Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Magnet for Misfortune: The Elevator Story

Ah, the delicate art of being Jess.

I have a knack for weird injuries:

I dislocated my knee in high school doing a dorky jump for joy at the sight of flat after flat of pansies in a nursery -- I also ran track but that is NOT how I busted my knee.

In P.E. class, if there was a ball in play, it would land injuriously somewhere on my body: a soccer ball to the gut, a foul softball to the head, a basketball to the head, etc.

At the dress rehearsal for my senior recital, I walked out onto the stage and fell into the footlights that were unsecured for some godforsaken reason, bashing my shin and narrowly saving my violin from a shattered doom.

I have slammed my other shin in my own car door so hard I still have the shadow of a bruise, a year later.

Bruises are like freckles to me, constantly appearing out of nowhere, peppering my lovely pasty white skin with fun colors.

The night before I left for the D.C. trip, I went to get my suitcase out of the crawlspace closet in our bedroom. Due to some shoddy construction (NOT Bryce's), the door came off its hinges and BAM! Hit me square in the arm, by my bicep. The bruise started blooming right away, and I thought, and so it begins.

Last year, the Year of Urgent Care, made it clear how accident prone I am at school. I was determined, though, not to be the person who ended up in the E.R. on this trip. And I didn't, although it's terrifying to think how close I came.

I sustained the normal bus bruises from being slammed against the seat row when the bus stopped or turned or went around a curve. I didn't get sick with gluten. I felt a little cursed, what with the bus breakdown and the having to be harbored by other buses until we got our own bus on the LAST DAY, but other than that it was fairly uneventful.

Except on the morning of the last day.

We had to run around knocking on our students' doors and make sure they were a) awake b) packed and ready to go and c) had cleaned their rooms. We were running late for breakfast, and were getting on the elevator on the Boy Floor (smart people, they separate the boys and the girls by floor), when I saw two straggler boys headed for the elevator with their luggage.

I held out my arm to stop the elevator, because, you know, electric eye and safety standards, and expected it to open back up so the gentlemen could get on the elevator and reach the buffet of scrambled eggs and bacon in a timely fashion.


I put my arm out (with my lovely Starbucks Latte with one pump of vanilla in it in my hand), and the doors opened back up a little, and then THEY CLAMPED SHUT ON MY ARM. There was an ominous beeping, and I sort of went into a bit of shock as my arm was vise-gripped in between the doors that had NO SAFETY MEASURES OBSERVABLE and it seemed that the elevator could start moving at any minute. I think I was screaming, "NONONONONONONONONO" as my friend was frantically trying buttons to open the doors (I think the floor button did it, Door Open did not). The doors opened enough for me to dart my arm back into the elevator, miraculously with only a little coffee spilled (unsure why my survival instincts didn't have me drop the damn coffee and try to get my arm inside with my hand flatedged...).

And then I cried. And hyperventilated.



Even the school nurse was like, "Holy shit, you could have ended up with an amputation."

Holy shit indeed. That would have one-upped the ice skating field trip fall or faceplant walking into school that resulted in Worker's Comp claims last year, right? It would even one-up the emergency room visit I had in Montreal on a Band/Orchestra trip in high school when I had an asthma attack and was introduced to Canadian healthcare in French (and reviled when I was seen earlier than people who had been waiting quite a while).

I still have a lovely bruise, and luckily it's just soft tissue that was hurt, no break or sprain or anything like that.

But, I will never, NEVER NEVER NEVER put any part of my body in the closing doors of an elevator, ever EVER again.

The one upside was that I caught a very small portion of the Royal Wedding live on a lobby TV while waiting for Security to come out to do an incident report. I saw them walking out of the chapel and into the stairs, and that amazing kiss.

It was almost enough to soothe my nerves after the Elevator Incident, and the fact that when I went to report it, the guy at the front desk said, "Oh, Elevator Three?" instead of shocked surprise. THAT IS NOT THE CORRECT RESPONSE, SIR!

I survived though, with more bruises and a memorable story. And that is how it is, living the Jess life.

On the bus, fresh and just blooming. Also, that's my Hogwarts shirt. 

Tonight -- the upper bruise is from the closet door, the one by my elbow is what's left from the elevator. This picture doesn't do it justice. Bryce is nervous people are going to think he pummels me. Nope, just doors. 


  1. "Not the right response, sir!" LOLOL I'm sorry for your various bruises and injuries, but you seem to be taking them in remarkably good humor. Sending healing thoughts.

  2. You are becoming legend. From here on out, any teenager that isn’t on time for school trips will be reminded that this behavior almost amputated their teacher. Add in legends of a floating arm (because the story will be modified to you being amputated) and it’s something out of a horror film.

    Seriously though, I’m glad you’re okay. I don’t trust elevators since one dropped 4 floors with me in it with a pig (another story for another time

  3. I'm laughing so hard right now. Not because you got injured, but because I'm the exact same way! Seriously though, I'm glad you are fine, that you didn't have to be "that person" who had to go to the ER, and mainly because you still have two full arms attached to your body.

    Also, take a moment to be most recent injury (my knee/ankle bending in a direction they aren't supposed to) involved dog poop.

  4. Oh Jess!! I agree. That was not the right response from the front desk. I would also have thought that in litigious USA he would have been falling over himself helping you.

    I do hope your future trips are less dramatic, and easier on your body!

  5. I'm hyperventilating just reading this. OMG!!

  6. oh wow, that is awful! I would be freaking out! The hotel better get their elevato fixed

  7. Oh my G-d -- that is so scary! I would have dropped the coffee down the elevator shaft (or the floor outside) and just screamed and screamed. Teachers -- they keep cool under pressure. Um... no pun intended.

  8. ACK! That's awful and terrifying! Definitely not the right response from the front desk guy. Hope the bruises are healing and YIKES.

  9. I am so glad you're okay!! Thank you for sharing; you probably just saved a lot of our arms. Add me to the list of people that will never again put a body part in the closing elevator doors!

  10. Bubble wrap is in your future! I'm so glad you're OK. What a scare.