My husband has many fine feminine qualities. He grows wildflowers. He doesn’t care about football, baseball, basketball, golf, or any other sport except Battlebots and World’s Strongest Man, which have excellent popcorn value. He likes to invent recipes and makes a fine frittata.
But sometimes my husband is such a guy. He eats cold soup out of the can. He attaches bulletin boards to the wall with a nail gun. Once I actually found myself saying to him, “Please don’t use power tools after I’ve gone to bed.”
Then there’s approach to injuries.
My husband cuts himself with astonishing regularity while working with the aforementioned power tools or trying out the aforementioned recipes. Often these cuts are on his fingers or his hand. He has tried to replace chainsaw blades, split his hand instead of firewood, and poked himself with a Dremel tool. Occasionally a fingernail will split or a lurid bruise will appear, but more often it’s a bloody slice of flesh.
Most guys dismiss injuries with an, “Oh, it’s nothing” and sometimes that is true. But sometimes it’s more than nothing and that’s when you see real guy behavior emerge.
They “wash” the cut by holding it under running tap water. They eschew store-bought bandaids, which they can never find anyway, even if you keep a box in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the basement, the garage, and the potting shed. Instead, they jury-rig a contraption of paper towels folded and wrapped and held in place with duct tape. It makes the injury the size of a small silver balloon. Like as not, they will then go back to doing whatever caused the injury in the first place.
And forget the emergency room! Apparently they believe the air there is full of estrogen. Or they believe that whole “chicks dig scars” b.s. For whatever idiot reason, they insist that they can care for the wound at home, as long as the paper towels and duct tape hold out.
In the early days of our marriage, I actually had to cry to make my husband go to Urgent Care with a gushing, gaping wound. I know I could lose my card-carrying feminist carrying card for admitting this, but there you have it. I wept and sometimes it worked. At least it got him a proper cleaning, a secure wrapping, and sometimes a stitch or two.
The last time this happened, however, hubby really did a job on himself. He was slicing potatoes when it happened, though he insists on telling people he was filleting a fish, which is less sissy. Battling a dead fish has ever so much more manly cachet than battling a dead tuber. I guess.
This time I did not have to beg or cry. You see, my husband was on blood thinners for a heart condition and his finger gushed like the fountain filled with blood in the old-timey hymn. He soaked through a roll of paper towels and yards of duct tape, even while keeping his finger elevated over his head. I did hazardous duty with the remaining potatoes and emerged unscathed.
The next day, after bleeding all over the sheets, he went to the ER. There they gave him a proper cleansing, antibiotic ointment, real bandages, and eight of the ugliest stitches I’ve ever seen. To maintain his manly credentials, he drove himself to the ER and refused a ninth stitch. He’s going to have a hell of a scar, which, despite being a “chick,” I do not dig.
With a little luck, he’ll go to the doctor and have the stitches out. Or maybe he’ll remove them himself.
It’s a guy thing.