That’s why they call it an ‘accident’

By Lisa Sugarman

I don’t know any other way to say this, so I’m just going to say it. I’m a moron. A bonafide, legit, real-life moron. And while I know that that might be a little insulting, it’s true. But since I’m talking about myself, I can say anything I want and get away with it.

Now for the record, I’m not using the word moron in the context of Webster’s primary definition of the word—that would be grossly inappropriate and totally offensive because it refers to someone affected with mild retardation.

Instead, I’m using it in terms of Webster’s secondary definition, which is a very stupid person.

See, the reason I’m calling myself names is because of the idiot move I pulled last month that nearly severed the top half of my right thumb. And while it was clearly an accident (because it obviously wasn’t my intention to cut off one of my fingers), I feel like maybe it could’ve been avoided.

It happened as I was about to leave for my cousin’s bridal shower. I was rushing, of course, trying to put the finishing touches on a gift for the bride; and I momentarily lost my focus. An extremely bad combination.

My cousin, who lives in Colorado and is getting married next month, had a shower here on the east coast for friends and relatives who couldn’t make it out west for The Big Day. A lovely idea. And those of us invited to go were asked to pull together some words of wisdom to share with the happy couple as they dismount their single life and saddle up to get hitched. Another lovely idea.

So, as I tend to do, I threw myself into my little Words of Wisdom project with the goal of making my personal little 5×7 index card look special. I wanted the words to both sound and look good as they dangled from adorable little clothespins hung around the function room. The problem was, I didn’t have a 5×7 index card handy.

But since we live in a world where poster board and X-Acto knives are readily accessible in every home, I felt like I could just whip one up no sweat. And I was right, it was no sweat. Unfortunately, it ended up being an awful lot of blood.blowupstep2

Fully dressed in what I thought was an adorable, bridal-shower-appropriate skirt and top, I decided to run down to our basement worktable and quickly slice myself a perfect 5×7 homemade index card. (The word to focus on here is quickly.)

Needless to say, the outcome of quickly trying to score the poster board so it separated was about what you’d expect. I sliced way more of my thumb than the cardboard. (Good thing I had just put in a brand new blade.) Suffice it to say, it’s a Christmas miracle that the tip of my thumb is still attached. And how my cute-as-a-button little outfit didn’t get compromised is another miracle altogether. Everything else around me, though, was doused in blood. It was absolutely disgusting.

And unfortunately for me, the only way to exit our basement is to walk back upstairs and unavoidably encounter every member of my family, including my poor mother who took one look at my blood-soaked hand and nearly keeled over.

I mean, I knew it was bad, but didn’t realize exactly how bad until the trauma center doctor pulled back the wad of bloody paper towel and immediately reached for a measuring tape. That’s never a good sign.p110_043-lg

In the end, I never even needed stitches, believe it or not. Because of where I cut myself, the doctor felt like it was unnecessary to shoot me up with nine injections of Lidocaine to sew me up. Said it would eventually heal up on its own. Although the fact that I can’t feel the tip of my thumb is a little concerning but in the great scheme of things, I feel like it could’ve ended up much worse.

And that’s the thing about accidents, they’re sudden, unplanned events that cause damage or injury. Key word being unplanned. So as much as we’re taught never to run with scissors or cut food while we’re holding it or ride a bike without a helmet, sometimes s**t just happens that’s beyond our control. Somehow, regardless of how mindful or cautious we are, accidents have a way of happening in spite of our best intentions to avoid them.fingercut

I guess I’m sharing this heartwarming little story of mishaps and blood loss as a way of reminding myself, and you, that we can only control so much even though we’d all like to be in control of everything. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you screw up, cause it’s gonna happen even when you think you’re being careful and paying attention. Just do your best to be careful and let the rest ride.

Because it’s like Dave always says, that’s why they call it an accident, babe.

Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItIsWhatItIsColumn. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is, available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and at select Whole Foods Market stores.

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