I played three sports in high school; football, basketball, and lacrosse. One could assume that football would’ve inflicted the most pain and injury to me. Nope, you know what they say don’t assume, it was one of the softest sports out there, basketball. It has given me more stitches and more broken bones than anything else I’ve played. That includes back in the day playing tackle football in the street. The only time I would get hurt was during high school basketball. Fortunately, there was a dermatologist office, that employed not only my mom, but my sister and God mother as well. Luckily one of the doctors grew fond of us and admitted that he would do anything for us. Little did they know what I’d be calling them to do.
I remember the first time I got stitches was freshmen year basketball, it couldn’t have happen at a worse time in the game. It was midway through the third quarter and we were down when I caught an elbow that knocked me down. Immediately blood was pouring out about my eye. When it happened our trainer cleaned me up and gave me a couple steri strips to hold me over for the rest of the game. Then she said I had to go get stitches right away after the game. After we lost a heartbreaker at the buzzer, I got in my moms car and asked where she was going, she should have went right out of here to go to the hospital. I reiterated to her that our trainer highly recommended that I get stitches right away. Instead my mom told me we were meeting the doctor in Winchester at the office, so he can stitch me up. “I called him to ask if he was around, it was shot in the dark but luckily he said he’d meet us there.” He left his wife with two babies that Friday night to sew fiver perfect stitches, each one looking as uniform as the other, right above my left eye. Honestly he did such a good job, you can’t even tell where I got stitched.
The next time it happened neither my mom or dad were there at the game. It was an away game that my dad honestly just didn’t want to drive too. Instead of them a friend of mines mom had to leave the game early to drive me home. All because I dove for a loose ball. My bottom vampire fang looking tooth, ripped my bottom lip in half. She insisted on taking me to hospital, I get why it was disgusting sight to see your own lip dangling from your mouth I can only imagine how she feels, but I kept telling her I had a guy for this. She looked at me like I was crazy after I said I had a guy guy so emphasized, “a guy that stitches me up, he’s a friend of ours. He’s a friend of ours” That put her a little more at ease but I could see in her eyes she was skeptical of my guy. Half of my bottle lip was separated and she was so nauseous from the my lip she had her window down, letting my bottom lip dangle in the wind like a dogs tongue. When she finally got me home my mom was already proactive and called our guy on the phone to see if he was free tonight give me a few more stitches …again. He truthfully spent more time driving across town getting to the office than he does actually stitching me up. He could probably do it in his sleep. We were so lucky he liked us enough that at the drop of the dime, late at night, it didn’t matter, he was always willing to do anything to help us and by us I mean me. I’ve been the only one that has had to exert this resource.
The doctor was far from old, he was younger than my mom yes, but certainly had a few years one me at the time, I was only seventeen. He was established, I mean he’s a doctor and was the head honcho around the office. I’ll always remember what he said to me that night while he had both hands in my mouth sewing four more stitches in my bottom lip. Although, it kind of felt like I was at the dentist they way he was asking me questions while his fingers were in my mouth. I won’t ever understand how dentist think I can reciprocate conversation with their hands in my mouth. At the most I give you is the sound of a yes or no or maybe even an ehh but that’s it. Thank God he just wanted to preach and wasn’t expecting to hear anything from me.
He started off by asking me if I’ve ever had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. It was perfect, a simple yes or no answer for me. So I nodded my head no and waited to see where he was going with it. “Ben and Jerry’s pride themselves on their diversity. Even if you don’t like ice cream there’s something out there that you’ll love. That’s their M.O.” He explained to me how they have every flavor of ice cream imaginable. He than asked me if I had a favorite kind, another simple yes or no question I could answer, but it was a rhetorical question. He was already continuing on with his analogy before I even got a chance to answer. (Neapolitan if you’re wondering that’s my favorite) He made the comparison, “You know Ben and Jerry’s is a lot like girls. You may never know which one’s your favorite until you try them all. How would you know which ones you’re favorite if you’ve only had one or two?”
I’m not sure how he knew it, hell I didn’t even know I needed to hear it, but it was everything I needed to hear and I wouldn’t know I needed to hear it until years later. What he said that day I will never forget. At the time I was currently sitting in his chair with three lips waiting to be stitched. I had a girlfriend as well, she wasn’t there but she was my first love and my high school sweetheart. This was the first girl that I have ever actually cared about. We had almost a fairy tale kind of relationship, the one Nicholas Spark would write. I was young I wasn’t buying into the needed to try all the flavors theory, I had what I wanted. So I played a little devils advocate and argued his point saying, “What if you don’t need to try other flavors? What if you’ve found you’re favorite?” It was how I felt about her, I knew what we had was something special, she was my favorite flavor. “You don’t have to try everything to know what you want, sometimes you may fall in love with the first one you try.” Who knew I came here for stitches and somehow found myself a therapist. He opened my mind in a way I didn’t realize until years later. Thats when I would hear this Ben and Jerry’s story replaying in my mind again.
I thought I found my favorite ice cream when I was sixteen. Some time along the way my taste buds changed just as your ingredients did and things just weren’t the same. Since we’ve been through I’ve been stuck trying out all these other flavors of ice cream searching for my favorite one. I tried some I loved but that never lasted, others I loved so much right away I got sick of it shortly after. It’s definitely taken me a few gross flavors and a several different stores to find which kind is my favorite and I’m still searching for it. Maybe I know what flavor is my favorite and I just haven’t been able to find it again or maybe I simply just haven’t tried it yet. I ask you do you have a favorite ice cream or was the first one you tried the best?