Regarding the Fate of my Hand.

To fully understand the story of what happened to my hand, you must first have an understanding of where I live.

Our neighborhood is adjacent to a very prestigious suburb of Birmingham.  We have no pretenses that our adjacency makes us included in any way – we are unincorporated, not belonging to any city.

Which is perfect for us, because one of the main benefits of paying a high price for a house around here is the school system.  And, since we’re homeschooling, we didn’t want to pay for a school system we weren’t going to use.  Therefore, our house cost half of what our neighbor’s houses cost, and that makes us very happy.

However, this does make all of our local errands feel strange.  Since all of the retail centers around us are a part of this prestigious city, we feel a bit…awkward.

Not to say that the people of said prestigious city make us feel awkward – they’re all very nice.

(Except for one who, when I told her I had children the same age as hers, implying that we should have a playdate sometime, was very quick to answer “Yes, but our kids are in different districts.”  Thank goodness we got that cleared up – I’d hate to spread our unincorporated cooties to her kid’s school.)

Anyway.  Back to feeling awkward.  We just, sometimes, feel like the misfits.  As if we’re wearing a big sign on our forehead that says “UNINCORPORATED – DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE US.”

So.  I needed to get my hair cut.  And since my last couple of visits to the Aveda Training Salon have been less than thrilling (and I have this theory that every time you go, they give you someone less and less experienced, leading to my very last visit when my stylist had never even cut anyone’s hair like mine EVER BEFORE and my hair isn’t that unusual), I wanted a new salon.

(By the way, apparently having one hand in a cast makes you type in lots of run-on sentences.  For this, I apologize.)

I saw a Groupon-esque coupon come up for a salon near my house – i.e. in the aforementioned prestigious city.   Despite the fact that salon prices in said city would normally be unbelievably mortgage-your-unincorporated-house high, the deal was pretty good, so I bought it.

Close by, good deal – what more could you want?

Oh yeah – to not feel awkwardly out of place.

So I headed to the salon in the prestigious city on the prestigious street with an intention of minding my unincorporated manners.

I was surrounded by prestigious people getting their prestigious hair done while reading prestigious magazines and texting on their prestigious phones with the volume turned all the way up and therefore making loud (yet prestigious) beep-boop-beep-boops for HOURS ON END.

My hair appointment took quite a while, and I kept up my manners and tried to not let on that I was an alien from outer city.

I paid, I tipped well, and I left, cheering myself on for not even feeling too out of place.

I opened the door and stepped out of the salon…

And didn’t see that there was a STEP there.

I fell off the doorstep and twisted my leg.  As I was falling, I made a desperate attempt to save myself from certain stupidity and embarrassment by reaching back to catch myself.

Which I did accomplish, but unfortunately, what I grabbed was the doorframe.

Where the heavy glass-and-steel door was rapidly approaching it’s home.

And it didn’t appreciate that it had a hand in it’s home.


So there I was, half fallen over, twisted calf, hand crunched and bleeding in the door, and the whole prestigious salon has paused and was looking at me and my unincorporated bloody hand in horror.

“I’m okay!  …Sorry!!”

I ashamedly removed my now defunct hand from the door and shut it, hobbling away from the salon on my twisted leg as quickly as possible.

I got to my car and tried to get my keys, but my right hand wouldn’t work – at all.

My left hand begrudgingly took over, getting my keys and reaching around to start the car.  All the way home, my hand was in complete pain overdrive – I learned a long time ago that hand pain was the worst type, and this injury was no exception.

By the time I got home, my hand had grown to an impressive size, leaving my left hand feeling small and unimportant:

Left Hand

Right Hand

But I decided to wait it out.  Surely the swelling would subside soon…

But two days later, I still couldn’t use my fingers very well.  And the swelling, although slightly down, was still quite impressive.

(Plus, my friend Lydia reminded me how many bones are in the hand, and I began having visions of tiny crushed bone fragments swimming around in my hand and a half.)

So on Friday, I finally went in to get it X-Rayed.

“There aren’t any actual breaks, but you damaged all of the ligaments and seriously bruised the bones.  Which actually takes just as long to recover from than if you had gone ahead and broken them.”

And so, for at least the next two weeks, this is what righty will look like.


(But that’s okay, because I know something that you don’t know.)

(I’m not right-handed.)

But the moral of this story is, if you shop, dine, and get your hair done in prestigious cities where you don’t belong, they might eventually put invisible steps out to make you trip and fall.

Leave your comment below!


