I’ll tumble for ya
Many longtime readers of this column may already know that I am a klutz. I don’t like to admit it. Saying “I’m a klutz” out loud gives it power. I like to say, “I’m becoming more graceful,” but my friends just laugh at me when I try that line.
I fall down a lot.
Recently, I attended a party at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Phipps was hosting their monthly Party in the Tropics. It was a Friday evening event, with finger foods and alcohol. It was a lot of fun because they had a DJ and dancing, and you could walk around the grounds.
I had only one drink when we decided to walk around. Let me make this clear: I was sober. My friend Chris, a nurse and volunteer at Phipps, took me and some other friends on a tour of the gardens. It was a few weeks before Romero, the stinky corpse flower, bloomed.
Somewhere in the butterfly room I fell off the path and into the dark, dense forest. I crushed a bromeliad. Chris cried out, “The plant!” I yelled out, “I’m fine.” Then, after a long silence, I added, “by the way.”
He and some other friends helped me out of the jungle. I had skinned my knee, but my ego was bruised more than my leg. It’s pretty embarrassing to fall in public, but I’m getting used to it. My friend, the nurse, was more upset about the plants than me. It might be because they were of the expensive, hard-to-grow variety. Thank goodness I didn’t fall on Romero, the Amorphophallus titanum. (P.S. Don’t tell Phipps I crushed a jungle plant.)
Recently, I went to the beach. I was at a bar with some friends. This time, we can blame it on a mixed drink, a shot and two glasses of wine with dinner. It was the beach, and the bar was near our hotel, so I didn’t have to drive. Anyway, I tripped on a step and tried to catch myself by bracing myself against the exit door It swung open, and I tumbled outside into the alley.
I went back to check on my friends to tell them “I’m fine,” again (before actually assessing any injuries). My friends were on the floor laughing. They couldn’t talk. It was a little disheartening that they didn’t ask how I was. I guess they’re used to me stumbling about, and they looked like they were in dire need of oxygen.
I don’t know why I yell out, “I’m fine!” before I do the self body check. It’s the same when someone calls me and wakes me from a nap.
“Were you sleeping?”
“No. I’m up,” I said, even if I wasn’t. If the phone rings at 3 a.m., I’m going to lie.
I have injured myself a few times, nothing serious. Knock on wood. I think I’ve fallen a few times because I am not paying attention or I think I’m more graceful than I really am.
I’m convinced that my last words are going to be “I’m fine!” Maybe they’ll write it on my tombstone. Send flowers (they’ll be a lot safer once I’m gone).