“Are you in an abusive relationship?” the Emergency Room admitting clerk softly asked me looking me straight in the eye, watching my reaction carefully.
Mitch was sitting behind her across from me oblivious to the question. Did he know how lucky he is I like him? With just a slight change in my expression or lifted eyebrows not to mention if I had burst into tears, it would have been a long time before Mitch saw the light of day again. I was sitting in the Emergency Room admitting office with the two bones at the end of the middle finger on my left hand jutting at an odd angle for the second time in a three month period for the same injury. Maybe that was why she asked, or maybe it is standard procedure to ask every woman that comes to the emergency room with an injury.
Absolutely I was in an abusive relationship, but the abuser was me not Mitch. I am the clumsiest the person I know. I find new ways to cut, burn or bruise myself every day. I walk into walls, miss doorways and trip over my own two feet. Mitch is always amazed at the unique and seemly innocuous items that have the ability to draw blood on me.
This time I had been doing yard work while Mitch was working on one of the cars. I walked into the garage to get my garden cart and noticed a spider walking across the top of the cart. I hate bugs, spiders in particular and usually scream loudly and flee the immediate area as quickly as I can, knowing that they will hunt me down and eat me if given the chance. But on this day, I was wearing gloves making me invincible, or so I thought. I wanted my cart and here was this gigantic menace keeping me from my cart. Mitch was under the car so he was no help, I would just have to confront the monster myself. As the spider walked nonchalantly the top of the cart toward the edge to disappear and prepare for a sneak attack I decided to swat him with my gloved hand. I swung my hand down with such force to annihilate the beast and caught the top edge of the cart causing the first two bones on my middle finger to dislocate and jut up on top of the third bone and knuckle of the finger.
As usual I starting crying like a baby, causing Mitch to come up from under the car to see what I had done to myself again. He offered to pull the bones back into place for me. Are you kidding me? I told him I wanted to go to the emergency room and I wanted him to take me.
He looked at me and said, “I am right in the middle of fixing the exhaust on the car, can’t you drive yourself?”
“Fine I’ll just walk then, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine, I can take care of myself.” I wanted some sympathy and wasn’t getting it.
He dropped his tool on the floor and said, “Fine let’s go.”
I wanted to get cleaned up first because I was filthy and sweaty from the yard work but “No!” Mitch said that if he had to go dirty so did I. No fair. So here I sat sweaty with dirt and grass stains on my clothes sitting in the emergency room waiting for a shot to numb my hand and have a trained professional jerk my finger back in place.