I am a constant almost-faller. As in, I almost-fall quite often, several times a day. I easily trip over random items, over my own feet, over other peoples’ feet, and sometimes over nothing at all. It makes me laugh when I’m with someone new and I almost-fall, and they are so concerned, “Are you okay?” I’m fine! This happens all the time! It’s just who I am, an almost-faller!
But a couple days ago, I actually fell. This happens every couple years. The actual falling. It was a rainy day and I was carrying a heavy and large new computer monitor down some wet concrete stairs on base, and at the bottom of the steps, I miscalculated how many steps I had left. And I fell right into a gigantic puddle, absolutely drenching myself and hurling the brand new monitor into the puddle with me (it’s fine–I’m staring at it right now.) Now if there’s ever a time to see what’s really in a person’s heart, it’s when something like this happens to them, which is why, upon reflection, I am concerned upon my response. First of all, I uttered “Crap! Crap! Crap!” about 10 times really fast (yes, that really is my dirtiest dirty word.) Not so ladylike. But then there were about 5 people who tried to help me up, tried to pick up the monitor for me, asked me if I was okay, etc., and here’s where I screwed up. I wouldn’t let anyone help me! In fact, I didn’t even make eye contact with them, and felt a bit agitated at their “Are you okay?”s. Just pretend you didn’t see that! That would make me feel better. There was a guy who just insisted on helping me with the monitor, and I begrudgingly let him (only because I seemed to have sprained both my ankles and my pants were soaking wet), and he kindly put the monitor in the back of my van. But I couldn’t tell you what he looked like for $100 because I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even look the guy in the eye when I muttered my red-faced, “Thank you.”
So because I think about myself entirely too much apparently, I’ve been thinking about what all that says about me, about whether I respond this way anytime I fall. (Like the other kinds of falling, the kind that happens a whole lot more than bi-annually.) Do I try to pretend it didn’t happen, even when I’m soaking wet? Yeah, sometimes. Am I annoyed at the people who saw me fall, and even irked that they would ask me how I am rather then just courteously passing on by? Um, yeah. What the heck is wrong with me? Well, after a few days of reflection and pondering (and more than a few OTC pain pills and band-aids and elevated, iced ankles), I think I’ve figured it out.
I am a woman full of pride.
Good thing I’m only 32. Plenty of work to do on this one still.