A History of Falling Down

Inspiration comes from the most interesting of sources. In this case, it came from an early morning incident back in 2007 in which I tried to rearrange my face.

I woke up at 5 a.m. having to use the restroom. In the house I lived in at the time, we NEVER closed the bathroom door unless someone was inside making a deposit at the First Porcelain Bank.

Knowing the door was open, whenever I would wake up and have to use the facilities, I would  leave my sleep mask covering my eyes, shuffle out of my room directly across the hall into the bathroom, do my business and walk back to bed.

I was all set to do just that on that fateful morning…until I walked face first into the bathroom door, nearly breaking my nose. Apparently, Allen didn’t realize that Mom and I didn’t close the door, and though I had been contemplating have my deviated septum surgically fixed, I didn’t mean that morning by my own hand!

I was sure that my face coming into such close quarters with the door woke the whole house, but that was usually par for the course for anyone who lived in the same quarters as me.

Laying in bed afterward, my pride only slightly wounded, I began thinking of how I have a major falling story for nearly every single year of my life. You know I’m accident prone, but did you ever realize that I could be that bad?

Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest Condensed version:

Age 5

My brother and I get into a fight, and I, for whatever reason, kick him in the stomach. Pissed off at being attacked in such a brutal fashion, he kicks me back…while wearing cowboy boots. I pass out from lack of breathing. One problem though: I was walking when I passed out, and I continued to walk across the lawn until I tripped over a decorative brick in our yard.

I fell on my face and proceeded to tear open my chin, causing me to have a chunk of my chin muscle removed and stitches inserted in my chin. (The kicker of that was that, immediately after I got the stitches, my mom bought me a hot dog, which I had to turn to mush just to fit inside my mouth.)

Age 8

The day before our Sports Day at school, I was riding my bike to my great-grandmother’s house. I came down this big hill to a four-way stop, and it was as I sped down the hill at more than 20 miles an hour I realized that the brakes on my bike were toast.

At the four-way ahead of me, cars were stopped, waiting for their turn to go. There was no way I could stop, and I didn’t dare speed into the intersection to die at the front end of whichever car hit me. So what did I do? ABANDON SHIP! Yup, I jumped off the bike and ended up gashing open my leg.

To this day, when I tan, you can see this massive circular scar on my left shin. Lovely.

Age 9

During a visit to Puddle Jumper Days, our local festival (yes, that is the real name), I had an opportunity to climb inside my first Humvee. As I went to climb out the back, I smacked my head on the top of the door, causing me to tumble out onto the pavement. I’m fairly certain that if I were to ever shave my head you could see where I had my run-in with a Hummer.

Age 10

This is one of my brighter moments. Having just taught myself how to do a handspring, I decided to show my friend during a visit to her house. We hadn’t even been there five minutes, and I just ran and jumped. As my arms hit the ground, I found the one hole in the entire yard. I fell to my left, and when I hit the ground, I could no longer feel my left arm.

Petrified that I had somehow managed to rip off my arm, I didn’t want to look, but I knew that I had to. So I turn, and instead of seeing no arm at all, I see my arm taking a 90-degree u-turn about four inches below my elbow.

Yup, broke my arm in less than five minutes doing a handspring. To make matters worse, my mom tried to reset it on the drive to the hospital. Then, when we get to the ER, we must have found the only blind nurse in the place, because even though I’ve got a clearly broken arm (since when do we have joints mid-forearm??), she asked why we were at the hospital. Being the ever-faithful smart ass that I am, I plopped my arm on the desk and was like, “I don’t know.”

Age 15

You can call me Ms. Genius with this one.

Standing atop the largest hill in Oak Grove, wearing my roller blades, I decided on a little physics test.  I wanted to see how fast a normal person could travel on roller blades without having to push off at the start. So, I just started rolling.

About the time I hit 30 miles an hour, I realize I have two options: Die a brilliant and bloody death at the bottom of the hill, making myself a martyr in the name of science OR find some flipping way to stop myself without grievous bodily harm.

So what do I do? Scream like a little bitty girl.

Mom heard my cries, which I’m sure sounding more like the nearing wail of an every emergency vehicle in the great Kansas City region, and rushed into the streets to find me barreling in her direction. She knows of my two options and would also like to save me from dying for science. She steps in front of the magic blur that is me and proceeds to stop me…sort of. She proceeds in slowing me down as we begin tumbling down the hill. Finally, we stop, and I’m amazingly unscathed. Mom, however, probably should not have shrugged off visiting the doctor to bandage her many wounds.

