There would have been a better chance of winning the lottery. The odds would have been more in my favor to be recruited by a professional basketball team as a starting center or to get struck by lightning in a passing thunderstorm than the fortuitous events that occurred Friday afternoon.
We were headed to the lake for the weekend. About an hour outside of our destination, we stopped at an Oriental rug warehouse well known for the deep discounts offered to the public. With fabric swatch in hand, I joyfully bounded from the car in search of the perfect rug for our bedroom.
Upon entering the store, I was greeted warmly by the Egyptian owners, who quickly assessed my needs, and led me to a large collection from which to choose. Poles attached to the ceiling suspended the large area rugs with heavy-duty metal clips. Customers were encouraged to browse through each section of Orientals by “turning” one rug to another, like the pages of an oversized periodical, in order to fully view each selection.
Business was slow so the Egyptian man – Jafari – offered to assist me in finding the size and design I desired. I pointed to a rug that I liked, and Jafari placed his hands on the edge of it, turning it so that the full length and width could be displayed.
And that’s when I felt it.
It took a few seconds for the pain to register, but the searing sting at the top of my noggin immediately made me dizzy. I sat down on a pile of nearby rugs, and placed my hand on the throbbing area of my head. The look on Jafari’s face was a mixture of astonishment and horror, and then quickly transformed to one that was almost cartoonish in appearance when he saw the blood seeping through my fingers.
Really, what are the chances? Never had it occurred to me that shopping for Orientals could be a dangerous sport. If only I had known, safety precautions would have certainly been considered. When we ride bikes, we wear helmets. When we ride in cars, we wear seatbelts. When we ride in boats, we wear life vests. We are safety minded like that.
Holding my head in my hands, I leaned over my knees, partly because I was somewhat light headed, but mostly to keep the steady stream of blood from staining the pile of rugs on which I rested. The large metal clip from one of the rugs had popped free, swan diving 25 feet below, the corner of which punctured my scalp.
The owners and my husband instantly surrounded me. Chase, my tender-hearted ten year old, ushered his two younger siblings to a different area of the store, protecting them from witnessing the remnants of my losing battle with the metal clip.
Someone handed my husband a towel to put direct pressure on the wound while the owners spoke rapidly to one another in their native tongue. After a few minutes of conferring, they tried to insist that an ambulance be summoned, but luckily, John pulled the Doctor card and convinced them that the injury wasn’t as serious as the puddles of blood would suggest. After about 15 minutes, the bleeding subsided and I slowly started to regain some sense.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that I had most likely earned a “slightly injured customer” discount. Surely, suffering the impalement of a metal object to my person warranted some sort of price concession. With renewed purpose and sights set on row after row of Orientals, I informed the very surprised Jafari that I was ready to proceed.
With a questionable gait, slightly blurred vision, and a head of hair matted with blood, I perused the store with a very nervous Egyptian man, determined to buy a rug with my injury coupon. My family walked behind us, and I overheard Chase say to his dad, “Only mom would bleed all over someone’s floor and then continue to shop.”
After looking for the better part of an hour, I finally accepted with much sorrow and regret that there was not a rug to match the swatch of fabric in my hand. With great relief, the owners accompanied us to the door, firmly clicking the lock in place after our departure.
Although I was still in a little bit of pain, I immediately began thinking of other potential rug dealers that I could visit the next weekend. You may even see me if you happen to be in the Atlanta area.
I’ll be the one flipping through rows of rugs wearing a helmet.