bad night. (warning: not for the squeamish or sympathetic.)

So we hosted a small party last night, mostly comprised of people we’ve never met before. Five minutes after the first group of guests arrived, I was bleeding into the kitchen sink.

This was not one of my better parties. Well, I can’t speak for the people who attended, but I wish I could send apology notes to them. I guess that’s what I’m doing here, since many of them seemed familiar with this website.

If the party had been filled with old friends, I wouldn’t be so embarrassed, but since I was meeting most of these people for the first time, and they were close friends of friends of mine, I wanted to be on my best host behavior. In fact, the reason I was bleeding into the sink was because I saw that the wine glasses were a bit spotted.

These wine glasses from Crate and Barrel are going to kill us all. Jeff tried to talk me out of them a long time ago, and we still registered for them and in less than a year:

1. stee broke one in the sink while he was washing it, cutting his hand and making him feel like a monster.
2. I was on the phone one night and slightly tipped the top of the glass. It’s incredibly top heavy, so it went rolling down the two flights of stairs outside our house, leaving shards of glass everywhere. It was dark, and I tried my best, but it took two days to find all of the glass pieces from the front of the house.
3. Someone shattered one simply by putting it next to another one.

I don’t know why these glasses are so thin and princessy, but they are, and they also tend to be covered in spots. So I was trying to buff one clean when the stem snapped in my left hand. Just — pop! Immediately a half-moon of blood stretched across my left index finger, and I saw a large piece of glass sticking out from under my skin.

I heard stee behind me, upset and worried for me in that tone that said he was already imagining a night at the hospital. I heard Dan say, “Well, it’s not like you have to type for a living, or anything.” I had my hand in the sink, blood pouring down, and I remember saying, “It’s okay. Everything’s okay. I’m okay,” and then I yanked the glass out of my finger.

So I meet these people holding a blood-soaked paper towel and I’m a little dizzy from the shock of being terrified I’d just sliced off my fingertip to realizing I’m going to be fine but it’s weird that it doesn’t hurt at all. I eat a lot of cheese and make a little conversation. Dan and stee alternate refilling my wine glass.

My mom calls. There’s been a death in the family, and another part of our family is going through some rough times. Our dog Sage is sick. I go back to my bedroom to talk to my family, my ever-shrinking family, to listen and be sad with them. My finger is still bleeding. I can hear more people arrive. I have never been such a bad host, but I don’t want to tell everyone to go home.

When I walk back into the front room, there are even more strangers. “Hey, Pam. We got a hand surgeon in the kitchen.”

He really was, this stranger from New York. “Almost,” he says. “As soon as I finish school.” He examines my finger, calls the wound “superficial” (I make a joke about LA), and tells me about the healing process, how part of it will fall off and the skin will be raw for a while and I’ll have a scar, but it’s no big deal. “If you want it to heal faster, don’t smoke. Smoking impedes healing.” There’s a warning label for your box.

“Everything okay?” stee asked.

And my mouth just babbled out, “Yeah, great. People are dying but it’s okay and this isn’t how I want to meet people, and hi, everybody. Welcome. Hi. Can I get you anything?”


After talking for a little while, I learn the incredibly tall stranger on my porch grew up in a town I once lived in. I pulled out a memory book to see if we went to the same school, which would have put us in the same first grade class. We didn’t, but I lived close, I guess. AK was also at the party, and he and his brother lived in another town I lived in where I finished kindergarten and started first grade. I checked the memory book to see if we lived close to each other. AK and stee went through my memory book, making fun of me when appropriate. The hand surgeon walked over to the book and asked, “Does it say when you got your last tetanus shot? Because you should probably get a tetanus shot. Really. Get a tetanus shot.” One of the guests had wandered to the office and went to sleep. My finger was still bleeding. Everyone else decided to leave at the same time.

Once we were alone, stee asked what happened. I got out, “Aunt Betty,” and then started crying until I fell asleep on the couch.

This morning when I got up to give Taylor his shot, I forgot about my finger and tried to open the dishwasher door with it. Holy crap, that hurt. I must say it’s a relief that I can type without too much pain, because washing my hair a few minutes ago was horrible.

So, I’m sorry, party people. We’ll have to do it again. This time you stay awake, and you say hello and we’ll start all over and pretend I never bled dangerously close to your cheese.

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