The new girl - Dana enters our shop! #2: How I got to meet her parents ...

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Blog entry by Eric M. Saperstein posted 11-29-2010 08:07 PM 2007 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: We have a new shop girl ... Part 2 of The new girl - Dana enters our shop! series Part 3: Hard wood and floors ... oh and the new girl ... »

So this is wood related – but spins to the personal story … I think it fits once you read through it’ll make sense! I’m really curious how the comments and feedback will go on this one!?

Periodically I will allude to the fact that my life is often a sitcom – things happen that there’s no way I could script out or make up. I think Alice Cooper described his need to retire because he simply couldn’t compete with reality anymore in terms of strange and shocking events. Nothing surprises me anymore, but many things are just plain hilarious … at least for people on the outside looking in. Sometimes I’d really like to fire those who are writing the plotlines in my life and hire a team of porn stars and billionaires to combine their thoughts on how things should go.

Anyway … as shown in the first blog entry of this series Dana’s part in my sitcom debuted back in August. I found her on … which she remains strong in her claim that she signed up only as a joke and a trial and given the fact she was drunk on a Sunday she failed to cancel after the initial 3 days. I figure this is just plausible deniability, but it’s her story and she’s sticking to it. Besides she can’t complain she posted inquiring why it was so hard to find an amazing guy, apparently my response indicating that it was REALLY easy one just responded was just sarcastic enough to get her attention.

So a few emails, some texts, and a phone call later … Dana and I get together for a date and things progress from there. It was only about three weeks in before she tagged along for a shop day. In search of new hobbies she quickly found a fascination with whittling.

Dana jumps into things full force, hates being a rookie, and will take on a project out of her current range just to accomplish it. So an assortment of craft tools, carving tools, X-acto’s (yeah I know we’re directing her to the proper cast/carbon steel …) assortments of Dremels and other gadgets start appearing around her house.
She quickly takes on the idea that she’s going to carve some Tiki’s … knocks out a small one and then decides it is time to make one a bit bigger. So I’m at her place one night and we’re laying in bed watching TV she’s carving her Tiki and I’m on in my usual laptop in lap state. She has worked her way up to three fingers on her left hand with tape on them to patch up the little slips, splinters, etc. by this point. All typical of our professions, but often avoidable.

I look over and comment that she really should grab her little vice (we mounted one on a piece of plywood to be portable for her. She’s gonna slip the way she’s attempting to use a carving tool, switch to a pocket knife etc … Dana being as stubborn as she is cute quickly rejected my input and proclaimed she would be fine. I informed her I’m gonna have to get her a chain-male glove …

“Notice the band-aid’s on the nightstand …”

Not even five minutes later peripheral vision allows me to catch the little skew slipping off the carving and plunging into her left wrist. I look over and she’s sitting there very quiet holding the tool in her right hand and her left hand palm facing us in front of her. Looking at what’s now about a 1 ½” long gouge vertical along her wrist I push the laptop out of the way waiting to see the spurt of red. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to avoid contact with anything important … no veins or major nerves ligaments or tendons were harmed in the making of this project (so far …) …

So I get up, walk around the bed and clear her path to get to the bathroom. At this point I want to see this wound and determine if we’re about to venture to the ER or if it’s something we can deal with. Since no veins were taken out, she had a choice of me taping her up and going on with life or getting stitches and minimizing the scar. She elected to avoid the ER.

She was done carving for the night – so we decided to turn in. The next morning we both went to work and the day progressed. She was obviously not happy with her new surgical tape and gauze wrist band and the throbbing and feeling of it opening and closing was getting to her. The original plan was she was coming to my house for the weekend that evening – but she was starting to hint maybe an hour drive was a bad idea.

Later that day she spoke with her grandmother and apparently intertwined that fall was coming and she was feeling a bit depressed about that, stressed from work, and OOH BTW she cut her wrist last night. Well drop this on a grandmother and of course shortly her parents are updated that their depressed daughter slit her wrist.
By the time all this is progressing it’s probably 7/8pm … I’ve got dinner in progress waiting for her to come over however that plan changes by around 9:30/10ish. She decides driving won’t work so I pack up and head towards her house. Given the plan is pretty much to crash for the night and then migrate back for the weekend why be bothered to get dressed right?

I’m BS’ing on the phone on the way there, caught a few text’s at a stop light I only see the ETA? – I respond 15/20 min etc. What I missed, given I was driving, was the heads up my parents are coming over, my parents are here … etc … I have no clue they are there.

So I pull up, park in front of her place, she rents two rooms out so there’s a variety of vehicles depending on who has a guest or whatever so I don’t even notice her parents SUV, not that I’d have known anyway never met them. If I’d known I’d at least have put some pants on before walking in.