  1. Oh no! I’m so sorry – what an awful experience, but at least your hair looked good! LoL! I know exactly what you mean about feeling like an unincorporated misfit. We live just far enough outside of Nashville to be in the “Boondocks” but we are surrounded by the multimillionaires – not a bad deal when the fru-fru shops have nice sales for us commoners – plus you can find some pretty cool stuff that they cast off in the consignment shops :)

  2. Oh Rachel! OUCH!! I’m cringing and cracking up all at the same time. LOL Bless your heart, that sounds awful!

    I totally understand what you mean about feeling out of place in your own neighborhood. I feel that way every time I drive through the entrance of my ‘hood where I most certainly don’t belong. But then I pull into my driveway and realize somehow i landed here anyway by the grace of God, so I’ll just be thankful for what I have. I’m definitely still redneck unincorporated at heart, and when I cross over into the Mtn Brook city limits to get a Groupon haircut I feel just the same as you. And once the owner of a shop in downtown Homewood commented on how far from home I was when she saw my Shelby Co. drivers license. LOL That 20 minute drive is a world away I guess.

  3. I actually did know you’re a southpaw. :)

    That looks really, really painful…

    The rest of this post made me laugh because my former employers live in Liberty Park and I got sent on a lot of errands (like to Saks) where the minute I walked in, everyone just KNEW I didn’t belong there. I feel your pain. Try to blend in, act natural, and never NEVER carry a fishbowl down the stairs in a house that is larger than most airports.

  4. I sooo understand the feeling of being out of place. If I shop at a certain Publix that is a mere 7 minutes away from my house, but, very significantly, in a different zip code, I feel so weird. They even dress up to go grocery shopping, I think. I always feel very under dressed!

    • That certain Publix was the location of one of my last encounters with the AIBC (the lady who told me that she NEVER shopped with her children). On that note, I didn’t know we lived so near to one another!! That is, if I’m guessing the correct Publix, which I believe that I am…

  5. Kitty Engle says:

    You already know I am sorry about your hand. Therefore, I have to tell the story itself is hilarious.

  6. Oh Rachel, your writing is always clever and witty. Your injury, however, is not. I am so so so sorry that you are hurt. Mommy-ing with an injury is a booger. Praying that you have a rapid recovery and that you will just stay on your side of the fence to get your hair did next time (I mean really… did you think they would let you get away with that??? They have ways of dealing with outsiders). :D

    All kidding aside, the prayers are serious as are the hugs… (((HUGS))) … that I am sending you.

  7. I’m unincorporated also, but the city I am next to is not prestigious at all so I am acutally the uppity neighborhood everyone is talking about. And if you knew where I lived that would not be saying much at all.

    Girl, like the first commenter said, At least your hair looked good. That covers a multitude of awkardness. Hope it gets better soon and you need to make everyone wait on you hand and foot. That’s just my two cents worth, anyway.

  8. Oooh, that looks awful. At least you’re left handed :) Speaking as someone who lives in a basement apartment in a neighbourhood full of ridiculous million dollar homes, I feel your pain. (Well, the unincorporated pain, anyway; my hand is fine.)
    I’ve decided to embrace it though – I already don’t fit in, so why not take Beege to school in pajamas? Or random dance with the kids in the grocery store? We have so much more fun when we don’t care. :)

  9. So Sorry Rachel.That sounds like something I in my uncoordinated clumsy way would do so I completely feel your pain and embarassment. Luckily you are a Lefty (like me). I can’t do anything with my right hand so if I ever injure my left I am out of luck.

    I wonder if being left-handed makes a little more prone to such accidents? Hope it heals fast and at least it wasn’t broken I am sure you are at your quota for broken bones.

  10. Ouch, ouch, ouch! So sorry. The description was making me cringe. Hope it heals quickly! And I DID know you were left handed! Another one of the strange similarities between us. :)

    Your unincorporated stuff made me laugh, and also makes me glad I live in a small town where no one is unincorporated. :)

  11. But, how does your hair look?? :)

    • You know, it definitely wasn’t the best haircut I’ve ever had. In fact, I’m thinking about “touching up” my bangs. Maybe it just doesn’t look unincorporated enough for me.

  12. Rachel, I’m laughing out loud!! You are so good with words! I’m laughing, but I’m also going, “Ooh, how awful!” I hope you feel better soon!

  13. Oh Rachel. At least your hair looked good!

  14. Inconceivable! :)

    Seriously though, hope yours is a speedy recovery. As always, your stories make me smile and laugh. Thank you. :)

  15. I know something you don’t know either….I’m a lefty too!

    I hope your hand heals quickly!

