I’m not talking about that time you thought you might have seen a ghost, or when your older sister’s neighbor knew a guy who conjured bloody Mary.
I’m talking about a time when something completely not supernatural happened and scared the shit out of you.
I was 23 years old and newly married. This would have been a few months before I got pregnant with my first son, Zach. So…around 32 years ago.
Anyway, my ex and I were friends with a couple named Charlie and Janice. Charlie and Janice are code names for Charlie and Janice. I think it would be more likely that I win that 1.6 billion dollar lottery than either Charlie or Janice read my blog. I’m pretty sure I’m good using their names.
So, they lived in our apartment complex and they had a little boy. Their baby was 5 days old when my ex husband and I went to visit.
I held this little warm squirmy bundle of energy. He was perfect. Beautiful. And oh my god, did you see that yawn?
I’m holding this beautiful boy and his arm jerked up. The sock that had been on his hand fell off.
Then, I saw something that made my heart jump into my throat. The inside of my mouth tasted like I was storing pennies in the back of my throat.
Oh shit, oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Janice’s baby’s thumb fell off.
The baby’s fucking thumb fell off. Right in front of my eyes.
I didn’t know how I was going to break it to Janice.
One minute, his thumb was intact I assume. I didn’t actually see it, but then the next minute the thumb fell off of his chubby little hand and was swinging by a thread of skin.
“Uh…Janice? Your baby’s thumb just fell off.”
She walked over and picked up the sock. “Oh, yeah, he was born with an extra thumb. We have to wait until he’s a month old, then they will just snip it off.”
I am not going to lie, I was not happy.
My feeling was, if you have a baby with an extra thumb that might just pop out at any time, you should mention that shit up front before it freaks a person out.
So really, tell me about a time something freaked you the fuck out that ended up not being what you thought it was. I’m all for scary stories, they help me process the fear I’m feeling every day as we rush toward the midterms.
Photo courtesy of Bruno Glätsch