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I Got A Boo-boo

I got a boo-boo

This is a story about me being stupid. But it’s also a story about stories.

So here’s what happened: I cut the tip of my little finger and had to get a couple of stitches.

Not exactly a life-changing experience. You won’t see it chronicled in future generations on a “This Day In History” segment.

Of course, if that was the end of the story, I wouldn’t be telling you about it.

I had this bandage wrapped around the finger awkwardly for a week, and people would spot it and kept asking: “what happened?”

“Oh, I was using the grinder and my hand slipped. Ended up cutting my finger.”

“Ouch…”

“Yeah I didn’t like it.”

That was the conversation the first few times. People seemed so interested, and I started seeing it as a bit more of a dramatic event. That wince people gave was enough to make me think I should be investing a bit more emotion in the event, and I started giving more detail:

“What happened to the finger?”

“Well, I was working with the grinder when the shield flipped off. It took my hand with it and my finger ended up in the grinder.”

“Oh wow.”

“Yeah, not exactly a clean cut, and it was wide and deep enough that I needed stitches.”

“Bet that hurt.”

“It hurt a lot, but the needle in my fingertip at the doctor’s was even worse. Plus, the tetanus shot made me sick for 2 days.”

“You could have cut the whole finger off!”

“Yeah, could have been worse.”

Now I started to feel sorry for myself. Plus, I started to worry a bit. Maybe I could have cut the tip of my finger off. Imagine if it had gone to the bone! Oh my god! And the more people asked about it, the more I went over and over my tragic little tale, I realized that there was another part to the story:

“The guy who used the grinder the day before broke the guard off of the grinder and didn’t get it repaired, so when I was using it the next day this is what happened.”

“Damn. You must have been angry at him. Did he at least apologize?”

“You know what? No, no he didn’t.”

Now I was angry. How could this have happened? How could he have done this to me? And no apology? Really? That jerk!

And then one comment:

“Well, that’s why they say you should never work with broken equipment.”

“Hmm. Yeah. You’re right. I should have thought twice about using the tool at all when I saw there was something funny about the guard.”

This was all my fault. This was so, so stupid of me. If I’d lost the finger or something I would have had nobody to blame but myself. What the hell was I thinking? I’m such an idiot.

After a week I healed up enough to remove the bandage, had the stitches removed, gave it a wash, and went on with my life.

A week.

That’s all it took.

And you know why?

Because it’s no big deal.

I didn’t get seriously injured. I don’t need to concern myself with the actions of the guy who broke the shield, as I am only responsible for my own actions. And I’m not an idiot, I’m just a regular person who sometimes makes mistakes. I won’t make this one again, so it’s okay.

So here’s what happened: I cut the tip of my little finger and had to get a couple of stitches.

And then I told a bunch of stories and upset myself.

But then it got better, and I realized upsetting myself isn’t healthy, so I stopped that and my feelings got better too.

And next time I won’t work with broken tools.

And next time I won’t go on about life’s little inconveniences so much. Life is what it is. Creating a tragic narrative around it isn’t exactly the healthy, productive thing to do.

There is, however, one bit of “story” I will attach to this event: it made me slightly smarter than I was before about making good choices.

Plus I got a cool new scar.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Excellent message. Fantastic insight, Caleb!! Reminds me of situations in which a child may fall and scrape/cut open a knee and keep going until they lock eyes with a horrified, animated parent and then the child bursts into hysterics! 🙂

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