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A “Falling For You” Joke Would Be Too Easy

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 12, 2021

For obvious reasons, many of us in my country are being encouraged to do “staycations” this year rather than travelling abroad. As I plan day trips away with my husband and young daughter, I recall a summer, a number of years ago, where my ability to travel abroad was hindered, not by a global health crisis, but by personal injury.

At the time, I was in my early twenties, fresh out of university and living with my boyfriend. Northern Ireland was going through a heatwave, with temperatures in the high twenties or low thirties — high eighties, for our American friends. As a fair-skinned Irish girl, I was already struggling with the heat, but my struggle was made worse when, one Saturday morning, as I hurried downstairs wearing footwear not really suited to the purpose, I lost my balance, slipped, fell, and hurt my left leg. The pain was so bad that I ended up in the emergency department, where I was told that I’d broken my leg in three places. After a week in hospital, I came home with crutches, a cast that ran from my toes up past my knee, and a massive bruise to my pride!

A couple of weeks later, with the heatwave set to continue, I was pretty fed up. It was exhausting using crutches to move around and was worse in the oppressive July heat. My boyfriend was driving me home from an appointment and happened to mention how tired I looked. I confirmed that I WAS, in fact, exhausted, to which he gave no response, other than to nod. We pulled into our driveway.

Boyfriend: “Wait here!”

And then he leapt out of the car. He ran to the front door, unlocked and opened it, and then came back to the passenger side door, which he opened for me. As I struggled to work my way out of the car without bashing my cast — I’d learnt that the hard way — my boyfriend took my arm to guide me. With my casted leg off the ground, I reached in to grab my crutches, but my boyfriend stopped me. Before I could protest, he threw one arm behind my knees, and the other around my shoulders, and hoisted me up into his arms! I don’t like being lifted, even in normal circumstances, so I shrieked.

My boyfriend laughed.

Boyfriend: “[My Name], my darling! I’m going to carry you across the threshold!”

And he started for the door.

Me: *Laughing nervously* “Ahh… Okay, [Boyfriend], please just be careful that you don’t—”

Before the words “drop me” could leave my lips, he’d done just that! He must have lost his grip or whatever, but I slid out of his arms. As I was already stressed by the shock of being lifted suddenly, my body wasn’t exactly limp, and my right side smacked forcefully into the hard concrete driveway. I howled in pain and swore angrily at my boyfriend, who, looking sheepish, sank to his knees and started apologising profusely while trying to help me up. When it became apparent, however, that I was going nowhere, so intense was the pain, he disappeared into the house to phone for an ambulance.

The staff in the emergency department were surprised that I was back so soon — as was I! After a trip to X-ray, I was given the bad news: I’d shattered my right kneecap and broken my right wrist and elbow. I’d also injured my neck, which, thankfully, wasn’t broken but was quite badly sprained. After another week in hospital, I returned home — in a wheelchair this time — with casts now on my right knee and arm and a brace on my neck.

My boyfriend, probably as much motivated by guilt as concern for my well-being, spoiled me rotten for the next few painful months as I recovered. By the time I was back on my feet, summer was over and the heatwave had passed, giving way to cloudy, wet, and miserable weather. That summer changed me, and I no longer took good weather — or freedom to travel — for granted. My boyfriend changed, too, becoming less impulsive, and after several months of what he called “trying to make it up to me,” finally accepted that I’d forgiven him. He proposed to me the following spring, and we’ve been happily married ever since. But he thankfully never again offered to “carry me over the threshold”!