When I was twelve I thought I was pretty cool stuff. I had just cut my hair in my first "grown up" hairstyle (which means I started actually brushing my hair for the first time in my life.) I was one of the first to get the "Rachel" style from the TV show friends. Granted, it didn't quite look as glamorous as it did on Jennifer Aniston, but it was cool just the same.
That summer of 1995, my family planned a trip to the Tetons, Colter Bay, and Yellowstone National Park. We were going to meet my mom's family at Colter Bay for a family reunion. I grew up camping and we always stayed in a tent. My mom had recently remarried after divorcing my father and her new husband decided that he would rent us a trailer! We were so excited. What Luxury! A fridge! A Stove! A Bathroom! Me and my two older sisters couldn't believe it how awesome this was going to be.
So we made it up to Colter Bay, met my grandparents and uncles, aunts, and cousins. We were having a wonderful time. One night we were sitting around the campfire after dinner getting ready to have s'mores. So I found the perfect stick, almost perfectly straight, and just the right size for roasting marshmallows. All it needed was a few shoots cut off and the bark scraped off. I was very grown up now, with my sophisticated haircut, luxury camping trailer, and I was twelve. So I wanted to borrow my grandfathers pocketknife to make my stick the perfect marshmallow roaster. My grandpa wasn't so sure it was a good idea
"Now, be sure to be very careful, Katie" he said
"Of course I will. I've used a knife dozens of times" (Which was actually true by the way, just be sure to note my attitude of overconfidence)
So I began, and the very first pass at the stick, I nicked the tip of my right index finger. Nothing too horrendous, so I had my mom put on a band-aid. No problem. 10 minutes later I returned to the campfire, and my stick.
"Katie, maybe you better not have that knife anymore" My grandpa said to me
"No, Papa, I'm fine. It was just a little accident. It could happen to anyone" I said. " I promise, there's nothing to worry about"
So I sat down and began again. I worked for about 10 or 15 minutes when the knife got stuck, then slipped and sliced open the same finger I had just nicked. I dropped the knife and stick and yelled:
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Ok, take the knife away from me, now!!!"
There was a pie shaped slice that was big enough to reach from my middle knuckle to the hand, and I could see bone.
We went over to the trailer with the entire family of grandparents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins following close behind to see the gore, and to help, as needed. My mom, grandma, and my Uncle John we were working on calming me down, stopping the bleeding, getting me properly bandaged up, and controlling the crowd of relatives who were trying to find out what happened and get a better look. I was having a hard time calming down, because it really hurt. My mom is a nurse and she of course stayed calm while I was freaking out.
"John, do you have gauze in your first aid kit?" "Thanks"
"Oh, that's too big, do you have any scissors so we can cut it smaller?"
I felt like my mother wasn't taking the situation seriously enough. I mean, didn't she see the blood? The bone? Her baby was going to loose her finger and she was just taking her sweet time making me wash my hand, Hold it with paper towels to stop the bleeding, making me hold my hand above my heart, and finding the right supplies.
"Okay, how about tape, do you have any tape? Oh, do you have any that's wider?" she said
"WHO CARES WHAT COLOR IT IS?!!!!!!!" I screamed. I thought she had said "whiter". Everybody started laughing hysterically and of course stopped taking care of me. I didn't understand. I was dying here and they were laughing at me, and my mother was more concerned with the color the the tape then saving my finger. It took along time for everybody to compose themselves and explain to me that she had said "wider" not "whiter".