An Adventure (and the Black Eye to Show for It...)

This past Friday, I experienced something that I honestly never thought would happen to me. (Although my rough and tough 12-year-old self would probably have consided it some type of "honor badge". Yes, I cringe.)

I got a black eye. And since my lovely mother posted a heinous picture on Facebook, I thought I'd go ahead and share how it happened. (Okay, I posted a picture too. I can't always let her take the fall for unwanted attention.) Really, I need to tell what happened so I can avoid responses like those I've already given a gazillion times...
"No, Jonathan didn't hit me."
"Yes, it hurts."
"No, I didn't try to cover it with makeup; that made it hurt worse."
"Yes, you should see the other girl. Eh he, hehehe." (insert fakest of fake laughs.)

Here's what really happened...

Well, I must start by saying that I'm not much of an adventurous person. (Conversely, my 12-year-old self is now cringing.) I mean, I ride roller coasters, I enjoy watching athletic events, and I do love the occasional adrenaline rush (and by adrenaline rush I mean the feeling you get jumping off a swing on the playground.) But when it comes to "thrill seeking" I am not your girl. Maybe I'm growing boring (or just old) but the idea of an activity that momentarily makes me feel like I've lost control of gravity is just not my idea of a good time.

For example, last Thursday my mom, sister, Mamaw, and friend Claire, and I all went to the beach up at Fort Macon. While Amy and Claire begged (Please, Ashley!) and insulted (You're so lame!) at regular intervals, I refused to actually get out into the water. Why? Well, because I do not enjoy the taste of salt water (gag) and also, I would DRINK saltwater than be thrown against the bottom of what has to be the rockiest beach of all time. Sure, I'll swim out and the let the undertow drag me across sharp shells and rocks. No thank you... experiencing what feels like bags of loose gravel being poured across my legs is not appealing to me. No, I'd much rather sit on the sand with Mamaw, whose requests to leave and question, "Do you think they've had enough?" were like clock-work every 5 minutes.

Okay, wow.... all that and I still haven't even told the story. Here goes... Friday we were at Lake Gaston and had the wonderful opportunity to ride jet skis (this is the exception clause to my unadventerous contract... because I LOVE JETSKIS. Last year I got to drive one for the first time and I was pretty much a wild woman for the rest of the day.) However, this year we had the chance to also ride on the inner tube, pulled by the jet ski. Well, the girls had been out on the tube a couple of times, but I was hogging still having my turn on the jetski and hadn't tried the tube yet. Finally, Claire and I jumped on and off we went, after I asked her repeatedly, "Is it scary? Will I get hurt?" To which she earnestly replied, "No, you'll be fine!"

Lies, lies, lies.

After being tossed to and fro by the tube multiple times (and screaming and laughing, because, I can't lie... it WAS fun), the driver of the jet ski achieved the ultimate goal, which is to throw off the passengers in the tube. Off we flew, and (this is the "out of the control" part I just hate) for about 3 seconds I had no idea what was happening. Then I felt what felt like the fist of the Incredible Hulk make contact with the right side of my face. (Turns out it was most likely Claire's elbow, though she bears no resemblance to the Hulk.) As I was shoved underwater I thought, "My cheekbone is broken" and immediately reached up to touch it (which would have been super helpful had it indeed been broken) and in seconds a lump had already formed. And it hurt. (No time to discuss it now, but my threshold for pain is tiny... practically nonexistent.)

So, I reappear from the water, floating and trying to make sense of the last few seconds. Oh, and trying to maintain my composure or make anyone feel terrible. So, I struggled back into the tube and our driver, sensing that a meltdown was immiment, hauled us back to shore. I held it together pretty well until I saw Amy and she showed a measure of concern, at which point I began to weep. (I know, I'm pathetic.) It wasn't even as much because of the pain but because I had been pretty scared by the whole experience. (What... a broken cheekbone isn't one of your greatest fears?)

All this took place while I was mourning the loss of my favorite sunglasses, which were cast asunder when we hit the water.

While our hostess got me a bag of ice and I sat, sniffling, on the dock, I managed to call Jonathan and tell him what had happened (he was sympathetic but could hardly show the appropriate amount of concern considering he couldn't SEE the great damage) and my mom finally came back off the jet ski and kissed my injury. (And yes, it helped, so there. You know it did.)

After an uncomfortable hour of sitting up in the beautiful, comfortable lake house with an ice pack on my swollen face, the others in my party (who were sympathetic to my injury but not nearly enough to let it stop their fun) decided to join me and head for home.

Such a placid setting for such a traumatic experience!

The eye started off like this:

Don't I look pretty? Don't be jealous. Hahaha. (In case you can't tell... and you probably can't, given the grainy photo quality... the eye is not very dark here but red and very swollen.)

This was the next day... as you can see, the color had darkened considerably. (You can also see that I probably should have sub-titled this post "Unflattering Shots of Ashley's Ginormous Nose.")

This was Saturday night, after turning a darker shade of purple throughout the day and prompting sweet Amy to demand that I leave my sunglasses on at all times. She's a peach.

I didn't know that my mom was taking a picture of my whole face, hence the STUPID expression. But that's how it looked Sunday.

That's from this morning. There's now a sickly yellow tinge to my pretty bruise.

So, folks, that's the story. I doubt you googled "play by play of tragic tubing incident" this morning (but if you did, you were pleasantly surprised. If not, you have been unpleasantly bored. I apologize.)

Will you catch me on an inner tube again? Eh, maybe. I'd have to really psych myself up for it though. Although, this experience has led to lots of good things for me (really, it's led to my holding my hideously marred face up to my husband and saying, "Please? My face hurts." And, since he is a sweet guy, he refills my Dr. Pepper. I plan on keeping him. =)

In the meantime, I'll continue to wear eyegear that hides my purple bruise from the world and garner unnecessary sympathy. Because, well, I deserve it. Have you seen my black eye?



  1. Thanks for the full story! I'd heard the extremely condensed version - Claire accidentally elbowed Ashley in the eye while they were tubing - but not the full story! It was an entertaining read, as usual! (Are you grinning like a fool yet?) ;)

  2. Your favorite sunglasses were cast asunder . . . bahaha


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