Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Middle Name... NOT Graceful. I fall down kind-of a lot. And it's usually kind-of in a public place. And it's often in front of kind-of hot boys. And I should kind-of be ashamed to talk about it, but I'm not. Not even kind-of. Here are the hall-of-famers:

1. I was a junior in high school and I was at my first formal dance with a really good friend (who I may or may not have had a teeny-beeny crush on). I had spent all day primping and priming for my date. My dress was shiny and my hair was elegant. My shoes were high-heeled and they were getting very broken in, since my date and I were dancing machines!

The night was going perfectly and I was feeling footloose and fancy-free, when Ice Ice Baby began to blare through the speakers. Here was the PERFECT opportunity to show off all my awesome "look how Black I can dance even though I'm a nerdy white girl from Vancouver" moves I had learned recently. (Probably at church dances, which just proves how "Black" the moves actually were.) With my friends rooting me on, I got more and more into the dancing when suddenly, I accidently stepped on the side of my right foot and down I butt all the way to the floor. I sat there for a minute assessing the damage, with my skirt billowed out gracefully around me. Then I looked up to see my date staring down at me with a perplexed look on his face. He had wandered away to greet some old friends and missed my little display of grace on the dancefloor.

"What the heck are you doing??" he asked.

"Oh, you know, I just got tired and decided it would be a good idea to sit on the dirty floor surrounded by people who may trample me in my beautiful dress just for fun," I snarkily replied in my head.

But what came out of my mouth was nothing - I just shrugged and held out my hand for him to help me up. I took a quick trip around the dance floor to walk off the pain and felt ok enough to finish out the night.

After the dance, my date was hosting a dessert party for our group of friends so I had to go with him to the store to buy ice-cream. By the time we reached the register, I had a noticeable limp but insisted that I was all right. We went to his house and had dessert, and while I had fun, it was slightly marred by the throbbing pain in my ankle that was growing steadily more pronounced.

I had dreamed of the doorstep scene since I received my invite to the dance. At the very least I expected him to enthusiastically tell me that I was the best date he'd ever been on and that he would be asking me out again for sure. I had NOT pictured him helping me out of his mini-van and then awkwardly supporting my weight while I shuffle-hopped to my door. He quickly thanked me and then practically ran back to his van.

The next day was a Sunday and I went to church on crutches, as my ankle had swollen to twice its size. So my embarrassment was re-lived and multiplied while I explained to members of my congregation (including my date's parents) that no, my date was not in any way at fault for my bum ankle and in fact I had injured myself by dancing too aggressively to a Vanilla Ice song.

My first real dance/date...the stuff dreams are made of. (Nevermind that the dreams are the kind where you go to school naked on accident.)


2. The entrance hall of my high school was the gathering place for all the cliques before and after school each day. For some reason, the students congregated in their small groups along the edges of the "space" and left the center clear. One day, during my math class, which was the last period of the day, I got into a small water fight with a friend of mine named Matt. He splashed me right before the bell rang and so he left class with an air of triumph as I brushed water out of my eyes, unable to retaliate. When I left the classroom a few minutes later, I saw my friend standing with his usual group of friends (many of whom were... you guessed it! Hot Boys).

"Hooray! Matt THINKS he won, but here's my chance to show him," I thought gleefully. I strolled nonchalantly up to the group of 10 or so boys and shoved Matt from behind and then casually walked away. As I reached the center of "no-man's land," I peeked over my shoulder to see Matt's reaction.

I should make it clear that there were several groups of my peers surrounding the center of the hall. In groups of 5-15, they totalled maybe 100 sets of eyeballs.

While I can walk and chew gum at the same time, I learned on that day that I can NOT walk and look over my shoulder at the same time. Just as I made eye contact with Matt, I lost my footing and BIFFED it. I'm talking all-four-major-limbs-sprawled across-the-tile-floor biffed it. I scrambled to my feet and then started laughing hysterically. Like literally, I was feeling a little hysterical. I was recovering from a cold so my throat was raw and my laugh came out as a loud honking noise that echoed around the great hallway. Which was great, since it drew the attention of the few people who did not see me fall and allowed my shame to be complete.

So before I fell on my face and then ran away honking like a goose, there were a few glorious seconds in which I thought I had won the last battle and therefore the war with Matt. But as is usual, I managed to accidently sabatouge my own efforts by ruining a perfectly respectable attack with my nerdiness. Through no effort on his part, Matt was the winner that day after all.


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