I carry quite a bit in my messenger bag when I head out to measure a client’s house. Laser measure. Three regular tape measures. Level. Pens. Small flashlight. I even have a small digital camera in my bag, although I tend to just use my phone (because who doesn’t?). However, it would appear I need to start hauling around one more item.


While I’ve only experienced one minor accident on a job site—stepping on an unsecured board and landing in a crawl space—I realized lately I am more likely to bleed out from bumping up against a surface and not realizing it. Just what every architect needs: having your client find you passed out on their floor. And the way things are going, I don’t know that I’m too far from that moment.

Late last year, I was using a client’s stepladder, and being the polite person I am, I folded it back up and returned said stepladder to the garage. In the process of folding, I brushed my leg with one of the steps but didn’t give it a thought—at least until I sat on the client’s floor, looked down at my leg, and saw blood running down the front.

What?!?! When did that happen? I barely brushed my leg!

One of my favorite comedians talked about going to see her parents and finding them covered in band-aids, like they were sitting around poking each other with forks. Except her parents are in their early 80s. Surely I’m not there yet. I’m still young. Ish. My skin isn’t that thin.

Except current appearances would suggest otherwise. I looked down this morning and noticed a scratch across my calf. Not sure at all when that appeared. Yesterday? Today? Three or four days ago? Anyone’s guess would be as good as mine, and with no clue as to what I did to garner that.

However, my sister made me feel a little better last weekend. We were at Mother’s Day lunch and found ourselves discussing “mystery injuries.” Not that we’re that old or that far apart in age. But we both keep finding spots where we just don’t know what we did. Usually just a random bruise or pulled muscle. Or in my case, the random scratch.

I did get a funny story about getting out of her husband’s truck, realizing blood was streaming down her leg, and having zero notion of what happened. Only to go into the store and have a young salesman run to get her something to stop the bleeding. Which sounded nice, until he returned with a small piece of toilet paper you would use if you nicked yourself shaving.

Luckily my injury wasn’t anything that serious. While irritating for a number of reasons, a band-aid would fix that in a snap. Except I didn’t have any. Lucky for me then that this client has three small children, so help wasn’t far away. The only downside was she just had regular band-aids.

Apparently, they had just run out of the princess ones.