I can still remember when my dad felt it was his duty to inform my newly introduced to our family (and not the family you meet when you’re just dating or just engaged) husband exactly what he could expect when marrying his daughter. Now, this isn’t one of those “if you hurt my daughter” speeches, it was more to serve as a warning to my husband (all in good nature of course.) Let’s put it this way.. the women in my family aren’t exactly always known for their most sympathetic first reactions. But what can I say? There is the saying “laughter is the best medicine” but in all fairness, I’m guessing that it probably doesn’t mean laughing at the “victim” is the best medicine for the injured one.
Before I continue and you begin to paint me as an unsympathetic cretin, I must preface that usually I won’t laugh if it’s a serious injury. There were no giggles as I drove my oldest son to the emergency room with a broken arm when he was about 4. I mean, there might have been a few head shakes in disbelief as I couldn’t figure how he fell off the lowest part of the climber onto soft grass and still managed to break his arm, but nonetheless, there was no hysterical laughter. However, there might have been some laughing when my oldest walked into the corner of a sign because he was busy looking down at his camera, but that laughter subsided once I saw the blood down the side of his face and came to the realization he had not just glanced off the sign but now rather needed stitches for the reasonable sized gap in his head. Or the time my brother in law was convinced he had the right pan lid (despite it being my pan and I knew it was too small) which resulted in his hand landing in hot water (literally) when he slammed it down to prove his point. I, of course, barely managed to stifle my laughter as I went to get the burn cream but it didn’t quite negate the fact that my first tendency was to giggle at another person’s slight mishap.
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t need this warning (like many people in my life don’t, apparently) as he had already experienced it first hand. Probably more than once by this point.
Now, before I continue with this story, I feel it is necessary to also let you know that my husband is notorious for eating just about anything. He is a constant forager; in fact his main idea of helping me make dinner is to eat bits and pieces of whatever I’m cutting up to make for the dinner.
So… back to it. Sans children, we use to go out quite a bit and find ourselves on adventure hikes. No maps, no smart phone, just a trail and wherever it would take us. Well, one day, we came across a fruiting cactus and I casually mentioned that one can eat those fruits. Now, I didn’t mean to imply that he should eat the fruit, especially given that we didn’t have smart phones and couldn’t look up the way best to eat a cactus fruit, but like I said, he does tend to try just about anything. He did have the foresight to knock the fruit off of the cactus with a rock. What we (him) didn’t have the foresight to see is that the skins of cactus fruit are as well covered with teeny tiny prickers. You can only imagine, as he took that first bite despite my weak suggestion that perhaps we wait until we got home and looked up on the internet the best way to eat a cactus fruit, and discovered his fingertips were now covered with prickers. Another couple of seconds and he realized they were also on his lips and tongue. Needless to say, we had to cut our exploration short, quick trip back to the car, with my trying (unsuccessfully) not to snigger as I drove home, watching him pull out the prickers out of his mouth and tongue, only to have them stuck in his fingertips. I’m pretty sure he did that for a week.. I’m also pretty sure he cringes any time he sees a cactus fruit.. even one in a store.