The Blame Game

Why did you hurt me when all I do is show you love?

Times I have been injured while wearing running shoes: 2

Times I have been injured while wearing any other kind of shoe: immeasurable

Times my son has run into a stationary object: at least 5

I have a love affair with shoes. And boots. Sandals, too.

But like a few bad choices I’ve made in my life, my affection was misplaced this week.

When I walked outside before heading on our long car trip the other day, the ground was a little wet. I walked back inside on our wood floors, and one foot started to slip out from under me. I did catch myself, then went along on my merry way, driving three hours there, then three hours back. By nightfall, serious pain. Unrelenting pain.

I find the pain unfair. The boots I wore were chosen with care. They are my favorites: flat, not tight, none of the “wow, I can’t believe you’re wearing heels that high! Don’t you worry you’ll fall?” issues some of my shoes might cause. These were my safety choice. And they failed me.

What does a runner do when she can’t run? She blames her horrible boots and swears never to wear footwear again. I was once barefoot, and to bare feet I shall return. Well, not really. Shoes are so pretty.

My kids like to blame each other when something doesn’t go their way.

“I didn’t get my piano practiced because she went first, and I didn’t have time!”

“I fell because after I pushed him, he bit my arm!”

And finally, “They shouldn’t have put the mailbox right there.” (More on that in a minute.)

Because my sister lives 30 minutes away, I don’t get to blame her for things that go wrong. I find this unfair; isn’t this what siblings are for? So I blame my husband. He lives here but is usually at work, so I can mutter under my breath about the ways he has wronged me.

Sometimes, I can’t find the scissors. I use scissors a lot, and I can’t even tell you how. I don’t craft, I don’t use those particular scissors for sewing, and I don’t make paper dolls (much). But there are times when I need my scissors, and they aren’t there. This is when I start muttering under my breath and pacing around the house like a crazy person. Until I find them, and they are in the guest room on the floor where I was wrapping a birthday present. And my husband never, ever wraps birthday presents. Maybe I can blame him for that, too.

I also find it helpful and fun to blame my husband for genetic defects in our children. When they are horrible, I like to think about how his English genes, long trapped on an island, are wreaking havoc inside our otherwise perfectly lovely children.

And although their need for braces can be tracked right down through my fourth and fifth grade photos which are now posted on Facebook by some malicious classmate, I decided recently that their weird right canine teeth must be a direct result of my husband’s genes. I told him this. And then I looked at his mouth, really long and hard. Dangit. His teeth are perfect. And he never had braces. But he did point out that my right canine tooth sticks out just a bit. To his credit, he did not try to punch it back into place.

Our children also have a tendency to run into stationary objects. I have tried not to think about how this will impact their futures, but I can’t help but worry when I yell, “Be careful!” And they yell back, “Oh Mom, I’m not going to get hurt!”

Hmm. Tell that to the mailbox. And that parked car on our street. And the sidewalk.

My son has biked into the mailboxes on our street a total of four times. They are not especially large structures, not the richie-rich stone-with-gargoyle variety, but a simple wooden cross with black metal box on top. Despite the overwhelming expanse of asphalt, he has plowed into these innocent postal boxes at full speed again and again.

While entranced with my husband’s new GPS watch, he managed to plow into a parked car on the street. Luckily, the car was not in pristine condition, and the impact probably served to straighten out an earlier indentation.

Owner’s thoughts: “I won’t ask them to pay for the damages, because this kid’s future is uncertain and obviously costly. Although maybe another incident like that will push that wacky canine tooth back in place.”

My daughter has also hit the mailbox with her bike. (I just realized this may be the reason that the door hangs open in a slight breeze.)

But worse than that, she took a bad fall along a flat stretch of cement a few years ago.

When I asked her what happened, she said through her tears, “I don’t want to tell yououououou… hoooo hoooohoooo.”

“Why not?”

“Because I was… I was…. running with my eyes closed. Bwawhooowhooowoo…”

“But why?”

“It’s just so, so fun. Bwajawhaowoooaooooo…”

They get it from my husband. I’m sure it’s his fault.

Except that I can remember a time, in a very, very tight space in a college town parking garage, when I was backing out. A nice, good ol’ boy type was helping guide me from the safety of a few feet (yards) away. When suddenly, I felt a small, slow impact. (It was very slow.)

“Well, that’s why they have those breakaway mirrors, I guess,” he said, with a slight shake of his head.

I think it’s stupid that they put cement posts in the middle of a parking lot.

And I think that I am very angry at my foot for getting hurt when it was really my hip that was the reason I was taking a couple of days off running. That probably sounds like an old woman. In which case, I am blaming old age.

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