For all of my life I have had a problem getting out of my own way. I am clumsy to the point where I have eschewed all embarrassment because to allow it would mean that I would be in a constant state of it. Luckily, I have managed to keep my bone breakage to a minimum outside of about 7 or 8 broken toes. Not all at once mind you. I am a serial toe breaker. And I can sprain an ankle like nobodies business.
I have what people commonly refer to as "weak ankles". All of a sudden my ankle refuses support and it turns. It's almost like my foot and my ankle have these brief separations where the ankle tells the foot "I hate you. My mother was right about you all along. I'm leaving!" Only to turn around and come back to the big lug right away.
The problem is exacerbated by uneven surfaces - cracked pavement, curbs, rocks and pebbles in the street, transition from pavement to grass. All of those things have all done me in at one time or another. Picture this - I am in Manhattan walking across the heart of Times Square. It is crowded, all bodies and madness. I have my bag on my shoulder and my cell phone in my hand, about to make a call. The light turns green and the MASS of humanity starts to traverse the wide intersection. Around midway through, I step on a rogue pebble, about the size of a lima bean and DOWN GOES DG! DOWN GOES DG! My cell phone skitters into the intersection like a hockey puck across the ice and the entire contents of my bag are splayed across the walkway for random feet to trample with glee and abandon. The only saving grace of that situation was that I wasn't wearing a skirt.
Then there was the time that I was talking to a new coworker about the shitstorm of crazy that she had gotten herself into by taking a job with us. I pulled her outside so that we could talk in privacy while she grabbed a smoke. We were the same height, so we were talking face to face and very intensely about her new boss. Suddenly I was no longer looking her in the eye, but looking her in the nose. My right ankle decided it was quitting time and just went out. I was standing stock still, but her shift was over, so tough luck lady.
But my worst ankle disaster happened in front of the food store. I was walking out with a bag of groceries that were piled high. I could barely see past the oranges that were crowning over the top of the bag. I stepped off the curb expecting it to be the same height as the curb that I could see to the left and right of me, but I was actually stepping off at a storm drain, which was a good 8 inches deeper than the curb and I went over, hard. Oranges rolled all over the parking lot as I laid there for a second uncertain of what had just happened to me. A nice man came over and helped me up. This time was different though, I really could not walk on my ankle at all. The nice man helped me back to my car and I headed off to the doctor the next morning. I had managed to tear the ligaments of the ankle just shy of needing surgery (thank you). Instead, I hobbled around in the snow in a blow-up cast for a couple of weeks.
Yeah, I'm a klutz to be sure. Add to the weak ankles the fact that I can't pilot a shopping cart without bashing into things, open a cabinet without smashing my noggin on it or slice a cucumber without taking a hunk off an unsuspecting finger and you've got the delicious stew of clumsiness that is my life. And I have an army of family and friends that get tremendous entertainment value out of my misfortunes. Who am I to rob them of a good time? Oooh, look is that an exposed wire? Wonder what will happen if I . . . pffffffftt.
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