Friday, June 20, 2008

Just Call Me Slip N' Slide

Last weekend Hubby and I went canoing, and as I lay in the bottom of the canoe with my feet in the air listening to my husband's hysterical laughter and wondering how it was possible for one to fall backwards off one's seat in a canoe while reaching for a paddle, I realized that I have had a problem with equilibrium my whole life. When I think of my most embarrassing moments, they all involve me ending up face (or bum) down on some sort of painfully hard surface.

Like the time Hubby and I and a relative went out for dinner, and passed a portion of sidewalk that was raised as we were walking back to the car which I, of course, tripped over. I managed to stay upright for several more steps, and, for a moment, everyone (including me) thought I would recover, but alas, I had already passed the vertical point of no return, and after stumbling along for those few steps, gravity finally won out and down I went, face first. But unfortunately my misery was not to end there. You see, as I stumbled along in an attempt to recover my balance, I had somehow picked up momentum, so when I did go down, the leftover force resulted in me slip n' sliding on my belly along the pavement until I finally came to a screeching halt.

There I was, sprawled out on the sidewalk of a major street in downtown Minneapolis, looking like a baseball player who has just slid into home plate. And, unfortunately, I had not been able to finish my dinner, so the portion I had boxed up to take home was now strewn all over the sidewalk and me, much to the amusement of Hubby and Relative...and if memory serves correctly, some bystanders.

Then there was the time in high school when I demonstrated just why, exactly, one should be most careful when traversing the area immediately surrounding a pool. I was cursed blessed to have first period PE my freshman year, and to be in the class that was the last to enjoy use of our high school pool before it cracked and had to be drained and vacated for several years until the district coughed up money to fix it. Yes, because the stupid pool didn't have the decency to get all old and decrepit and start showing some cracks a few measly months earlier, thereby releasing me from the horror known as swimming in one's high school physical education class, I actually had to participate in this asinine activity.

Folks, I made it not one day without making a fool of myself.

I did manage to get through the actual swimming portion of the class without incident. It was when I attempted to exit the pool that disaster struck.

I was one of the last people out of the pool, so the area immediately around the ladder just outside of the pool was soaked with water. (Can you guess where this is going?) I managed to get both feet out of the pool and stand in an upright position just long enough so that everyone within eyesight could notice that I was, indeed, standing, before I somehow lost my balance, slipped, and fell square on my bum. The best part? My high school crush was probably about three feet away. I think this was the only time during high school that it even registered to him that I existed.

I had to attend make-up PE sessions for awhile that year because I refused to get back in the pool after that experience, but it was worth it.

You would think I would have learned my lesson about being careful around pools, etc., but no. A few weeks ago I was in the shower getting ready for work when out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving across the outside of the shower door. It was, of course, another eight-legged. Now our bathroom only has a standing shower, and it's one of those corner units with clear fake glass doors that go from floor to ceiling, and it's maybe 2 feet X 2 feet. Even though the spider was on the outside of the shower, I could not risk it coming into the shower while I was still bathing. I turned off the water and tried to exit the shower as gently as one possibly can when covered in soap suds and shampoo so that the Big Nasty would not be disturbed and subsequently tempted to move from where it had settled, making it that much harder for me to terminate it. I grabbed about half a roll of toilet paper, wadded it up (I have been forbidden from my preferred method of Dixie Cups for spider removal), smooshed it, and flushed its remains. Feeling quite proud that I managed to work up the nerve to kill the eight-legged in under 10 minutes (seriously--it takes me awhile), and that I managed to kill it on the first attempt and did not have to wonder about its whereabouts, as they were obviously in the wad of toilet paper, I resumed my bathing.

I think, however, that I had internalized some trauma from the experience of having to make close contact with a spider, because a few minutes after that, I saw something else out of the corner of my eye (which turned out, I think, to be a drop of water, but I didn't know that at the time), except this time it was on the shower wand, which was not only inside the shower, but In. My. Hand.

I screamed and dropped the shower wand, but in my panic, I forgot that I was a) soapy and b) standing in a shower with running water and that the combination of these two factors produces c) slippery conditions. My right foot slipped out from under me, and I did not have enough weight on my left foot to remain upright. I fell backwards against the door of the shower and slid all the way down, coming to a rest in a crumpled up ball at the bottom of the shower.

So there you have it. Some of my not-so-proud moments. Want to share any of yours?


Queen Goob said...

Okay, your shower/spider story reminded me of an experience quite similar.

As you know I have a real fear of cockroaches, or down here, palmetto bugs. I was around 16 years old and living in South Florida at the time. I had just gotten home from my job at the theatre; as I smelled of popcorn and had a half-inch coating of butter-flavored lard all over my body, I thought it best to take a quick shower before turning in for the night. We too, had a shower stall in the bathroom my sister and I shared. This bathroom was also at the far end and back of the house. As I lifted my face to put my shampoo covered head under the water, I happened to glance up and see a three to four inch long monster crawling down the wall toward me. I simultaneously Scooby-doo’d it out if the shower while screaming as if I were being slaughter by Hannibal Lechter. My father, the Reverend (an extremely passive man) came running pell-mell and hollering that he was coming to kick ass and take names at whoever was in the house attacking his daughter. When he came to a skidding halt demanding to know what the hell was going on, I sobbed and pointed at the beast that was bearing down upon my quaking and frightened soul. When he saw that it was a bug he had the NERVE to look me dead in the eye, say not one word, turn around, and LEAVE IT THERE!

I had to have my mom turn the water off because I wouldn’t go back in there, traipse across the house to another bathroom and resume my bathing elsewhere.

Carolee said...

You crack me up!! I am sure I have several stories of this kind but I just woke up and my brain is not funcioning.

I didnt know you had a high school crush. I am now curious as to who it is. Please share!!

Colleen said...

Wow, first period PE with swimming - that stinks! I hated swimming! I got to use my 3 day girlie excuse and I got a cold so I convinced my doctor to write a note excusing me from PE. He made it sound official by calling my cold an "upper respiratory infection." So I only had to swim for a couple days. He-he-he.

I did fall on the ice/snow when I was in college. One time a whole jeep full of guys noticed me slip down a little hill into a parking lot. That was pretty humiliating!

Laura said...

OMG! You poor thing in downtown Minneapolis. I wanted to cry for you. :(

Okay...I second Carolee's motion - WHO WAS YOUR CRUSH?????

Queen Goob said...

.....don't be mad - I tagged you in my blog.

Love ya!
Mean it!

Mrs. R said...

Queen: Oh, that was horrible of your father to leave it there!

Why must bugs torment us in the shower?

No worries about the tag--I was actually trying to come up with something to blog about, so you saved me the hassle.

Laura & Carolee: I'm not ready to publish that information online. Remind me the next time we're speaking in person, and I'll let you know.

Colleen: Ooohhh, I HATE snow/ice. I don't know how many times I've slipped here on a frozen surface that I didn't realize was frozen. I wouldn't feel too bad--it's almost par for the course in cold climates.

Bonnie the Boss said...

I came over from Queen Goob. She tagged me as well. I just wanted to let you know I understand the whole falling thing. Generally when I fall I plant my big ole' backside in a puddle. Then have to make my way with some dignity away from the scene. Not fun!!
I did enjoy the post though. Great writing.

Mrs. R said...

Bonnie: I have yet to master how to project dignity after taking a tumble. I usually opt instead for hysterical laughter and hope people will either assume I have a great sense of humor or am crazy, in which case the fall won't matter as much...