Me

Graceful Butterfly, Awkward Wings

I ran into an elevator door today. No distractions, no particular reason. Just ran into it. That’s my life. I know I’m not alone. I’ve seen others in the same tipping boat.

Any other clumsy people out there? Please raise your hand. I see two? Oh, there’s another one in the back. Watch out for that sign, Sir. Socially awkward situation people, you too. Fallers, trippers, droppers, spillers, nose-drink sprayers, hesitant crowd speakers. Be careful, we don’t want to knock over any coffee or accidentally smack a fellow reader or whatnot. I’m cautiously raising my hand with you. Be assured we’re all in this together.

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I wonder if I’ve always been this way? My first socially awkward memory is from first grade. I sat next to this boy in class. I was never sure what his mom fed him each night, but the kid could produce room-clearing pollution at least 20 times a day. I do hope he’s ok now and his issue has since been resolved.

I’ve always been one to blush easily. (Yes, this part is vital to the stinky part of the story.) My cheeks turn bright red over everything. I forget what it’s called, but it’s a thing. If I’m mad, red. Embarrassed, red. Just because my face hates me, red. It gets worse when someone comments on it. I guess you can imagine what’s next. Each time that kid released his silent rotten egg surprise, I turned bright red. Anyone within nose shot could take one look and I’m instantly the guilty one. I can only imagine what they called me; The Phantom Farter, The Ghost Gasser, The Red-Face Releaser. I was always innocent, but I’m assuming this is when it all started.

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That was definitely an awkward situation. Then there’s the clumsiness. I’ve tripped up stairs in high school, I’ve fallen down outside stairs in college, throwing a giant art portfolio into the air as I slowly rolled down the step and across the sidewalk. (That was in the first week.) I’ve run into countless tables and cabinets. Those are usually due to my hip size denial disorder. There’s honestly too many to name, but these things, they happen frequently.

If I am extra careful and aware, my clumsiness kicks into overdrive. Like when I was in the food line at a baby shower. Everyone else filled their plates without incident. My turn, I’m anxiously waiting to see what my hands have in store this time. I grab the tongs, go in for the fruit. First piece up, a grape with flawless performance. Then I drop not one, but three pieces of cantaloupe.

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Three, right in a row. Who uses tongs anyway? It’s stupid. Also, it wasn’t just a drop. It was more like they shot two feet across the table. Slippery little suckers. (Who can name that movie?) People actually stopped talking to witness the spectacle. How do you even begin to recover from such embarrassment, you ask? Well, I got a sugar cookie a few moments later, took a big bite and watched in horror as it exploded into powder crumbs all over my red cheeks and mouth. That’s how.

Speaking of things on faces. People will have food in their teeth or marker on their forehead or lipstick smudged to their chin or dried oatmeal stuck to their rear (don’t ask) at some point in life. It’s inevitable. I cannot stress this enough. JUST TELL THEM. They will love you more for telling them than finding out two hours later. I promise they’ll remember you forever for keeping it to yourself.

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My kids call broccoli little trees. How could anyone allow a person to go through their day with a tree in their teeth? It’s just rude. Simply point to the problem tooth and say, “Girl, you’ve got a heinous tree situation going on.” Problem solved.

There was a time I felt like it only happened to me. I couldn’t understand why 20 other people could pour a drink from a pitcher without a drop on the table, yet when I do it, the lid bursts off spilling liquid everywhere. Why?

Instead of questioning it, I now embrace it. How boring would life be without people like us? Instead of being embarrassed or angry, I laugh and go on. Fellow graceful butterflies with awkward wings, let’s keep on falling, breaking, tripping and spilling. We’re all making the world a little brighter and funnier one spinach-tooth smile at a time!

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