I’m no longer allowed out of the kitchen (hardwood floors) with Mott’s Cranberry Raspberry Sauce in the little half-cup container.
Did Alex impose this fierce rule on me? No, not at all. In fact, he’s at work and in the dark about the new law designed to keep me off the carpeted areas of the house with raspberry colored food that flies far, lands with multiple splats, and resists two name brand carpet cleaners.
I’m a klutz.
If my parents could have done one thing differently during my formative years, it wouldn’t have been guitar lessons or sports participation. The guitar they got me for Christmas when I was sixteen gathers dust. I’m not very good at sports beyond croquet.
My folks should have done the thing most foreign in our neighborhood, in the Griffith clan, and sent me to finishing school. I clearly was not around when walking with poise was doled out. Nope. I was queued in some other line that day.
Then there’s the whole pistachio fiasco.
Alex decided we should have a new nut in the house (I assume he meant besides me) and bought a bag of the wretched buggers. Realizing that I should open up my narrow taste buds and give pistachio another try after decades of avoiding the hard-to-open shells, Alex expertly cracked a couple, dumped them in my palm, and away I went. Not bad. Still a unique taste that struck my tongue as a bit bitter, but edible.
The trouble started when Alex left me on my own. As you may have noticed, bad things frequently happen around here when Alex leaves me alone. There have been a snake in the family room (read: Good Windows & Indiana Jones), chipmunks dead in the yard that I have to pick up, and well, pistachios. I grabbed the bag and set myself to pulling the shells apart. It was working well. Then I came up against The Nut That Did It. I couldn’t get the darned shell open for anything. Did I behave intelligently and find the silver nutcracker? Don’t be silly, it was in the other room. Nope, I stuck the nut in the back of my mouth and crunched down on the shell.
The crown was old, very old, but it may have lasted years longer if I hadn’t broken a wee chunk off when I took that solid bite. I called my dentist and explained what I did this time. The receptionist laughed at me, recalling when I previously rang her up and said: I broke my tooth on a Curiously Strong Altoid Mint.
A boss I once had often said: It’s okay, RoseMary, I just had that wall put in yesterday, as I again careened off the corner, bouncing backwards into him, or maybe into another wall.
I’ve tried moving slower, really I have. The incidences of me falling down or up the interior stairs have gotten less. In fact it’s been at least three months since I last tumbled down the stairs to make a dramatic entrance into the TV room. Alex invariably yells, “Stop that before you hurt yourself.” Real progress.
While I’m confessing, I should reveal the time I waxed that hardwood floor in the kitchen yes, the room I’m now limited to with purple foods. The floor was shiny and I had on wool socks and you see where I’m going with this, right? I had to slide across it and see how far I could get. When you’re a kid, what’s better in the world than doing a grand slide like that?
Why should children have all the fun just because they bounce and recover better than adults?
The sun was streaming in the garden window, the sliding door was open from dining room to deck and the birds are cheering for me. I got my groove on.
Alex got home and I tried my new trick out for him. Except I changed directions and I did not come to a calm stop. I crashed into the pantry, landing on my hip, butt, and one elbow. Like a cat, I jumped to my feet as if I had intended to fall. Alex did two things at the same time: he asked, sincerely, if I was okay and bit his cheeks to keep from bursting with laughter.
Most recently was the crash landing in the driveway. Another
lovely day and had it been winter I’d have been more cautious on the concrete steps. But no, those birds were at it again and then a dog barked and I turned to see who it was—Hank the giant lab, Hudson the tall poodle, or one of the little chaps in our dog-filled neighborhood.
Alas, in looking elsewhere than the next spot my foot was to land, I missed the lower step and managed somehow to hit both knees and twist my ankle at the same time.
The pain! It shot through my gut like the day I broke my almost-collarbone downhill skiing—landing in a mound of snow and ice. It was the last run of my second day of lessons.
There I was, cradling my ankle with both palms, tears in my eyes, prone in the driveway. At once I realized at least three neighbors could spot me and not wanting anyone to panic, I jumped up—as best I could on one good leg—and hobbled into the house, whatever errand I was on my way to run long forgotten.
There’s a bit of the history of my missing elegance.
For my snack today, I opened my bright blazing purple-red Cranberry Raspberry Sauce, got a spoon, and decided to walk through the dining room and enjoy our view while eating. The backyard has become quite the haven for birds, squirrels, chipmunks, hummingbirds, and bees. I made it to the archway when the hand holding the sauce, which is connected to the shoulder that hit the wall, spun the container from me and threw the concoction onto the wall into the corner, under the dining room table over to the sideboard against the far wall six feet away, onto two chair legs and the carpet in between.
I stood in stunned fascination while I assessed the splatter patterns like a good CSI investigating the activities of an unsupervised three-year-old.
I’ve learned, over the decades of my life, that I have some traits I can change and some traits I can’t.
Apparently, this crashing talent of mine isn’t going away anytime soon. No sense in beating myself up about it. I’ll adjust, regroup and banish myself from certain parts of our home at certain times. It will be a safer, cleaner place around here if I eat colored food in a room with a floor I can wash.
Where are you on the klutz to grace scale of life?