Married . WithOUT Children |

Married . WithOUT Children

“You did WHAT?” husband-head said in shock over the phone. “You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I’m not,” I assured him. “It’s the truth.”

I had called husband-head from San Francisco, where I was taking a short vacation, to inform him that I had just returned from the hospital where I received 20 stitches in my mouth.

“Let me get this right,” husband-head said, trying to comprehend the situation. “You took a face plant in your girlfriend’s backyard and tried to eat her brick patio?”

“And part of her lawn,” I added. “I just slipped on the wet grass.”

It was 8 in the morning, and we had been getting ready to go to a birthday party in the Sacramento area when I had decided to take my coffee outside before we left and enjoy the nice California sunshine. But as I crossed the lawn in my stocking feet, I tripped and slid on the dew-moistened grass and slammed my face into the edge of the patio.

At first I thought I had broken my nose.

“You should have SEEN all the blood,” I described to husband-head. “I didn’t know a person HAD that much fluid in their body. .”

I could almost hear husband-head shaking his head.

“A normal person would have put their hands out in front of them to break their fall,” he said, still trying to figure it out.

“I was holding my coffee cup,” I explained. “It all happened so fast.”

Despite all the blood, I assured my friends that I was OK and just held a bag of ice to my face, although the cut on the outside of my upper lip was deep. It wasn’t until we stopped at a fast-food joint that I looked in the mirror and lifted my top lip and realized I had split it in two on the inside. .

“Do you think they’d put a cheeseburger in the blender for me?” I asked my girlfriend, Maria. “I don’t think I can eat. .”

“I’m taking you to the hospital whether you like it or not,” Maria said, looking at my swelling mouth. “You need stitches.”

The nice doctor examined my injuries and agreed.

“So . you took a header, eh?” he said. “Has walking always been a problem for you?”

After numbing me up, he proceeded to sew me back together. When he was done, he left the room and pointed to a mirror on the back of the door where I could inspect his handiwork.

Maria, who had sat in the room with me through the entire procedure, looked panicked as I stood behind the half-open door looking at my mouth.

“Please get away from that door,” she warned. “I can just SEE someone pushing it open and bashing you in the face.”

The idea struck me as a scene out of the “Three Stooges.”

“Don’t make me laugh,” I said, trying not to smile. “I’m gonna bust my stitches out.”

After leaving the hospital, we headed up to the birthday party where I was greeted by old friends I hadn’t seen in more than ten years.

“Hey STITCH!” one guy yelled out. “Way to GO!”

“Good job, Grace,” another friend welcomed me with a hug.

I could see I was going to be the butt of their jokes for the entire weekend.

“I fought the lawn and the . lawn won!” I sang out feebly.

The next day my lip and nose were swollen and bruised and with the stitches on my mouth, I could have passed as the bride of Frankenstein.

“Heidistein!” one friend nicknamed me for the weekend.

When husband-head picked me up at the airport back home a few days later, he just stared and shook his head.

“Don’t say a word or I’ll tell people you punched me,” I warned.

“That’s it,” he said decisively. “From now on, if you leave the house, you’ll be required to wear a safety helmet and a mouthguard.”

At least, unlike Tony Bennett, I didn’t leave a vital organ in San Francisco. .

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice. com.

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