It was Monday. I parked my car and was walking toward the entrance to a thrift shop, where I planned to search for cheap things I might turn into art or something like it. Items were displayed on the porch. I got excited, and with my eyes on the prize, I tripped on a parking lot car stopper and went face down.
People were nice. Stuff flew out of my purse, and someone gathered it up. Someone else brought me a chair. A woman with a young child had a wad of tissues for my bleeding chin. I felt OK, but I sat there keeping pressure on the chin. I asked someone for a mirror, and when I saw the gash, I immediately knew I’d need medical treatment.
I drove to a walk-in clinic near my house. I did not know there’s a difference between a walk-in clinic and an urgent care clinic. The physician’s assistant at the walk-in clinic took a quick look and said I needed to go to urgent care.
I used Google Maps to find an urgent care clinic down the street. Oh, and Dale had let his phone die, as he often does, so there was no way to reach him and let him know I’d be late. I finally texted a neighbor and asked her to let Dale know where his wife was.
By this time, I started bleeding again. I thought that might bump me up in line, but it did not. A woman with five children offered to let me go in front of her, and I said, seriously, you must be the kindest person ever, but I’ll just wait my turn and mop up the blood as best I can.
The gash only needed two stitches. It didn’t hurt much at all, and I thought I was golden. Until the next day, I woke up with bruises all over and sore ribs. The ribs actually got worse the next day, but they are getting better. Still, I’m taking it easy. I’m pissed to have endured all that rain and no golf, only to mess myself up as soon as it got nice outside.
At every juncture on this little journey, I would explain I tripped over a parking lot car stopper. And almost every single person had a story about a pedestrian accident involving parking lot care stoppers. I had never given them much thought, but you can bet I will now.
Please be careful out there. We don’t bounce like we used to.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.