The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: Independence Day

2 min read


Considering this column is being typed with one hand, I had a hard time thinking of any other subject to write about:

Wearing a cast sucks.

Like most women of the post-shoulder-pad-era, I have an independence complex.

On the surface, I don’t need a boyfriend, my parents, or even friends. I am strong; I can do it all on my own.

Obviously, that is all bull. I’m about as independent as Britney Spears is mentally stable. But still, I continue this façade with not only swollen ego but now a swollen hand.

Enter my new bright purple cast, in all its gauze and glory. After fracturing two bones in a car accident last week, my left-hand is currently entrapped in a plaster cocoon.

The Barney-the-Dinosaur colored cast is in a shape reminiscent of Tinkie Winkie the Teletubby; my middle finger is held tight in a constant flicking-off gesture.

This is fitting, considering my mood these days. Now I understand why Captain Hook was so cranky.

As a member of the 11 percent of the population that is left-handed, I already struggle in a world made for right-ys. Now that my dominant hand is out of commission, I have taken on the role of the sympathized southpaw—completely dependant on friends and good Samaritans to function.

My roommate has to cut my meat for me. Teachers administer my tests electronically. Kind strangers help me carry my bags on campus walk. A large portion of last Friday night was spent in a game of multi-player tug-of-war, trying to pull my coat-sleeve over my bulky cast.

I now avoid going to the restroom without a buddy; I’ve gotten some awkward responses when asking a stranger in the next stall for help buttoning my fly.

While I adore the attention, my stubbornness has not been upstaged. I believe I’ve said the phrase “I’m fine” this week more times than Paris Hilton said “that’s hot.”

Here’s that pesky silver lining; as much as I whine, the cast comes off in two weeks. And I have been constantly surrounded by patient and supportive friends and family who put up with everything. Let’s just say my fly is rarely undone these days.

So as I wait for the day I can finally shower without a newspaper bag tied to my arm and drive a stick-shift again, I have seized this opportunity to embrace my humbled dependence.

My vintage Destiny’s Child anthem is no longer “Independent Woman (Part I),” but rather their ballad “Emotion.” Last week, after my car accident, it was the aptly titled “I’m a Survivor.” I’m not looking forward to a few weeks from now, when it becomes “Bills, Bills, Bills.”

Kosovo is now independent from Serbia, and I am now independent from my independence complex.

Um, a little help here?