I was laying in bed the other morning, trying to figure the best way to deal with the awful things awaiting me. They were close. Too close. To say that I had planned and re-planned my best possible escape strategy would be a huge understatement. Indeed, the very thought of what awaited me was enough to induce a January-cold sweat. What, you ask, was so monumental?
I had clipped my toenails mere moments before.
Let me tell you why that isn’t some little thing. You have to place the situation in its proper context. Not thinking about what I was doing while sitting on the edge of the bed is exactly what led me to such dire circumstances. I had used my fingernail clippers, which are about as accurate as directions to a New England back road, to trim my toenails. My once-vacuumed carpet now harbored within its sneaky little nap dozens of small, calcified weapons. The problem was twofold: first, I was starving for a microwave pizza.
Secondly, in order to get something to eat I’d have to risk stepping on toenail clippings which, from my experience, would not only be laying on the floor, but also half-embedded in carpet fibers. That meant that they would be perpendicular to the floor much like punji stakes. Having been through that agony more times than I care to admit, my anxiety level rose substantially. I debated whether or not to take a risk and make a run for it. Hunger finally won out as I took a deep breath and leaped from the bed to the doorway.
Then the dreaded thing happened.
A clipping found the middle of my left foot. Judging from the intense pain it brought, I estimated that it had once represented one of my big toes. While “ouching” my way to the dining room floor, I also found a staple which had embedded itself into the faux berber after falling out of the June 1979 Car & Driver Magazine purchased on Amazon one day while feeling the need to escape being fifty-one and having responsibilities.
Engaging in a one-foot-hopping dance is a good way to avoid yelling out in pain at 2:39 a.m., but practicing the Virginia One-Step at 290 pounds quickly redirects one’s attention to severe self-consciousness. It will certainly give your plantar fasciitis a run for its money, no pun intended. And really, bouncing around your home due to an impalement caused by a lack of podiatric oversight isn’t a dignified way to spend your early morning hours.
Now faced with trauma on the scale of the Titanic (or at least that hangnail I endured last week), and still armed with nail clippers designed with all the engineering accuracy of a Yugo, I adapted their use from clippers to forceps. Realizing what was at stake, I forged on with the will to “heel” myself. I certainly wasn’t going to ignore the pain I was in as I hopped over to the sofa, which had been beckoning me for some time with its soft, fluffy double-stuffed cushions.
Whoops. As I hopscotched around the glass-topped coffee table, I grazed it with my calf. I still had to address the impaled foot, but first a quick hop over to the bathroom for a band aid was in order. Thus applied, I opted to also repair my foot in the bathroom. I quickly achieved success as the offending clipping was now fodder for the waste basket. I cannot adequately express the extent of my relief. I had met painful obstacles and conquered them.
I had put my best foot forward.