Age 17

It’s Senior Night, a few nights before graduation, when the kids got all dressed up in their prom dresses and suits and the school recognizes all the students for their achievements, scholarships and all sorts of whatnot. I’m called up to the stage for something (come on, I’ve slept since then), and as I step onto the stage, in front of my classmates and their families, my shoe flies off and I stumble nearly falling. Come on, you have to go out in style.

Age 18

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I’ve just lost my job. I’m depressed and decide to seek solace by feeding Bandit, our wubbable black Lab. As I stepped off the porch and onto the sidewalk, things made my day go from pretty damn bad to flippin’ awful. I somehow manage to fall off the sidewalk, tearing EVERY SINGLE tendon in my poor ankle. Yup, I’m that good.

Age 20

Had a little run-in with a treadmill.

My friend and I went to the gym at our university to work out our school stress. I plugged in my Discman (it feels so weird typing that), turned up the treadmill and started running. I thought listening to Backstreet Boys was a great idea, but in retrospect, it was not, and not just because the band was a boy band.

I started dancing to “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”, just the hand movements. But then I got a little too into the song.

As my feet started dancing, my foot stepped off the treadmill. I shot off that machine like a broken rubberband and landed across the room, doing the splits on the floor.

The entire football team, who just happened to be practicing behind us, laughed so hard.

Age 21

I had just started at UTSA, and Suzie and I were walking down from the second floor of the University Center. I had on these really cute, but really high heels, and wouldn’t you know it, my heel caught on the step. I fell down an entire flight of stairs in front of EVERYONE. Luckily, I only scraped up my right shin and slightly bruised my entire body.

Age 22

This is one of THE best stories. Suzie and I were hosting our first-ever Ladies Lunch Out events, and we went rushing out of our judicial meeting. As we ran across the lobby at Chisholm Hall, I stubbed the toe of my sandal and slid face-first across the carpet. As I stopped, I realized my skirt was up over my head, showing off my tightie-whities to EVERYONE in the office. Seriously, who wouldn’t laugh after flashing an entire office?

Age 24

I’m back in Missouri, stuck with my mom and her boyfriend. In the garage, which the laundry room was in, Mom’s boyfriend and his friends were hanging out pretending to work on the clutch of my car. I walked down the stairs with my laundry, when all of a sudden, my legs flew out from underneath me.

I wouldn’t have minded so much, as I’ve slid butt-first down many a flight of stairs, but suddenly it began raining Mindy’s undies. Bras and panties were everywhere. Fortunately, Mom saved my embarrassment by rushing over, telling me to go upstairs and lie down while she finished my laundry. I should do that more often to get out of household chores!

Age 26

Yet another case of when laundry attacks. Mom and I were in a different house that had the world’s most dangerous basement steps. Not only were they incredibly steep with incredibly narrow steps, but they were covered in the plastic floor covering you tend to see lurking underneath desks in offices.

Walking down those treacherous stairs in my socks was probably the dumbest part of the equation, as it all but turned that floor covering into a skating rink. I slid down those stairs hard, leaving my body purple afterward.

Age 27

Mom and I had received our new trash container from the company that hauled our garbage away. At about 9 p.m., she asked me to bring it up alongside the house. Of course, I complied, because I needed to stretch my legs…and you can’t tell my mother no unless you have a death wish. I put on my flip-flops and headed outside.

I pulled the container up to the door, not fully paying attention to the path I was taking. And so it is only fitting I fell into the black bog of stinkiness the decorative pond in front of the house.

My foot stepped behind me, and it just kept going and going. I thought a black hole had suddenly opened up in front of the house – that or that one of my nieces had successfully dug a hole to China. I kept falling backward until I realized that my foot was now soaking wet and covered in a goo that was once water and leaves.

The sad part about falling into the pond was that my uncle had done it three times in the week preceding my fall into it. I laughed so hard at him. Thank you, Karma.

Age 28

You know you’re going to have an awesome day when you fall face-first out of bed.

At the bright and early time of 5:20 a.m., when NPR began spewing forth from my alarm, I shot up on one arm and reached over to turn it off. I seriously misjudged the angle at which I needed to lean, and the next thing I know, I fell face-first onto the floor. My alarm clock shot off my nightstand, as did the remote to my TV, DVD player and my iPod radio. Somehow, on the way down, I managed to jam my wrist, and I smashed my left shoulder against the table. My knee whacked the floor rather hard. Poor Nevaeh shot out of the room, thinking I was going to squish her (smart kitty!).

So far, 30 has been kind. But it’s only a matter of time. My balance giving out is like a ticking time bomb laying in wait. It will happen, and until then, I can’t wait for my next trip.

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