It's time to decorate Easter eggs -- an age-old tradition symbolizing new life. An activity infused with color, the pungent aroma of vinegar and great swells of kid-inspired, eggshell-adorning creativity, all in the name of celebrating the long-awaited rebirth of the land. By contrast, I've been celebrating the rebirth of my stupidity.
More specifically, one of my toes -- henceforth known as "The Toe" -- stupidly embraced this glorious festival of dyes and dippings, having adopted a whole host of hues this past week ranging from a lovely pool of blue/black at its base to the deepest and most profound infusion of magenta at its northern-most tip -- perfectly suited for the Lenten season, I'm told. The purple of penance.
My heathens, as expected, were beside themselves with glee upon learning of my unfortunate and infinitely obtuse shower-related toe incident (i.e. the whacking of said digit on the chair-like entity contained within, followed almost instantaneously by a profusion of swelling and an imbuement of color). "Cool, Mom! It's purplish and shiny and it has a really interesting texture!"
Yes, my third grader used the word texture in a disturbingly appropriate manner. She also touched my toe. They both touched it. Again and again -- compelled to poke and prod the bulbous head of my pitiful toe, thoroughly mesmerized by its curious and ever-changing medley of colors and reveling in its freakishly smooth feel. That said, it is perhaps the most repulsive-looking appendage on the planet. But it's colorful. I'll give it that. Just in time for Easter, it's a feast of pigmentation.
Barring divine intervention, however, I'll likely be skipping Maundy Thursday's foot washing ceremony at my church, a spiritually stirring event I had planned to attend during Holy Week, that is, until The Toe became such a huge and hideous issue. Indeed, it is a shameful spectacle and likely symbolic of the many and varied flaws present in my character. Besides, the mere thought of allowing someone to touch it -- even someone who would exert the utmost of care and sensitivity given my sorrowful situation -- makes me writhe in pain. Then again, my kids' relentless pawing has been no picnic and somehow I've tolerated that.
I've also tolerated a vat of their foolishness.
Needless to say, Frick and Frack have been consumed with all that relates to my wretched toe of late, demanding comprehensive updates on its status the very instant they step off the school bus, insisting that I shed my sock and wave the horrible thing around like a flag. "Show daddy!" they joyfully instruct. "It'll gross him out!" Of course, I fear that one day soon The Toe will surface in someone's creative writing assignment, much to my chagrin and to their teachers' collective horror. My weirdish children have even gone so far as to compose a song about my unsightly appendage. Tchaikovsky would be proud.
But not me so much. I'm embarrassed. And ungainly. And in agony (or some semblance thereof) much of the time. However, it can't compare to what I felt at the moment of impact. And the sound -- the unspeakably horrible sound that reverberated all around when the bone actually snapped -- made me slightly sickish within that tiny window of time sandwiched between the realization of what a stupid, stupid thing I had done and the onset (read: the monumental explosion) of excruciating pain. Even still, I'm not quite sure which made me feel worse -- knowing of my stupidity or suffering its ill effects.
As time goes on (and in my less-than-expert medical opinion), I presume The Toe will not only heal, but undergo an impressive transformation of color, progressing from its current purplish state to various (and no doubt, vile) shades of green, yellow and, eventually, to the suggestion of ecru. With any luck, the nuance of crookedness it has adopted in the interim will abate as well. Otherwise it's likely my kids will feel compelled to sing (and write!) about "The Crooked Toe," serving as yet another reminder of my idiocy.
Copyright 2010 Melinda L. Wentzel