Clumsier Than The Average Bear

Given all my years of dance training, I tell myself that I am a graceful creature.

I am delusional.

When I was growing up, I would often trip and fall or walk into something (like a wall), and my father would often be there to say, "Klutz Attack!" This enraged me because it ignored the huge crack in the sidewalk or the table which happened to be in my way. Clearly, I thought, my pratfall was not my fault. It could happen to anyone, if that person had happened to be inhabiting the same area of space which I had been. Accidents happen to everyone.

But they don't, do they?

I once commented on my clumsiness to another woman in a ballet class and she said, "Most dancers are pretty clumsy in real life. You're so used to moving through empty space, you're not used to navigating around furniture." I am not sure I believe her about the relative offstage/out-of-class gracefulness of dancers, this is does lend some insight into my particular brand of pratfalls. I walk into walls, I tumble down stairs, I tumble up stairs, I catch my hip on the edge of the kitchen counter, once I even fell off a stage once (it was four feet off the ground, I bounced right back up and got onstage and didn't sustain any injuries). For some reason, I cannot navigate my body around objects. Also, if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that many injuries have occurred because I was doing something, like a cartwheel or high kick, without taking into account of the spatial dimensions around me. Inattention and distractedness can probably claim credit for more scar tissue on my body than anything else.

So, why am I telling you all this?

Oh, take a wild guess.

Last night, I was walking upstairs with a full glass of water in my hand and obviously was not thinking about what I was doing. I tripped forward. I smashed my left hand into the stair in front of me and my right hand, the one holding the glass, banged into a stair above my head. The glass shattered in my hand. Luckily, only three fingers were cut and there was only one which looked serious (yay for the butterfly closures). Obviously, I can still type. The fingers on the left hand ache, but what would I expect after they go crashing into a stair? And while I am in pain, I am also feeling inordinately proud of my ability to once again avoid serious injury. Yes, I am embarrassed by all my stumbling and bumbling, but I am enough of a drama queen to try to garner sympathy from all of you, as well as to brag about how much of a bad ass I am (oh, you figured this out about me when you read the bit above about me bouncing back after falling off a stage, you aren't surprised).

I worry, however, that my luck won't hold out forever. I also worry that Julian has inherited my tendency to crash into the ground at the velocity of the acceleration of gravity multiplied by time. One of these days, time is going to catch up with me, one way or another.


Judy said…
I'm a bit of a klutz myself, most of the time, unless I'm wearing heels and paying attention. My husband is amazed that I can walk perfectly in 6 inch heels, dance, whatever, but stub my toes on a daily basis and constantly have bruises that I don't remember getting.

I recently slammed my fingers in the garage door. And I once caught myself on fire making tea. (No injuries though.)

Glad there were no serious injuries. I'm sure Julian will get some of your good characteristics along with your klutziness.
cadiz12 said…
i always prided myself on not being clumsy until i realized that all that gymnastics as a kid only allowed me to be able to catch myself better.

but i'm definitely getting slow as i age; a few months ago, i tried to take the stairs too fast and landed with all my weight on the pinkie of my left hand. it hurt for so long, i'm thinking it was probably broken. and now it looks a little crooked.

i hope your fingers feel better soon.

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