  16. I know something you don’t know either….I’m a lefty too!

    I hope your hand heals quickly!

  17. Great – wounds to both your physical self AND your ego as well. Guess you won’t be going back to that salon now, will you?

    Is your twisted leg okay, too?

    • No, definitely not going back there. I knew that as soon as it happened!!

      My leg is much better, thanks! It hurt pretty badly the next day, but it seems to be back to it’s normal, clumsy self now.

  18. Ya’ll be careful over there! That looks so painful. Thank goodness you’re a lefty, I bet it hurts just to move your hand. How did your ‘do come out?

  19. Oh my goodness, so sorry! I did something similar, but stupid- er once, if that makes you feel better:-)

    I had just gotten a brand new cell phone (yes, it was a nextel that had the construction zone “brrreep” push-to-talk), and I was excited. So excited that I got in the car (in the driver’s side) and placed my hand on the top inside of the door frame, then (very awkwardly) reached (with my right hand) ACROSS my left arm in the air and pulled the door shut….ON my hand!

    Then once I felt the pain, all I could do was stare at my hand and scream. My brother had to get out of the passenger side, run to my side and open my door!

  20. Eleanorjane says:

    Poor you, that sound really painful! Hope you heal up quick (and that everyone around you is inspired to pull their weight) :)

  21. Oh Rachel, your hand looks like you are wearing a prosthetic. Your hand looks so swollen…hope it is looking much better. Why do us adults always always try to save ourselves when we should take a lesson from the kids who just go with the flow???

  22. Glad there was no permanent damage! If you were from the posh neighborhood you would have totally gone in and blamed them for placing the step there and making you fall! :)

    • Ha! I had a couple of people suggest that I file with their liability insurance, but I don’t see why a business should pay for my klutziness just because it happened to manifest on their property!

  23. Rachel, has anyone ever told you that they’ve used your material as a family read-aloud? I did just that yesterday; I printed this post and read it to my family at lunch. My kids (aged 9-17) laughed and laughed and laughed! Of course, they were appropriately sorry about your injury and horrified by the pic of your “right hand and a half.” I just wanted you to know that they enjoyed your humor and style. :)

  24. That hand looks so very painful! Hope it heals up well (did you get out of diaper duty at all?). I sliced my finger and had to get 7 stitches about a week after my daughter was born and somehow I managed to find a way to type, change diapers, etc. The work of a mama never ends, injuries and all!

    • Ouch!! Seven stitches on a finger is a LOT!!

      Chris has definitely been helping with the diapers, but considering he’s only at home at night, I still get to attempt a lot of them on my own!

  25. Never mind the hand. How’s your dignity recovering?

  26. “right hand and a half.” that’s good. i’m sorry for you pain and for your embarrassment. if they didn’t know you didn’t fit in before, they surely do now b/c no one from that side of town could ever miss a step! but you are quite a injury magnet aren’t you? poor thing.

  27. Hope your hand is recovering! I’m clumsy too. I tripped and fell in a parking lot the other day. It didn’t hurt much and I jumped right back up but I felt ridiculous.

    On the topic of hair, I highly recommend Shawna at Salon M Squared ( I’m sure any of the stylists would be fine though. They are all really nice and your free bottled water is served with a smile! They make you feel like you deserve to be there – which you do because you are the one supporting their business. It’s not cheap but if you don’t go often, I think it’s worth it to treat yourself.

  28. OMG. My hand started hurting just from reading this. I am so sorry. I hope it gets back to normal soon.

  29. Oh, no! I’m so sorry about your hand! I hope it heals soon! And it is nice to “meet” another lefty! – And I totally laughed while reading your description of what happened. – About the salon, I always feel like a fish out of water in any salon. The only pleasure I ever give them is when I have grown my hair out long and I want them to chop it off. That just thrills their hearts. – My best friend’s parents did the same thing with their house, except they sent their kids to a private, Christian school. What a great idea! You get all the safety and convenience of living in the area and don’t have to pay as much for it or insanely high property taxes. Very smart!

  30. I’m so sorry about the hand incident, but the story is (the way you write it) is pretty funny :) Hope it’s healed just fine!

  31. I probably noticed the “not right-handed” handed reference the first time I read this post, but it still made me laugh this time through.

  32. For some reason, I’m just now reading this post. I enjoyed the whole thing (sorry, but since your hand is all better almost 2 years later, I don’t feel bad for enjoying the humor), but the Princess Bride-like reference was the icing on the cake. Everything is funnier with Princess Bride references.

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