Do you ever picture me in your mind as a graceful, poised individual? Please allow me to disabuse you of that notion.
A constellation of bruises typically dots my legs, battle scars from such heroic feats as emptying the garbage or watering the garden.
Although I’ve hit my head many times, my forehead has two main craters. The first was the unfortunate result of an ill-fated dance move, performed in the stairwell of the dormitory where I lived when I was teaching at a boarding school. In the midst of attempting to execute a herky – that classic cheerleading move beloved by our pal the Kitchen Witch – in celebration of having all of my charges safely tucked into their beds, I slipped on the apparently non-non-skid floor and banged my head on the lowest stair. My right temple swelled to the point where it looked like I was smuggling a baseball underneath my skin. The bad news is that I sustained this injury six weeks before my wedding; the good news is that, except for a significant dent that is still there today, I was not mistaken for a triceratops on my wedding day.
The next year I earned my second head dent at a Bruce Springsteen concert at an outdoor venue. Thinking I would outsmart my fellow concert-goers and avoid enormous lines, I snuck to the bathroom at the end of the last song before the encore. My plan went off without a hitch until my forehead collided with a drunken gentleman’s elbow while I was walking back to my seat. I ended up spending that encore in the medical tent, assuring the paramedic that I didn’t have a concussion despite Baseball II that was swelling up as I spoke.
My klutziness isn’t limited to physical injury, mind you.
All of my writer’s notebooks are warped from the water and Diet Coke I have spilled on them. Our oatmeal colored wall-to-wall carpeting is dotted with the vaguest traces of the coffee I have spilled on it too many times. A CSI technician would have a field day trying to carbon date the different splatter patterns.
Indeed, much of my klutziness involves food products. Last week I dribbled tomato sauce down a t-shirt I’d had since eighth grade, sent to me by my soon-to-be high school. Later that day, foiled by a tricky wrapper, I managed to splatter an entire carton of Greek yogurt down another shirt (leading me to conclude that healthy eating is for the birds; after all, I have never been assaulted by a chocolate chip cookie).
Yup. I am a klutz. A big one.
Who is the klutz in your family?