A few weeks ago, I was on a plane to San Francisco, half dozing while I listened to my iPod and wondering why on earth I'd needed to get up at 4am if my plane hadn't actually left the airport until 8:30am (it was something to do with the crew needing to push the snooze button a few more times because they hadn't got the Required Amount Of Sleep the night before and oooh, that is such a good one, I'm going to use that next time I'm late for work, except my Required Amount of Sleep is 12 hours and I don't fly planes) when I reached up to adjust my earphone, and MY EAR FELL APART IN MY HAND.
Yes! It did! It fell apart in my hand! (I'm sorry, I hope you weren't eating when you read that. Though if it makes you feel any better, there wasn't any blood. Except now I've made you think about blood when you're eating and I'm sorry for that too.)
I turned to Sean and said "hey, does my ear look---" and he said "OH MY GOD" and then threw up in his mouth a little, and then he said "um, you might want to look in the mirror." So I rooted around in my hand luggage and found something that had a mirror on it, and this is what I saw:
And it totally put a damper on my weekend in San Francisco, because no matter how romantic and pretty San Francisco is, how are YOU supposed to feel romantic and pretty with an ear like that? You just can't, can you?
So when I got back to Charleston, I put off making an appointment with a doctor who could sew it back up because while I know they're doctors and THEY'VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE, what if they hadn't seen THIS? And what if they had to cut my whole ear off and I'd spend the rest of my life looking like a pirate because I could only wear one earring?
And then after a week, my friend Elle became so grossed out by the whole thing that she decided she was going to make me an appointment herself, so she called her plastic surgeon (I know! How organized! She has a plastic surgeon and I don't even have a GP!) and got them to fit me in for a consultation. So yesterday I went for my appointment, and I had to fill in this two thousand page questionnaire that took longer to answer than the Chaucer exam in my final year of university, and after all the questions about insurance and operations and allergies, there was one that said "what is your bra size?"
AND I ANSWERED IT! Because he was a doctor! And maybe he needed to know! But now that it's a day later and I'm thinking about it, isn't that totally pervy? It's not like I was getting a boob job! Why would knowing my bra size help him decide what to do about my ear?
So I paid $100 to sit opposite him in his office for five minutes and have him draw my ear on a cocktail napkin, then tell me he could sew it up for another $300, and then I left. And then I thought about how if I had $300 to spare, I would certainly HAVE NICER SHOES, and I wondered if I had any friends who I could persuade to do it for $20 with one of those hotel sewing kits and a couple of shots of whiskey.
And the best part of the whole visit was this: when I left the office, I saw that they had a bowl of Halloween candy on the table and when I put my hand in to pull out my $100 piece of candy, I came back with a GUMMY EAR! It was just like a gummy bear or a gummy worm or, you know, those weird gummy hamburgers, but it was an ear! And upon closer inspection, I saw that the candy bowl was FULL of gummy severed body parts, in honor of Halloween (I hope.)
And as I walked back to my car, chewing my gummy ear and musing about how surreal it all was, I pondered the fact that MAYBE having a bowl full of severed body parts in your waiting room when you're in the business of plastic surgery is perhaps not the BEST impression to make on your patients. Still, I suppose it could have been worse. I could have reached my hand into the candy jar and pulled out a boob.