Today, my poor hand looks like this:
You know, I toyed with the idea of setting this photo just a little smaller, so as not to offend my more sensitive viewers, but then I realized at least one in ten of my friends’ Facebook statuses mentions cleaning up the vomit of a child or similar creature weekly, so this little snapshot is not such a big deal.
Given the popularity of my description of making lunch for myself when I had the right carpal tunnel release, I decided two things: first, my beloved followers are happy to enjoy a hearty laugh at my expense; second, I would probably be wise to walk you through another post-op adventure.
Without further rambling from me,which is draining for all of us since my left hand is not operational, here we go!
Step one should be to decide on a present wrapping venue, which should be a pet free-area of the house to keep mammal hair out of the presents. Haul all your wrapping paper, tape, and the scissors you will have to use because you can’t find the good ones again to your basement.
Remember that your post-op instructions state clearly that you are to “lift nothing heavier than a magazine.” Wonder briefly if these directions could be more specific, since magazines vary so much in size. Decide on the mass of British Cosmo as your cut-off. Carry the breakable stuff one gift at a time to the basement suite, which is currently vacant and provides an excellent wrapping venue, complete with cable television. Curse yourself when the gift you’ve tucked against your right hip with the good hand slips down your fuzzy housecoat, lands corner first on your pinkie toe, and bounces down the last three stairs.
Toss the remaining gifts down the stairwell, except for the big heavy one that you send thumping down like a toboggan. Offer a little festive prayer that nothing is too broken.
Find appropriate trashy Friday night television program before starting the dog on his treadmill. Decide to begin with the hardest gift to wrap while you still feel some holiday cheer (with the exception of your little toe) and formulate a plan to roll up the fancy towels with your good right hand and your left elbow, assisted by your chin. Roll two towels beautifully with impressive contortions of limbs, neck, and torso before realizing you are still dressed in the fuzzy housecoat the cat napped on earlier, and have just transferred half a Leroy worth of loose hair to the neatly rolled towels. Spout your most festive cuss words.
Head upstairs, slowing briefly to remind the dog what a good, good boy he is, running like a big boy on his treadmill while mom wraps presents.
Change into brand new (and guaranteed cat hairless) sweats still in the Old Navy bag and burly boyfriend’s hoodie, since it’s roomy and easy to maneuver over your battered arm. Fight for four minutes with the zipper on said tent-like sweater, eventually catching the tail of your sutures on the waistband of your fuzzy new pants. Whimper.
Locate a sticky roller and return to the basement. Use fourteen sticky sheets taking the cat hair off the fancy towels, which is a remarkably challenging process with one hand. Holler at the dog about what a good boy he is, and a good thing too, since he’s at great risk of landing on Santa’s naughty list after that little garbage can snack early today.
Re-roll fancy towels and pack tightly onto paper box pilfered from the photocopy room at school. Use a bare foot to help you, since everyone washes new towels before using them to avoid being covered in lint, right? Wrestle with the lid to the box, again using that handy foot and feeling grateful you inherited your grandma’s dextrous toes. Tape the lid down. Adding the tape might seem like the simplest act in this circus, but you tried to save a dollar by buying store brand tape with budget plastic cutting teeth that are little help to a woman holding the dispenser with an elbow and trying to tear the tape off with her good hand.
Praise the dog. Praise the little old lady who put her treadmill on Kijiji for $50 that is keeping the dog out of your hair.
Roll enough cheerful penguin wrap to cover the big paper box. Attempt to lift the box into position, then decide it’s much heavier than a smutty woman’s magazine and roll it end over end instead. Step unexpectedly on cheap tape dispenser, which cracks. Cuss more festively but feel pleased the teeth are merely useless dull plastic; note that the indentations left by the teeth on the sole of your foot resemble a string of Christmas light bulbs. Holding the roll of paper with your left elbow, hack awkwardly at the paper in as close to a straight line as you can manage.
Try to piece the tape dispenser together using one elbow, one hand, and three toes. Succeed somewhat, and let the dog know what a capable mother he has. Secure the first end of the paper to the box, cutting the tape nicely by a Christmas miracle. Roll the box using one shoulder and one hand until the other end is lined up and ready to tape down. hold the loose end with your big toe while fighting the dispenser for one little piece of tape.
Feel torn between laughing and weeping when, right at that moment a commercial for a Scotch pop-up tape thingy, “guaranteed to make holiday gift wrapping quick and easy” starts up on the t.v. Decide cussing is a better option when the cheap hunk of plastic slips out of your grip and zings the short distance to the door frame, where it breaks into four pieces, including the spool of tape.
Realize with deep sadness that the tape thinger is irreparable. Rig up an alternate system that involves using one toe as a spindle, then measuring out and cutting the tape with your good hand. Fold and tape the rest of the edges, using the foot assist technique heavily. Try with everything you have to avoid losing the cut end of the tape because there is no way you can pick it off the roll if it gets stuck down.
Turn off the treadmill and encourage the dog to lie down while you write up the gift tag. Realize the pooch is far too close to operations when he ends up with a snowman sticky tag on his speckled ear. Apologize. Feel grateful that you have use of your dominant hand so writing out the tags is at least a possibility, since after the last one your momma had to write a cheque on your behalf.
Using your elbows and praying you don’t pop a stitch, lift the wrapped gift out of the dog’s way and onto the little dining table.
Go upstairs for a snack and a visit with the cat. Return to the basement to tackle gift two: warm fuzzy sweater for Grandma. Painstakingly fold the warm fuzzy sweater and prepare to fit in into the empty Halloween candy box you saved in your Christmas stash. Realize you are wearing the same sweats and hoodie the cat just cozied up with you in, and you have covered Grandma’s new warm fuzzy sweater in cat hair.
Locate the sticky roller. Painstakingly de-hair yourself, the sweater, and refold it before attempting to slide it into the box. Realize it will not slide in, and cram it in with your elbow instead, holding the box between your shins. Hold the box flaps down with your foot while attempting to stretch out far enough to reach what is left of your tape. Fall, reminding yourself in a split second of clarity to avoid landing on your injured paw. Land on your face on the carpet instead, narrowly missing the crummy scissors but definitely biting your lip.
Pick yourself up, scrape the shreds of your tattered dignity together, and go upstairs to see how many gift bags you have stashed away.
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