Bethany Lee

Bethany Lee

A Reading Injury

There are acceptable and even awe-inspiring types of injuries. These are the injuries sustained
while sliding into home plate, landing the perfect vault, or defending the honor of a damsel in
distress. These are injuries of glory and achievement, ones where people pat your back and
then say “Well, at least you got hurt doing something epic.”


These are not the type of injuries my family is known for.

We get injured in the stupidest ways. There’s no honor in our injuries; there’s usually not even
a good reason for them. But this is not to say we are embarrassed by them. Oh no, we take
great pride and pleasure in the ridiculous circumstances of our wounds!


Ask my mom about her cheese-toast injuries and she will explain the burn marks up and down
her arms with a special twinkle in her eye.


Ask Kiana about the time she broke her arm during Sharing Time at church. I mean, how does
one even do that? But she did and there’s a story there.


Ask Sierra about her “Tip,” a nickname we lovingly gave to her scalp injury and consequential
disfigurement.


We also named my childhood dog’s dangling armpit tumor “The Kermit,” but since a tumor is
not really an injury, we will save the story and its accompanying photos (NSFW) for another
post.


My own favorite stupid injury happened to me while reading Pride and Prejudice. It was a
READING INJURY! How apt! How gleefully perfect! I know nary a soul who has achieved
something so ridiculous and so completely “on brand” but I did it! Me!

This is what went down:

I was in my early twenties, taking the semester off of college to teach English to kids in
Guatemala. Between classes, I’d sneak in a few chapters of Jane Austin’s best book. As the
school day came to close, I had just arrived at the chapter where Elizabeth Bennett toured
Pemberley and realized that Mr. Darcy is not the brute she’d imagined him to be, but an
honorable steward of his sprawling old-money estate.

Now, to someone who has not read the book, this hardly seems like edge-of-your-seat material.
But for someone who has read the book, YOU UNDERSTAND. This was possibly the most
romantic scene in all of literature.

It was the third time I’d read Pride and Prejudice, so it was not like I didn’t know what was
going to happen, but I was feeling all the feels. I could not bear to put the book down, even for
the 20 minutes it would take to walk from the school to the bus stop.


Now Guatemala is not known for its well-maintained streetways and I probably should have
been watching for cars, human traffickers, or other notable obstacles, but Elizabeth Bennet was
falling in love! So I sashayed down the road with “dreamy far-off look and a nose stuck in some
book” …. and then promptly stepped into a pothole and broke my ankle.


If breaking my ankle while reading Pride and Prejudice is not a love-letter to books, then I don’t know what is.

What is your most epically awesome or epically stupid injury? Do tell!

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