition that had died out, but recently came roaring back. This year we had an entire jar of old buttons and pins on the table. My grandmother’s. We went through them all, my cousins and me–the cousins who used to skate and bike and build with me but who now have kids of their own to do these things in their stead–laughing and remarking about the significance of each of the buttons. Demanding someone take a pin that suited them even if we wanted it too. Running our fingers over the sayings that were our roots. These ideas and sayings that belonged to the head Root-Planter who helped start it all.

I read each one. And I thought, “You know what? Maybe having roots isn’t such a bad thing, after all.”

purple.socks.

purplesocks (2)

 

When your husband–the one who used to willingly get into a cage and fight other grown men for fun, and who, when cut or sliced or otherwise maimed at work usually just tapes up his wound with whatever is closest–calls you at work and says, “I did something stupid. I cut myself and I need you to come get me and take me to the hospital,” you don’t ask questions. You flee your office, barely explaining why to your boss, and go home to see what in the hell kind of stupid thing your husband did that necessitated him calling you in the first place.

In case you’re curious whether or not I actually fled or if I’m just using that term for dramatic effect, I will tell you this: I left a full 24 oz. cup of piping hot coffee on my desk.

Yeah, that’s some serious shit.

On the way home, which, luckily for him, is only about half a mile away, I wondered what I might walk in on at home. I’m not what you’d call steel-nerved when it comes to things like blood or vomit or other bodily fluids. He hadn’t told me where he cut himself, what if he was passed out by the time I got home? What if he couldn’t walk? What if his finger was in a plastic bag full of ice? What kind of stupid thing was he even doing?

There was little time to worry about a lot of these hypotheticals because as soon as I pulled up to the house, he was opening the front door and hobbling out, a towel wrapped tight around his lower leg. I know I have an over-active imagination, but it was a huge relief to immediately know he wasn’t passed out in a pool of his own blood in the living room.

He had no shoes on but there was no time to get him any, because he was bleeding everywhere and let’s be honest, I don’t even think there are clean matching socks anywhere in my house right now, so barefoot seemed like the easier/better option. Who wants to be the wife who tells a eulogy that starts thusly, “It was a real shame that I spent fifteen minutes trying to find two matching socks in the fourteen laundry baskets of clean clothes we keep in the basement. If I hadn’t had to do that, he may not have bled out.”

So off we went, him barefoot, me trying not to look anywhere in the general vicinity of the source of the blood. We were on the road before he told me what had happened, which was this: The remote control airplane he’d been building with our son had turned on while he was, ironically, trying to set the safety for the throttle, and the propeller turned into his calf, slicing it. In case you were wondering, this plane isn’t some tiny little drone thing that can fit in your hand. It’s a plane with a five-foot wingspan.

On the way to the hospital, my loving husband told me details I didn’t need to know. Like how, when it happened, and before he’d really processed that he’d just been cut, it sounded like he’d spilled a cup of water on the floor. And how now there was so much blood all over the living room it looked like a crime scene. And how he maybe thought he had even seen a few chunks of flesh (I think he just threw that detail in to gross me out. He likes to do that). But then he started to feel dizzy and in pain, which probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I was driving in a way that could maybe be described as a sorta cautious maniac.

When we pulled up, I told him to get out and I’d run in to see if they’d let me bring a wheelchair out, instead of making him hobble barefoot up the walk. In the ER lobby, I told the receptionist that my husband had cut himself and I needed a wheelchair. She pointed to where the wheelchairs were and asked if I needed help. After I said I could handle it, she asked what he cut himself on. I panicked, not wanting to go into some long-ass story while he was waiting for me, and just said, “Airplane propeller!” on my way out the door.

This seemed to cause some confusion, but it did end in nurses being called immediately to come inspect his leg.

“So uh, what exactly did this?” was the question of the day. We quickly clarified that the airplane propeller was attached to a remote control plane, and not a real airplane. To which one nurse said, “Ahhh okay. I was wondering how he’d even have a leg left…”

So let that be a lesson to you kids. Clarity is important, but sometimes being vague gets you seen faster in an emergency.

They got him back into a room and I still refused to look directly at the leg because, you know, I’m a giant baby. The doctor saying, “Ooooh no, I need to go get more supplies” was enough to evoke certain images in my brain that I didn’t want to see. Nurses kept coming in and asking questions. One winked at me and said, “Mine’s a big kid, too.” But mostly I think they were just disappointed that an actual airplane hadn’t cut my husband’s leg.

My husband was just embarrassed and kept saying so. But everyone assured him that they’d seen much more embarrassing things in the ER. I reminded him that we’d been in the ER for more embarrassing reasons. But he was just concerned with the state of his toenails and the fact that he wasn’t wearing any socks or shoes, and hadn’t had a shower yet.

Eighteen stitches later, he was all fixed up and ready to go. The nurse who had confided that her husband also loved giant toys came back and laughingly asked (as we were getting ready to leave), “Do you want me to bring you some of the socks with the grippy bottoms so you don’t have to be barefoot?” And he said yes. When she came back, she had giant purple socks, which isn’t a thing I’d ever be able to get my husband to wear, but this nurse had the magic touch, I guess. He put those suckers on, and I walked my maimed husband out to the car. And that is the story of how my husband got his very first pair of purple socks.