I am clumsy. Not in a cute, Zooey Deschanel kind of way, but in an I-trip-over-anything-and-everything kind of way. Combine that with the fact that I bruise like a leukemia patient and you’ve got the makings of great comedy, which also happens to be my real life.
This predisposition towards self-injury and the resulting evidence is a great conversation starter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the pleasure of explaining that, no, that’s not a hickey or no, I am not a victim of domestic assault.
In fact, let me take a moment to make a statement on behalf of clumsy women everywhere: Sometimes (most times?), when a woman shows up with a black eye and claims to have walked into a door, she’s lying on behalf of her abuser. Other times, she actually walked into a door on her way back from a midnight bathroom break, startling her sleeping boyfriend and any other tenants in her apartment building who could hear the resounding thud through the tissue-thin walls. You’re going to need to do a little more research before you jump to any conclusions, is what I’m saying here.
I wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time I took dance classes and karate lessons and I don’t recall making a complete fool of myself, so I want to believe that coordinated movement was not always a complete impossibility for me. Of course, once the growth spurts began, all bets were off and a slightly-higher-than-normal curb became enough to kick off an entire episode of slapstick comedy. Contrary to the promises of my childhood doctor, I did not outgrow this clumsiness and I no longer expect to. On the other hand – although my prayers for grace and poise have gone unanswered – it would seem that I’ve been blessed with a super-human ability to laugh at myself. This is why, when the aforementioned ridiculously high curb left me sprawled on a sidewalk during rush-hour, I was able to dust myself off and laugh about it. Me and every other person in the vicinity.
On the journey towards acceptance of my uncoordinated self, I also happened to stumble onto a guy who doesn’t find my clumsiness pathetic. Mildly amusing, maybe, but not pathetic. This is the kind of guy who – after watching his girlfriend spill an order of fries all over the restaurant floor after waiting an hour for them to arrive – doesn’t ask how a human being could possibly be that spastic. Even if he really wants to. He also happens to be the kind of guy who – when I somehow stumbled and nearly fell onto a parked car during our third date – caught me and made a cute little joke about how I was falling for him.