Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Morning, Grace!

By now I'm sure I sound like one of those disgustingly clumsy characters you read in a really bad fan fiction heroine. A "Mary-Sue" if you will. And believe me, it disgusts me as much as everyone else.

The truth is, I would love to be graceful and have some sort of equilibrium, but the chance of that happening at this point is nada. I try to do what I can to increase my balance including purchasing a "balance ball" and practicing yoga. But, I have yet to become more graceful. Or, you know, walk in grass while wearing flip flops without tripping.

My mother likes to joke that of her five children (yes, FIVE, the horror) I cost the most money. It's probably true. For a brief stint, the ER workers at the local hospital and I were on a first name basis. While entering a hospital, "You're back!" is never a good sign. At one point, I had my own pair of crutches, a splint for each wrist, and assorted knee and ankle wraps. I kept trying for a wheelchair (think of the pity possibilities!) but it never happened. Drat.

Even through college, my clumsiness followed me. At a house party my freshman year of college, I drunkenly decided it was time for another beer and attempted to leave the house to get a beer out of the cooler in my ride's truck. Out of fear of having his beer stolen, he had stashed it in a large igloo cooler in the bed. Very discreet. Instead of using the front door to make my beer run like a normal person, I decided to cut out the side kitchen door so I wouldn't have to stumble through the living room/dance floor. Unlike the front door with one step down, however, the kitchen door had two steps. I missed both of them. There was a pop in my right foot, and some cussing, and like a brave little soldier I limped on to the truck to get my beer. My ride was there and when I told him of my predicament, his advice was sage: "Keep drinking and you won't feel it." So I did.

The next morning, my foot had ballooned to roughly the size of a very large orange or a very small grapefruit, depending on which you prefer. According to my friends, it was obviously fractured. According to my "My mom can't know I drink beer" reasoning, I was not going to go the doctor. So, I limped for a few weeks and let it heal. Funky little ridge be damned.

I didn't count on getting hurt again that summer. While lugging a saddle out of the tack room, I managed to step just right so that my foot slipped into the tiny little space between the cinderblocks that served as the step up. I rolled my ankle. There was a pop in my left foot. And some cussing. My mother freaked out and promptly hauled me to the emergency room. Where I was greeted. By name.

While in the examining room, the doctor felt on my foot, and then turned to me.
"I need to feel the other foot, to feel for any differences."
You have got to be kidding me. So he felt. And felt. And felt some more just for good measure. After appropriate (and inappropriate) feeling up of my foot, he made his comment.
"It feels as if there is an old fracture here."
"Ha ha! Oh that!" I look at my mother who is giving me the You Are In Trouble Now look. "I was walking down to the barn and stepped on a rock and rolled my ankle! But I was fine! I didn't even know it fractured! Ha ha ha! Funny story, right?"
"...right," my mother replied.

On the bright side, my left foot wasn't fractured. Dodged a bullet on that one.

But the fact remains that I can't seem to shake the Clumsy Bug that has followed me my entire life. Even now, when I go home for a visit, after I roll out of bed and stub my toe in the morning my father still calls out his morning welcome to my swearing fit: "Good morning, Grace!"

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