Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Have a Nice Trip, See You Next Fall

Much like Susan on Desperate Housewives, I am a total klutz. I'm getting the feeling that Marc Cherry wants us to think this is cute, but it really isn't. Not in her case, and certainly not in mine. I'm always tripping on things, running into walls, stumbling on sidewalks, walking into poles and worst of all, tripping on my own damn self. A few times I've nearly fallen over while just standing there. It's nothing short of a miracle that not only have I never broken anything or had a concussion, but that I'm even alive.

My earliest memory of klutzdom was when I was 5 years old. For reasons unknown to me, I asked my friend and neighbor to push me. She protested a little, but I insisted. C'mon! Just a little push. I think I was trying to prove some kind of point, perhaps that I was not easily knocked over? That I was stout and hardy? I don't know. But she gave in and halfheartedly nudged me, yet I immediately lost control of myself as though she had driven her car into me and my eye connected with a faucet sticking out from the side of our other neighbor's house. Blood was everywhere. I ran home, where my mom promptly freaked out and took me to the emergency room. My eyeball was fine, but the skin just below my right eyebrow had a little gash. The scar is very faint, but it's still there.

When I was a toddler, I tripped on a vacuum cord and smacked the corner of my left eye on my parents' water bed. It left an indentation that now appears as a dimple when I smile. For a few years as a teenager, I wished I had real dimples and considered re-creating the accident twice, once for each side.

In April 1981, the day before my dad and stepmom's wedding in which I was to be co-flower girl, my grandfather, stepbrother and I went to the park around the corner from our house. After a little while, I decided to head home. "Bye, Grandpa!" I shouted. Then, for no good reason, I fell flat on my face. I completely shredded my nose. It's amazing how I can be somewhere where the opportunities for accidents is so ripe, yet I create one entirely on my own. I don't need a slide or a swingset for disaster! Sure, everyone was a little concerned about my injury, but the more pressing issue was: we don't really need her in the wedding pictures, right? Can we find a stand-in? My nose had scabbed over by the next morning, and my grandmother broke out the thick foundation and caked it on until I looked like I bled Max Factor. In the pictures, it looks like I raided my mother's makeup drawer.

A few years ago, while walking Nabby with the Mr., I tripped on a curb, took about three steps to try and unsuccessfully regain my balance, and my knees took the hit when I reached the ground. I limped back to the house to clean the wounds, where it turns out they were worse than the average scrape. It also hurt like an m-effer. I went to the drugstore to get Neosporin, dressing, tape and basically anything else that would make it seem like I was buying first-aid for a life-threatening wound. For a few weeks, I had to deal with my hideous knees oozing and bleeding and sticking to the dressing and just generally hurting like hell. Finally, I went to the doctor, who gave me some powerful antibiotic. My knees healed up at the end of the weeklong treatment. Oh, but the scars.

When you're around me? It's a good idea to just keep a good 10 feet of clearance at all times.