Who’s Got Time For Stitches?



The onion was slippery and the knife was dull.

You know how it went from there.  Crimson-splotched wads of tissue paper littered my counter while I paced the kitchen with my finger raised high over my head.  A perverted victory march.

Because all of my medical knowledge comes from Gilligan’s Island, I reflexively searched for a coconut to apply pressure and The Professor to give me advice.  My kids were worried enough to stop fucking bickering for four hot seconds and Jeff was pulling out ointments and tapes.  I was in good hands.

The problem was that it was already 5:40 PM, and I wanted to get my vegetable-filled dinner in the pot, the kids in the bath, and go on a run before the sun went down.  Oh and Simon needed to eat something STAT so he could take his medicine so he could get well.  The next day his classroom was having a Seder.  I wanted to be there.  It would be awkward if I showed up without him.

Jeff wrapped fancy medical tape around my finger and promised that I’d be fine to run in ten minutes.  But two minutes later, wooziness clouded my eyes and the floor pitched.

No run for me.

My surrender was a slump in the chair.  Damn. I can’t get the timing of anything right.  I heard the faint tinkling of pity chimes.  If only I’d decided we had plenty of vegetables and didn’t need the onion.  Pea pods would have been just fine.  If only I knew how to sharpen a knife, then my heart would be pumping from soul-stirring cardio–  (I’d just downloaded two Beyonce songs; I meant business)– and not from the pain of having sliced the Christmas out of my middle finger.  I once heard on NPR that dull knives are ten times more dangerous than sharp ones.  Mental note: donate money to public radio.

The bleeding stopped long enough for me to take a walk before dinner.  I put on a black glove and walked the whole way with my hurt finger on my shoulder, thinking surely it’s true that I should keep my injury above my heart.  The Professor must have been right about that much.

Maybe rushing around doesn’t work, Jeff said once the lights were out.  Grateful to be soft enough to hear that as an observation and not a criticism, I agreed.  My finger was throbbing because I stacked too many planes on my tarmac– cramming must-do’s into the 5-7PM slot is lunacy.  Asking for trouble.  Inviting in heartache.  And apparently physical pain.

I haven’t looked under the bandage.  It’s been almost twelve hours.  I’m afraid I should have gotten stitches, but who has that kind of time?




46 thoughts on “Who’s Got Time For Stitches?

  1. hello me. yup, who has the time to deal with things like that when there are other things that need to be done. and i would have been extremely frustrated as well. i hate when i plan on doing something for myself – usually exercise – and probably burn more calories in my scurrying about to make sure it happens. and i’ve heard the bit on dull knives, which is what sold me on those mega sharp cutco’s last year, but believe me, i’ll take a dull knife over one that can slice your hand off before you even feel it, any day. but may i suggest frozen chopped onions. work like a charm.

  2. Argh, I think it is mom 101 to cram as much as possible into the smallest amount of time! And I’ve learned a lot from Gilligan’s Island too, lol. You’re right, it usually involves coconuts, lol. I chopped the top half of my finger off making bread did this christmas and let me tell ya.. Purification Essential Oil is the way to go. It stopped the bleeding and horrid throbbing. Good stuff!

  3. Ugh, cutting onions is the WORST. I do absolutely everything I can to avoid them which is, of course, not much, considering they are in every damn recipe unless you just eat dessert for every meal. Which actually doesn’t seem like such a bad idea now that I think about it.

  4. No matter how much I’d taken off my plate, I would still have been cutting the onion quickly. Who wants to linger there in eye-burning land? I think if it’s not bleeding, you’re OK without the stitches. Hope it’s better.

    • I am going on the theory that if it was as bad as stitches, it would still be bleeding. Also? now I am using to get out of all sorts of crap I don’t want to do. Like chop veggies, go to the park, work.

  5. This was excellent writing and the humor pitch perfect, but I am so sorry for you pain! I loved gilligan’s Island, and now? I am hungry for Mary Ann’s coconut cream pie.

  6. 1. Veggie chopping injuries while alone with kids one of my secret fears. I keep butterfly bandages in the kitchen so I can drive myself to the E.R. because I worry they won’t let the kids come in the ambulance.
    2. I get rage-y when I can’t run. No spouse most a.m.s or pre-dusk p.m.s for runs, so……often rage-y.

  7. Right there with you. Hope your finger is okay and that you’re back to running. A great read as always: funny, crisp, evocative and not whiny in spite of bad shit happening to you. Well done.

  8. I believe the 5-7 pm time slot of the day was specifically created by the devil himself to try and take over the world. At least the worlds of households with young children. Just glad you are OK. And you killed me with the Gilligan’s Island medical reference. I’ll be smiling about that all day.

  9. You went to the Katy School of Medicine: If you don’t look at it, it’s not that bad. That especially works with any pain factor.

    The other thing that works is creating an alternate pain site. So if your finger hurts, you drive the nails from your other hand into your leg. If you’re leg is hurting, then you can’t focus on your finger.

    You probably shouldn’t listen to any health-related advice from me, though. Ever.

    • I do that too! If my head hurts, I pick at a hang nail til it bleeds. SUddenly, my head’s okay. We are kindred spirits.

      On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM, Outlaw Mama wrote:


  10. Too lazy to read comments to see if someone has already made a suggestion, but get something like this because it makes knife sharpening so easy:

    Next. Sliced the Christmas – love that phrase. Another favorite: soft enough to hear it as an observation.

    I hope your finger is doing ok. I’ve sliced and stabbed myself enough recently to know how awful it is, particularly when it starts to morph from a simple mishap to indicative of “too many planes on the tarmac.” (another great line).

  11. I have cut the top of my thumb off twice. The same thumb. Did you know that the core of a head of lettuce comes out if you slam it on the counter? I do now. The second lesson I learned is that you should not use the same knife to cut open a watermelon as you do the cantaloupe. If you do, the large knife on the small melon leaves plenty of knife edge to take off the unsuspecting tip of the thumb. FYI, they sew it back together through the fingernail.

  12. Oh have I ever been there. I sliced my hand in half opening a can one time and shot blood all over the ceiling. I was too lazy to get stitches and too grossed out to look at it, so I bandaged it up and waited 24 hours to look at it. It’s fine, by the way. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t waste time on stitches.

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  14. I’m reminded of when I got a gash at the last convenience store I worked at. (My one and only full-time job.) Cimmy fashioned me some butterfly bandages so I could keep working, and I got stitched up at midnight after I got off my shift.

    Granted, this was before kids.

  15. I think that time between 5-7 are the worst, I am certain of it in truth. The tips of my fingers bear the scars from the time before I was an emptynester. I gave my sons and my daughters-in-law advice, buy sliced don’t slice, no one will ever know the difference.

    It is the truth, they won’t know. Hope your finger is fine.

  16. I’d say “Hilarious”, but I’m sure you knew better and it probably hurt… so punishment enough, and I don’t want you mad at me. Ikea has a good knife sharpener if you are near one of those.

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