PARANOID HABIT BRINGS SMILES FROM KIDS
When I was a kid, I never enjoyed bandages. My mom was a nurse, and having seen far worse predicaments than a scraped knee or a tiny boo-boo, she didn’t often see the need to apply an adhesive bandage to me unless it was medically necessary. So whenever I wore one as a child, it was generally for a good reason—in the form of a seriously deep cut or scrape. With this upbringing, I’ve always associated bandages with very practical, medical purposes—as well as a fairly high level of pain.
One of my more paranoid habits (and perhaps a sign of my tendency towards being a hypochondriac) is to carry a couple Band-Aids in my wallet. I’m actually not much of a klutz, so I use them rarely. In order to avoid carrying around too much in my pockets, I get ones that don’t take up much room in my wallet, so bandage size and thickness are the main criteria I look for when resupplying my emergency bandage stash. With these very practical considerations, the best fit for my wallet (literally) is usually a brightly colored kind designed for kids. Yes, as a grown adult man, I carry around Band-Aids with cute Sesame Street characters on them. I’m not (very) ashamed to admit it.
And, it turns out, this investment made me a popular guy on the playground! Especially when I’m playing with my nieces and nephews. Inevitably, one of these little tykes will incur a minor injury. As an uncle who hates the cries and wails of small children, I’ve discovered my emergency bandages are a reliable cure. It’s amazing how fast a crying kid will stop sobbing when a fun cartoon Band-Aid magically appears in front of his eyes.
The unexpected bandage is partially a placebo for kids, but it also feels pretty empowering to become the favorite uncle with “magic bandages” that solve a wide variety of common kid bruises. While my own mother would probably never approve of using them for unnecessary purposes (as glorified skin stickers), I’m definitely not embarrassed about having Big Bird Band-Aids in my wallet anymore. In fact, I’m proud to carry them with me.