I am an ordinarily intelligent woman. I do stuff. I know things. I’m usually cautious of my own safety when I do the stuff I know how to do, which is why it angered me when I hurt myself the other morning while getting ready for work.
I changed the headlight in my own car that one time. I helped construct a two-story scaffold so we could paint the eaves of the house. That I almost fell off of it is another story.
I’m no stranger to the labor required in using power tools. There’s one for every purpose and every task requires the proper tool. And I know how to use them. I have been the one to wield a chain saw for an entire winter’s worth of fire wood. Accident free.
I know how to prepare a case for arbitration. I can even create an Excel spreadsheet now, which makes me pretty proud because it’s a recent accomplishment. Before the new job, I never had much occasion to use it.
I routinely use electrical appliances with no difficulty: washer, dryer, stove, coffee pot, toaster etc. I regularly use a microwave oven. I’ve only ever set off sparks inside it on one occasion.
I even have one of those one-cup-at-a-time use-an-individual-pod type coffee makers. And I know how to use that, too.
I have a smart phone, although I will admit that the kids are better with that than I am.
I’ve never caught the house on fire by forgetting about a lit candle and I’m generally a safe driver. There was that one time I got my finger caught in an industrial strength sewing machine, but it was only the one time. I had that job for almost a whole year and it never happened again.
And you can’t count that time the tractor’s wagon rolled over me because, well, that just wasn’t my fault.
But burning my own forehead with my own curling iron just takes the cake. I mean really, I know it’s hot, right? I plugged it in myself, for heaven’s sake. I’ve been using a curling iron for decades and I know not to roll that sucker too tightly against my skin.
It was an accident.
For the whole week following, I had to use that curling iron, the source of my injury, to fix my bangs so that they would position just so in order to cover the burn mark just over my would-be uni-brow.
Yes, I had singed that caterpillar right off.
No amount of lotions or potions kept the welt from glowing. Nor did they keep it from flaking and peeling once it had begun to heal.
No amount of fussing with my bangs would keep the injury completely covered.
Thankfully, no one commented on the bright streak across my forehead. I just don’t think I could’ve explained it well, mostly because I still don’t know how I could’ve been that careless.
But the worst was the hit to my own pride. I had to wear the emblem of my own actions, and rather prominently, not on my blouse but on my forehead.
Thankfully, it only took a week to completely heal, which included five whole workdays during the worst of it. Workdays where I saw people.
Every single day.