Yesterday, I fell in a giant slushy puddle on a corner street–right in the middle of NYC, during lunch hour. It shocked me. Plus, did I mention I’m a germaphobe? My entire backside was a soggy mess with god-knows-what kind of viruses/parasites/bar-vomit coating my running pants. I felt like Lucille Ball. A nice man stopped to help me up, asking me if I was okay (this doesn’t always happen in the city). I thanked him then proceeded to the gym. Minutes later, I was running like a gazelle on the treadmill, ignoring that I’d pulled everything in my left leg. Several hours later, the pain hit big-time and this morning, since I couldn’t move so well and felt very ungraceful, I decided to wear jeans to the office. I know, CRIMINAL.
I’ve always identified with the clumsy heroine in romance novels and rom-com movies, though resent the cliché, too. It’s an obvious ploy to show vulnerability. Plus, there’s that secret funniness in a ridiculous fall (awful, though, when injury happens). The truth is that some of us can’t get through a ballet or yoga class without toppling over ourselves. I don’t knock over lamps, and I usually don’t fall the way I did yesterday*. I don’t round the corner and drop all my files, but I easily bump into furniture, walk into people and almost slip down stairs. I like to blame genetics for my clumsiness instead of the fact that I need to slow down. Now that I’ve had this NYC moment–my first in eons–I’ll be taking my time.
*Except for my one glamorous fall down the stairs in Paris on the way to the airport–on the day Charles married Diana. The efficient French hospital patched me up in time to catch my flight. There is a scar.