SOOOO … here’s perspective review … It’s about 11pm on a weeknight. OK … let’s remember, I have not met the parents yet … and I’m the guy 10 years older than their daughter; she found me the internet and I was sleeping over the night she cut her wrist. I’m predressed to go right to bed. I’m sporting shredded gray Velcro sneakers no socks, SpongeBob pajama pants (who wears underwear in PJ’s? I don’t …), a ratty t-shirt, and whatever hat I found on the way out the door. I’m balancing a plate of food (yes I sometimes deliver dinner), I have a camera, a laptop bag, an overnight bag, and a plastic arrow case.

I stumble into the house trying to make one trip, and one of Dana’s roommates says they are “all” upstairs. “All” … huh? ... Yes … “All …” Dana and her parents are in her master bathroom having a family meeting and playing with the current foster kittens.

So in comes Eric … umm “Hi …” … “well gee I obviously dressed perfect for this occasion …”

Some quick introductions … all standing in the bathroom. I put the plate of food down and her mother observes the plate of grilled salmon, a sweet potato, and fresh sweet peas and notes that was really nice to show with dinner. I was at that point like well – “Yeah I’m trying to wean her off the Bacardi, Adaroll, diet coke, and chocolate diet she’s apparently been on …” (Eric is slightly sarcastic, and Dana has been stressed at work, the cut upset her, she hasn’t eaten all day less a few peppermint patties and given she gave up the idea of driving to my house a stiff rum and coke was implemented … so it seemed logical to feed her …) her mother snickered a bit at that.

So now they are looking at me and I just state the obvious – Yes, I was with Dana when she cut herself, it was purely an act of stupidity and there’s no need to panic she is not trying to kill herself.

This all went surprisingly well given the setup – and that I was stepping into said “family meeting” … the on last little detail was the curiosity of what’s in the plastic case (remember all that I was carrying …) … WELL … Eric being slightly sarcastic and coming along with an ironic project figured it would be funny to show up with a dozen broad-head arrow kits, so the plan was wiggle 36 razor-blade fins into 12 needlepoint arrow tips and crank down on each of them with a wrench and install them into arrow shafts.

Ya know, I just thought it was appropriate (humorous) … her father had a bit of a strange expression but did find the humor in it … we spent the next weekend in a glass blowing class in Philly (Dana, her father, and I) so fortunately this didn’t blow up and turn awkward! I’ll post photos of the glass class and some of our attempts at those projects later.

I really don’t know if there is a moral here – it just played out as it played out. I won’t learn to dress up all the time just in case, I see no reason one can’t drive somewhere to goto sleep already in PJ’s. For that matter no reason you can’t goto the store or run other errands either …

“Nicely done … this was a few days after so obviously it’s not bleeding …”

Like I said in the opening … I figured this would be the perfect Lumberjocks blog story – it started out from a woodworking project and ended in a situation comedy. Most of my life turns somehow into a sitcom … welcome to sharing the experience with me!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

8 comments so far

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 11-30-2010 12:00 AM

The story gets better. You are the Big Lebowski! She sounds like me when I get new carving tools – always manage to get a cut within the first 5 minutes. But wow – what a cut! She is very very lucky.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 11-30-2010 01:08 AM

what a bummer Dana and you are exstemly lucky you didn´t hit an artery hope you heal fast
still chips to fly and dust to make :-)
Eric jsut ceep up the funny sitcom and you will have alot of readers here on L J…..LOL

thank´s for sharing
take care

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 11-30-2010 06:41 AM

What a tale! You guys will have some interesting stories for the grand kids if it goes that far!

That is one nasty cut too!

I started reading this from the ‘cats’ post backwards….yeah, I’m a bit different….

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3272 days

#4 posted 11-30-2010 06:53 AM

No breeding planned for me! – Grand cats, maybe a dog … Dana has had 3 turtles since she was 12 so accept a Dana accept her turtles …

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3963 days

#5 posted 12-01-2010 12:30 AM

Glad she survived. I’d spend some time on knife safety with her. We start teaching new carvers safety first, sharpening second, and everything else later. I keep duck tape and paper towels for just such an emergency, as bandaids are worthless with a cut that size…

-- Steven

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 12-01-2010 01:00 AM

@Steve … She’s an engineer and inferred by the “she” also a female so double stubborn and generally prefers to reverse engineer something instead of be given specific instructions. She wants to figure it out, even if she’s wounded in the process. It just is what it is – I’m picking my battles these days!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3963 days

#7 posted 12-01-2010 04:57 AM

I would object to that as an engineer, except that I know exactly what you mean. The ducktape and paper towels knowledge comes from getting my PE in the shop (pain expert). Keep your blades sharp and she won’t have to push them so hard, and the cuts will be much cleaner ;-)

-- Steven

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 12-01-2010 06:56 AM

Yiup lots of duct tape and towels and gauze around, put my share of homemade bandages to good use over the years! I did object to the tools she was using, and we gave her a nice cast steel case pocket knife which will be a lot safer than messing around the way she was. She also picked up a set of diamond stones and is learning to sharpen – although it seems the noise of metal against metal drives her about insane.

She’ll learn, she’s been good lately. A few minor splinters and cuts but no major mishaps.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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