- Sunday Poser: What Embarrasses You?
- Friendly Friday: Hands and Feet
- Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays: Balance
Falls – My Most Embarrassing Moment
Sadje asks pertinent questions and even though I’ve told this story to some, it bears repeating because embarrassing to me can be funny to others. Right?
In the late 1960s our mother worked in Lloyd Center, the largest mall in the Northwest at that time. We often went to work with her where there was more to do than at our house. Our favorite recreation at the mall was ice skating.
Lloyd Center still has a large ice rink at the center of the mall surrounded by shops and the largest department store in the city on the top floor. A railing prevented people from hurling themselves from the top level onto the rink and getting a free skating session. Shoppers stood around the perimeter of the high railing and watched the skaters whirling around below. On the lower level, where the skating rink was, people sat in the upscale restaurant that lined the rink for better viewing.
Like we did about most things, my brother, Randy and I competed over everything, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who was fastest, who could eat the most French Fries on the shared plate. You might know the scenarios.
The weirdest thing had happened to Randy that year. When we moved to Portland, at 15 I stood a proud 5 feet 4.5 inches tall. Randy topped out at 5 feet 3 inches. (ha ha) The way younger brothers are supposed to be. He started growing when he turned 14 or 15. He stopped one year later at 6 feet 3 inches tall. I didn’t make the adjustment immediately, I was still older and bigger in my mind.
On this particular night I prepared hurriedly, pinned my hair up, and hastily threw on a frosted gray, page boy wig which, for some STRANGE reason, must have been popular at the time. No make-up and I was ready to go. Mom didn’t want to be late to work!
We got out on the ice and I challenged him to a race. We were neck in neck all the way through the first corner. Then he put his giant legs in gear and with one easy stride glided past me. As I crossed my legs around the last stretch of the corner for just one more great push, part of my skate stayed cemented in the ice. Just one little prickly pointy part of my skate refused to budge, and the rest of the skate decided to stay with it.
Randy gracefully rounded the next corner before he noticed that his spunky sister was MIA.
He was the only one who didn’t see it, however. The floor guard instantly sped to my aid, spraying ice chips in my red face as he turned to make the rapid stop to help me up. “Are you OK?” he asked politely.
Of course I was OK. I was mad and my wig was out of my reach. I ignored his outstretched hand to use both of mine to crawl invisibly over to my wig and get it on as fast as possible. Which I did. Even so, I could still see the guard bent over double laughing after he was sure I was all right.
My hair pinned back, I threw on my wig, jumped up and skated for the bathroom trying to get the hair out of my face.
The bathroom – at last – I looked in the mirror. My wig was on backwards. I never wanted to go out again. I took it off and threw it in a locker. I sat for a few minutes debating about what to do. Mom would get off work at 9:00. It was only minutes after 6:00. The night was young. I proceeded to unload my hair of bobby pins. Style was a moot point. Fine hair blows around anyway.
Fast Forward a Few Years
All my life I have been a faller, and it’s always been a joke in the family. Branches and rocks on the bike path caught in my inline skates causing me to fall on my face. fell in a parking lot three times, on a college campus in a puddle, going up stairs in high school, and those are just the memorable times when people saw, or might have seen me.
However, there were times in the last ten years it’s been funny because I wasn’t seriously hurt, but not a joke. I tripped on a landscape rock while running to take pictures of the night time Christmas Parade. An uneven sidewalk tripped me as I struggled with a purse in one hand and a glass of water in the other. I tripped on our own porch stair carrying an armful of something. Walking alone, texting I tripped on a rock and fell in the middle of a country road.
Fortunately I always fall forward on my face, except when I’m sitting with my feet in the sink.
Tips to Avoid Falling at All Costs
Older people simply SHOULD NOT FALL. Since I have not fallen in a couple of years, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. LOL (This is outdated, obviously.) My last fall where I bounced my head against the cement sidewalk was July 23.
- Wear good shoes if you fall a lot. Avoid heels, straps, flip flops and anything with slippery soles. I wear a stability shoe which looks like a running shoe but keeps your foot more stable.
- Don’t carry anything between your eyes and your feet. If you can’t see your feet, you could be in trouble. (And don’t look admire the scenery as you’re talking with your friends and walking.)
- Be mindful. I am learning what this means, and I haven’t always been mindful. My right foot doesn’t come up as far as I think it does. I know that now, so when I go up steps, I am mindful of what my right foot is doing. (Put your heel down first.)
- Don’t walk and do other things at the same time – focus. If you are not going to practice mindfulness, then leave your phone in your pocket and camera behind. I’ve broken two cameras and one phone falling.
- Use walking sticks (or a cane I dread the day) I don’t use either, but I am holding on to my husband more on trails if I feel nervous about stepping up or down on uneven or slippery slopes.
Do you have a moment in time where you wished you could disappear forever? I shared ONE of my many embarrassing moments. Now fair is fair. It’s your turn!
- Two shoes, two different colors to an interview?
- Something broke?
- You fell off when you were standing on the table? (I did that, too in a school cafeteria after school.)
- You were onstage when…