The Danger of Being Me

I  don’t know why, but I’m prone to slightly comical situations in times of peril. I have managed to maim many a bird with my car. I have caught fire several times. I have difficulty dialing 911, and I mean I literally punching in those three simple numbers.

I think we have all had a bird swoop down in front of our car, as if playing a game of chicken with its litte birdy friends. Escaping, but just barely. For me, one wasn’t so lucky. He apparently, didn’t quite understand the game, because he flew AT the car, not crosswise, in front of it. He flew down below the top of the hood and I lost sight of him.  I didn’t hear a thump,  so I assumed he had miraculously survived. When I got home, I gathered my things and started toward the apartment we lived in at the time. As I rounded the corner of the car, and stepped up onto the sidewalk, I saw said bird……in flight position, head in the grill and body extending outward. (Insert scream here.)  Not the kind of hood ornament I was looking for, I made Bill remove the body. Poor birdy.

That poor little guy wasn’t the only bird that found himself flying into my car. Head on. While driving down the road a few years later,  with my husband in the passenger seat, a blue jay hit my window, dead center driver side. His body then proceeded to bounce to the side of the car and hit the frame of the open window. It could have gone either way. In and onto my lap, or out onto the road…..Thankfully, it was the later. Birds beware. I am a dangerous person.

At my wedding, we had candles on the tables. I was talking to my maid-of-honor near the beginning of the reception, and I smelled something burning. I looked down at my sleeve and saw a small brown burn mark. Very nonchalantly I said, “Look, Lynn, I burned my sleeve.”  Before I could process how that had happened, she began furiously beating my skirt. At the same time, my father-in-law came up from behind me, ripped off my veil, and started stomping on it. I had leaned too close to a candle while retreiving my drink from the head table, and my veil had caught fire. As it burned with a white flame, pieces of it were dropping onto my dress and catching my sleeve and the skirt. Thank God that we loved big skirts, hoops, and crinolines in the early 90s. We went upstairs to my room, cut off the burnt part of the veil, pinned the folds of the skirt to hide the damage, and I walked back into the reception to the DJ playing “Burning Down the House.” I spent the rest of the night showing guest the hole in my dress.

Several years later, I was adjusting a picture frame on our entertainment center. I was a little OCD at that time. It was a tall piece of furniture, and I am short. I had to reach over a lit votive, but the candle was really low, and surely it wouldn’t be a problem. As I pulled my arm away, I noticed a flame crawling up my sleeve. I panicked. I’m usually a quick-thinker in panic situations, but not this time. I blew on my sleeve, adding fuel to the fire. Literally. I watched it go up my arm and head around to my back. I was afraid if I stopped, dropped, and rolled, I might catch the carpet on fire. I know, it was crazy. I thought about going outside to roll, but it was winter, and snowy. So I started jumping up and down and screaming, “I’M ON FIRE!” Luckily my husband was home and told me me stop, drop, and roll, and this time I decided I didn’t care about the carpet. If I had opened the door to go ouside, I would have, again, added oxygen to the fire, and made it worse, and I can’t believe I was so worried about the carpet. As you can see……. I am a danger to myself.

In the end, I was no worse for the wear. A little sad, however, because I LOVED that sweater! It had actually only burned the fuzzies off of it. BONUS! I wanted to get rid of them anyway! Unfortunately, Bill said I smelled like a picnic, and I had to ditch the sweater. Later, my oldest who was 3 or 4 at the time, gave me some great advice. He said “Mommy, next time you catch fire, you just need to stop, drop, and roll. Take off your sweater, throw it away, and buy a new one!” Thanks, buddy.

This last weekend, I was woken from a dead sleep by Bill, screaming up the stairs for me to call 911 for a neighbor who was in trouble. I was barely conscious. I grabbed my phone, fumbling it repeatedly, unlocked it, and looked for the emergency button. I’ve never had to call from my cell, and I thought that button was a direct link to 911, not just a bypass for unlocking it. I remember years ago, people had trouble dialing 911 from cell phones. I still had that memory stuck in my head, so when I dialed it and didn’t get a ring, I assumed it wasn’t working. I dialed twice and hung up both times. Seconds seemed like minutes. Bill came running up the stairs wondering what was going on, and I tried to explain. He grabbed the phone, and requested Siri dial the local police department, to which she responded that I didn’t have voice activation set up. He threw the phone down, and I ran for our Vonage line. We never use it, and it’s not in a convenient location in the house, but we keep it just in case. This was one of those moments. I dial 911. Crap, didn’t turn the phone on. Turn it on, turn in off, dial 911. Shaking. Adrenalin pumping. Good Grief! What’s wrong with me?! FInally, I turn the phone on, and dial properly. What should have taken less than 30 seconds, has now taken at least 2 minutes. We are very close to our police department, so they were there within 2 minutes or less, and as I have said before, they come in large numbers. Our poor neighbor was in trouble for 2 minutes longer than they should have been. They are fine. All is well. Except the fact that I am a dangerous person.

I can’t make this suff up…… just part of the danger of being me.


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