Irene Who?

Posted by mwallach on September 2, 2011 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere |

Dear That’s Life

As I write this (Wednesday 8/31), numerous homes in our area remain dark. While the power loss we personally experienced lasted only 24hours, many have lost patience as three days passed since their lights worked and their refrigerators hummed. From their posts on Facebook, some seem ready to tar and feather the next LIPA serviceman in the area, though I do believe that would hinder rather than help their cause.

In anticipation of Irene, and because it had worked out well for the earthquake, my Facebook “friends” and I made hurricane and tornado playlists. The latter received 64 posts despite its last minute arrival to the scene. On her second day of no power, someone asked me to contribute to her “I Still Have No Power” playlist. My suggestion, Yankee Grey’s “All Things Considered I’m Doing Just Fine,” did not make her smile. She was not ready for my “silver lining” message, especially from someone able to do her laundry.

Thrilled to be back home, despite sleeping out for only one night, we took immediate pleasure in being able to turn lights off and on, confirming that they worked, and resetting clocks. Even before Irene had made herself known, we planned on spending a couple of days away as a family before school started. Packing was easy now that the lights were on and within an hour or so, we were ready to go. Things seemed to be fall into place. The power outage behind us, we were off to Pennsylvania – or so we thought. In an instant, the story in our house had nothing more to do with Irene.

“I don’t know why you’re so stupid” is all I could muster right after I smashed my toe into the corner of a metal drawer. Some people are talented while others, including myself, take talent to a whole new level. And I don’t even do it gracefully. In this case, it takes someone truly special to make a gash on the inside of her fourth (yes: fourth) toe so deep that it would require five stitches and break the toe as well. I kid you not. The irony, of course, is that not only did this take place while the sun shone in, but the lights were on as well. Had it occurred while we still had no power, it would have been understandable. For it to occur after the lights were working and within minutes of leaving on a family vacation, even for a person who claims that crazy follows her everywhere, was truly one for the record books.

I immediately called Hatzolah, or in this case, my husband. He ran home, brought his trauma bag upstairs and assessed the situation. “I need stitches,” I told him as he tried to stop the bleeding. He agreed, especially because the pressure put on the foot made closing the wound difficult. While I usually have a high tolerance for pain, I began to wonder if every nerve ending in my body was located in the fourth toe of my right foot. True to form, my husband took the injury seriously, caring for the wound professionally, while I proceeded to yell at him that the bandage killed and he was a hack for an EMT. Yet again, he proved to be the adult in this relationship and suffice it to say, I was told to be quiet and we did not leave for our trip on time.

My internist assessed the gash and agreed stitches were needed. My husband wondered if there was a plastic surgeon in the area who would be able to take us quickly. “You don’t need a plastics guy,” said my physician. “It’s a toe.” Taking a step back, however, his decision had a caveat. “That is,” he joked, “if you don’t have a toe fetish.” I laughed. “Not with those stubby toes,” responded my better half. Once the mocking of my feet was over, I was sent to a local dermatologist who was able to take me quickly. Lidocaine, stitches and a cauterization, I was good as new.

I was in a store this past Friday afternoon right after County Executive Mangano had announced a mandatory evacuation for anyone living south of Sunrise Highway. In response, a total stranger commented that she knew, after the earthquake, that something was seriously wrong. “I can feel it,” she said over and over again, linking the two natural disasters to a change in the universe. I agreed the juxtaposition of the two events was strange, but that’s where it ended for me. At the time I may not have believed her, but now I think she is on to something.

A close friend of mine, someone who spent a good deal of time mocking my toe injury, its extent and how I got it, succumbed to his own bit of karma last night. In an effort to join his son on the couch to watch a movie, he inadvertently sat on a fork, forcing him to writhe in pain, use numerous expletives and have four perfectly spaced little holes in his tush he had never had before. Possibly the funniest story I have ever heard in my life, one-liners came out in full force, certifying this moment as a true pain in the butt.

Just the kind of guy he is, he knew I’d enjoy the story, particularly because he had taken so much pleasure in mine. Of course I was concerned with his welfare, hoped he was okay and wanted to know how he was feeling. All along, however, as I laughed like a madman and tears streamed down my face, John Lennon’s voice sang loud and clear in my mind, as if a soundtrack to this movie: “Instant karma’s gonna get you…”

As Seen in the South Shore Standard Sept ’11

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