When I landed on the floor of a restaurant with a BANG a couple of weeks ago, I breathed a sigh of relief. That had to be the last accident, right? It was the third time in three weeks I’d had very bad luck. I remembered that age-old superstition.
Bad luck comes in threes.
#1. It all started after I cleaned the basement. A flash of light glinted off a strand of hair. When the flash became a lightning strike and all of my hair was swept back in a ponytail, I freaked out. I could see the bright white crackle of a line in the waning afternoon light. While driving to Urgent Care, the darkness around me made the strike even brighter. What could be happening?
I knew a little about torn retinas. They were emergency room-worthy. I have a blind mother. I didn’t want to lose my eyesight.
The nice man in reception and the nurse informed me the ER would have the equipment to make a diagnosis. They suspected some kind of tear. I freaked out. The last thing I wanted was more surgery.
Back in the car again. It was a slow night at the ER, thank God, and I was seen almost immediately. After the doctor looked into the back of my eye, he said, “You have a vitreous separation. It will heal on its own.” He recommended a specialist who said the same thing a few days later. People with astigmatism have football-shaped eyes. We’re more susceptible to tearing. Good to know.
Whew! Disaster averted. I still have a small lightning strike noticeable when driving at night, but it’s on the mend.
#2. A week later, I was cutting the heel of a crusty loaf of bread. You know where this is going.
Yep. I sliced my finger with a serrated blade. It didn’t hurt but bled like crazy. After a quick internet search, I let out a sigh knowing I’d have to go back to Urgent Care.
When I walked inside, the same man worked reception. “Hey, I remember you from last week.”
“Yep.” I hoped my trouble would end, but you know, threes.
After four quick stitches, I drove home and prepared for Thanksgiving. It was awkward to cook and clean with a bandage on my index finger. It had to be changed everytime it got wet. I survived.
#3. That Friday, My family headed up to the mountains to ski. Conditions being pre-season and icy, we decided to eat brunch before taking the gondola. It was sixty degrees and sunny while walking from the car to a busy restaurant.
I followed the host to the table and my ski boot hit something super slippery. I swore the floor was wet. Just like when I broke my wrist, I fell in slow motion. First, I worried about my knee. Then I was afraid I’d smash my cell phone held tight in my left hand. I smacked the ground with that hand, then my hip. The rest of me followed with a thwump.
For a moment a hush fell inside the noisy restaurant. I was afraid to move. My ring finger stung and so did my hip. The manager rushed to my side.
“Your floor must be wet,” I said, and then looked. It was totally dry. As I pulled my feet underneath me, I slipped again and hit my head on the table in front of me. My cheeks heated up. I looked at the floors. Tile. Slippery tile. The manager rushed toward me, helped me up, and made sure I made it to my table. I grew up ice skating, but not in ski boots.
“I must have missed your sign about not wearing ski boots inside,” I said to him. It’s not uncommon to see warnings in ski towns.
“No, we don’t have one,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to post one on the door.”
Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.
Once safely at the table, I looked at my ring finger. It had turned black!
“Oh, no! There’s no way, I’m going to Urgent Care again. If it’s broken I’ll make a splint and tough it out.”
My son, Kelly thought it had dislocated on impact. I figured with my back luck of threes, I had probably broken a bone.
After excellent service (ahem) and a great meal, we drove to the gondola parking lot. My daughter, Courtney, found a purple crayon to use as a splint. It had probably been in the seat pocket since they were in middle school. I taped it up and skied without a problem.
A few hours later, I completely tightened up. I iced my finger and stretched out what seemed to be a pulled groin muscle. Sliding like Bambi in ski boots on a tile floor will do that.
The next morning I steeled myself as I stepped out of bed. Everything was fine! My finger looked bad but didn’t hurt. Kelly was right. I had only dislocated it.
The third accident was the charm. The bad luck of threes had ended. Yay! And just in time for Christmas preparations and card-making.
Avoiding another trip to Urgent Care, I clipped my stitches and pulled them out two days later. I vowed to be more careful with rustic bread and never to wear ski boots in restaurants. My eyes? Safety goggles, of course.
#4. How could there be a #4??? I should wear a helmet, like, all the time.
A few days later, I watched a squirrel slip through a broken tile on our roof and disappear. After a call to critter control and a brief inspection of our attic by an expert, I was told that something had scattered fiberglass across the narrow floor. Oh, no! He suggested sweeping it off to make sure.
Later that day, I swept the puffs of yellow insulation back where they belonged. As I crept toward an eave, I struggled with the broom.
I stepped forward and speared my head with a roofing nail! It really stung. I barely bled, so I forgot about it… for a while.
Then I tried to remember the last tetanus shot I’d had. Was it in the last decade? I called around for my medical records and soon realized I was waaaay overdue.
I looked at the time. 5:00 on yet another Friday night! Would I make yet another trip to the Urgent Care? Oh, God! Why four? Why not threes????
Afraid another visit with the same staff would result in a trip to the psych ward for evaluation, I Googled Urgent Cares. I found another one close by.
In and out in a half an hour. Yes!
It’s been several weeks and I’m holding steady at trouble coming in fours.
Why the number three?
Since pairs come up in nature, like two hands, two eyes, two feet, threes are considered abnormal or troublesome – Yahoo answers.
ABC’s summary of the number threes makes a lot of sense: People naturally seek patterns.
Until that third Friday, I hadn’t thought about threes. I mean, come on! The irony of the timing was hard to dismiss.
Running into the nail tossed the whole law of threes into oblivion. I have smacked my head so often, I have an indent on my forehead! I never saw that nail coming.
Do you believe that bad things come in threes? Are you superstitious? When was the last time you allyooped in a restaurant?
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When Best Laid Plans Go Wrong – When I broke my wrist.