Saturday, April 26, 2008

Michelle the Klutz Strikes Again!

Or Why I Can’t Pull Off “Glamorous”

I'm not quite sure where I was when God handed out grace and poise to all the girls. I might have been climbing a tree pretending to be a detective spying on my next door neighbors (who were, in fact, drug dealers whose massive estate was the half-way point for their drug runners) or I might have been in the pool pretending to be a mermaid. Either way, got skipped.

If you haven’t figured it out by reading some of my other blogs, I’m one of the world’s biggest klutzes. Part of my klutz problem is due to my scoliosis (see the blog on that), which throws off my balance, causing me to trip when others might not, etc. However, my twisted back doesn’t explain how I stub my toes all the time and constantly bruise my hips from bumping into random pieces of furniture—usually the corners. (The size of my hips compared to the rest of my body might have something to do with that, but it also has to do with not “being aware of my surroundings”….) I usually have a bruise somewhere on me, and half the time, I don’t even remember where it came from. It doesn’t matter how fancy you dress me, I’m not going to pull off “glamorous,” and I’m okay with that. (One has to know one’s limitations.) I’ve become comfortable with my lack of poise and grace, especially since I understand that my little slips and trips give others immense entertainment, and you know how much I like to entertain.

Yesterday while I was cleaning, I “pulled a Michelle,” and it was vintage Michelle. I was standing in a hall and realized I had forgotten something, so I spun around. Now, when I move—spin—whatever, it’s a comedy of errors waiting to happen because I don’t really pay attention to where all the parts of my body are or where they’re going (hence my bruised my hips and stubbed toes) and my limbs tend to flail every which-a-way. As I spun around, my arms flailed.

In classic Michelle form, I failed to notice the granite-topped table next to me in the already squished hall.

The back of my right hand—mainly the tendon that connects my middle finger to my wrist as well as the bone underneath it—slammed into the granite table’s sharp corner.

I have a question. If you are in freakish pain, a lump is starting to form on your hand, and you let out a non-understandable long, low groan-gasp-thing that if recorded and played at high speed might sound suspiciously like the F-Bomb…can you still be considered a lady?

Now that I have entertained you with my little “Michelle the Klutz” story, I figured I may as well dip into the vault and pull out some of the top “Classic Michelle Moments” for your reading pleasure. (This is a once in a lifetime experience, folks, where I'm going to bear my soul to make yours smile and maybe even laugh.) So here they are:

  • The summer before my sophomore year, I was playing basketball on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic, and I landed directly on my ankle after getting a rebound. I had to hobble around for a week because no one wanted to take me to a third world hospital. (Don’t blame them. We had to send one guy to the hospital for a rabies shot after a rat bit him while he was sleeping, and we heard some really bad stuff…)
  • Three months later, I rolled on the same ankle while stealing the ball from a guy during a pickup basketball game. (After having to hobble around school for six weeks, volleyball became my favorite sport.)
  • On another mission trip in Ecuador, our group hiked up part of Mt. Cotopaxi—the world’s highest active volcano. We were all exhausted—especially our legs—because we were at such a high altitude that we could barely walk ten feet without stopping for a break. Later that day, I saw a pack of llamas. I really wanted a picture of the llamas, so I ran after them, leaping over a chain that hung across the path. My tired legs couldn’t make the leap, my toes connected with the chain. I fell face-first on the gravel.
  • Once when I was jogging, my shoelace came untied. The track was gravel, and the palms of my hands and knees were bleeding once I finished executing the fall--arms and legs flailing.
  • On a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, I tripped and banged my knee on a rock. (It really hurts when you’ve got 20 pounds of extra weight in a backpack full of a week’s supplies on your back.) 15 minutes later, one of the guys in our group turned around and gasped. I looked down and saw that I had split my knee open. (Did you know that applying alcohol to a wound hurts more than hydrogen peroxide?)
  • On a different backpacking trip, I tripped and fell face-first in the dirt. My backpack was so top-heavy that I couldn't get up. The group I was with had a good five-minute laugh before one of them pulled me up by my backpack.
  • During a four square game with some high schoolers, I dove after the ball—directly into the corner of a wall. (If I’m going to play, I’m going to play hard.) Fortunately, I didn’t break my arm, but I jarred my left shoulder, and my rotator cuff hasn’t been the same since.
  • I was playing beach volleyball with our church youth group a few years ago, and one of the members of our team hit the ball in the air out of bounds. I raced after the ball, keeping focus on its trajectory, and I dove, knocking the ball back into play and keeping our team alive. I rolled over and saw the youth pastor, Tom, standing over me in panic. That’s when I noticed a stake that kept the volleyball net secure poking out of the sand right next to my inner thigh. Tom thought I had impaled myself on it. Then I noticed another stake had taken a chunk of skin out of my right knee. (What can I say? If you're gonna dive into a stake to rescue a volleyball, dive into two!)
  • Never try to walk a golden retriever while wearing roller-blades.
  • During a game of flashlight tag in the rain two years ago, my right foot slipped, and I strained the meniscus in my knee, which involved a month of walking around in an immobilizer and then physical therapy.
  • You’ve probably read the story of how I broke a windshield trying to kill a spider.
  • I almost did pull off “glamorous” during my Senior Homecoming, until the small slit in the back of my knee-length dress began to tear—up. My friends, Sasha and Suzy, got me off the dance floor before a potentially life-scarring, humiliating experience could occur.
  • My senior year, I was part of our high school band’s rifle guard. During a pep rally routine, I tossed my wooden rifle in the air and for some reason, I froze. (I think it was because the audience was already snickering at us. It’s a poise thing.) My rifle landed on the ground instead of in my hands—and the entire school booed me. I would probably still be crying in the auxiliary room if one of the band members had not come in and told me how much he respected me for continuing the routine even though everyone in the crowd was making fun of me (except for Sasha and Suzy, who were trapped in the stands, unable to march out on the field and rescue me that time).

So that’s why I'll never pull off glamorous. And if you see me sporting a bruise, you know I’ve probably just “pulled another Michelle.”

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