Monday, February 12, 2007


I haven't fallen down very often in my life, but when I have it has always been spectacular in one way or another, if only in lack of sympathy.

Yesterday morning, as I was leaving the grocery store, I nearly did a half-gainer off the curb. I managed to avert disaster by twisting and launching myself into the parking lot. When I got myself under control, tempted to throw my hands into the air, like a gymnast, I looked around to see if anyone had observed my feat, and I saw that a number of people had seen me. Of course. There was a car beside me, as I came to rest, and it was full of people. There was a woman in the passenger seat in front, and three children in the back seat, and they all wore the same horrified expressions on their faces. It was probably the first time those kids had been quiet all day. I waved at them and made for the safety of my car.

Years ago, I fell in that same parking lot. I slipped on some loose rocks and pitched forward, landing on my nose, hands, knees, and ego. The young man taking my groceries to the car was struck dumb, watching me bounce and skid along the concrete, as was my daughter, who was a teenager at the time. Neither of them offered to help me up - NEITHER of them. They were either in shock or trying to figure out how to pretend they didn't know me, although my daughter did utter a rather accusitory-sounding, "Mo-ther!" I struggled to my feet and made it to the car upright.

Another time, my son and I were walking across an expanse of lush grass, when my foot found a hole and I went down like that tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it. I didn't make a sound, and my son just kept walking, unaware of what had happened. He finally realized I wasn't beside him, and turned around just as I was getting up. He said, "Wow, Mom! You didn't holler or anything!"

When we lived in Yellville, my washer and dryer were in a little room off the carport. I had to go down a few steps into the carport to get to them. So, you know what happened. I tripped on the first step and bounced down the other two and landed in a puddle of grease. Still, I wasn't hurt, just thoroughly shook up. I crawled back up the steps and called my husband for some sympathy. He said, "Well, do you want me to come home, or what?" So much for sympathy.

I was wearing new black patent shoes, when I was about 8 years old, and in a hurry. We had floor furnaces in our house. I fell and carried the scars from the burn on my leg for a a long time. I also carried the admonishment from my mother, "You should have been more careful in those slick shoes."

The only other time I was actually injured in a fall was when I was dog-sitting at my daughter's house one Hallowe'en, and her dog was the only being to witness it. I was sitting at the computer in the den, when the phone rang. I jumped up, turned and tripped on something, maybe my own feet. I pitched forward, bounced off the bookcase and went down like a felled ox. My ankle was sprained, so I crawled over to the recliner and pulled myself into it. I heaved a sigh of relief and then saw the dog looking at me as if to say, "Ahem. You do know that is MY chair, don't you?" And, in the family room, I heard the answering machine click on, and my daughter said, all the way from Scotland, "Where are you? You're supposed to be giving out all that Hallowe'en candy I bought."

Now that I'm in my dotage, I need to be more careful, I suppose. These brittle old bones won't take much punishment before they snap. And, I know better than to expect a large outpouring of sympathy.


Lorna said...

No wonder you enjoyed my post! I, too, am a "faller-downer." My kids have had several good laughs at the antics of their mother. I am like Tigger, though, I just keep bouncing! Thanks for the visit to my blog, I will be back to visit your often! :-)

Kell said...

I never did! You made all that stuff up.

Then again, I have the memory of a gnat, so probably did.

Peggy said...

I'm sorry that nobody EVER helps you or gives you the sympathy that one requires after a dignity stripping tumble. I hope you always wear clean knickers, you never know when the next tumble is coming. I don't tumble, I stub my toes.

John said...

Who needs banana skins ? Just keep on bouncing Betty. :-)

Newt said...

"...and went down like a felled ox." **snort** **coffee out nose**

I shouldn't have laughed at your pain and ego bruising but I did. I'm sorry.

I went to hear Elie Wiesel speak at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. After the talk while walking back to the parking lot I suddenly found myself flat on my face. In a short skirt. That the wind blew. I had no dignity. Death would have been preferable to looking up and seeing all those faces staring at me. I mustered what little dignity I had left and tried to make a joke of it. Saying that apparently I have issues with my new feet. But a kindly old man leaned down, picked up a bic pen and said, "no, it looks like this nasty old pen is what got you" And they made sure I was okay, and then kindly left me in my own puddle of humiliation.
This is yet another reason we need to always wear clean underwear :-)

susan said...

I think you need to become more of a Drama Queen. All that suffering in silence isn't getting you the sympathy you so dearly deserve. Yell, scream, holler so that everyone comes rushing to your side! (I have a 13 yo that can teach you how!)

Betty said...

Lorna: Welcome. Thank goodness there is enough of me to cause me to bounce. LOL

Kelley: I migh have taken a tiny bit of license, but, no I didn't. It was purely factual.

Peggy: Thank you for your sympathetic comment.

Newt: I feel your pain, along with my own.

John: See my comment to Lorna.

Susan: I think you may have hit upon the answer. Next time (and I hope there isn't one), I'll scream bloody murder.

claude said...

The last two times I fell flat on my face, there were people to pick me up, maybe you look too young ;)

Tink said...

Cute post! I'm a closet klutz and a misnavigator. I fall and bump into things all the time. Usually no one is around to see it though, so I pretend it didn't happen.

Hoop: What are all those bruises on your legs from?
Tink: I have no idea!

I also get lost in a wet paper sack. I can't ever remember which way is which. Once, I got turned around on my own street!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Kids...always our best audience....even if we don't ask them to be. My kids think I'm a hoot...and I don't even have to fall down. I think you've been very lucky Betty...considering. No major must be pretty limber. I haven't fallen often in my life, but the one big time I was a masterpiece. Broken arm, broken elbow and ensueing elbow surgery. Yep, my kids will be living off of the comedic fumes on that one for some time to come. They say it's all in the name of love...yeah right!

Betty said...

Claude: Aren't you sweet! I don't look too young, but I probably feel younger than I look.

Tink: Jay says my sense of direction is so bad, he could take me two blocks from home, turn me around a couple of times, and I couldn't find my way back.

Joy: Yeah, love. It was all that love that prompted them to put a huge banner across the top of my garage, saying "Happy 35th, Mom". That one still rankles, but the neighbors loved it.

her indoors said...

poor you hope you are not too hurt, and kids uh who'd have them!

Jay said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh .... I'm totally letting Susans comment go. I'm in so much pain from holding it all in that I might just keel over and die. But, I'm gonna let it go.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

You have inspired me to create a new "splat suit" made of Kevlar for people like you. And ok, like me too.

Annie said...

I love the line "landing . . . on my ego". I know the feeling well.

Sister--Three said...

Betty, do be careful. Our bones
are more brittle now. A fall could
bring a broken hip and it is not
a pretty recovery. Take all necessary careful steps for safety.

I am happy to say that I did not laugh at any of the pictures you
painted. All brought a twisted
grimace to my face. I felt your
crash as I have been there.

Dogwalkmusings said...

You need a Tigger tail!

gawilli said...

I'm thinking maybe you need to work on the guilt-trip thing. It didn't do too much for me, but my mom sure could get a lot of mileage out of it.

SongBird said...

The last couple of times I've fallen has been in front of students. They were very kind to me, but I can only imagine what they told their parents when they got home!!

Take care!! And I agree, go for the Drama Queen attitude. Milk it for all it's worth!

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard I cried, but it was totally in sympathy, I swear! I am a fellow klutz!