Friday, September 3, 2010

497: klutz

They say, with pregnancy, your sense of gravity, your center of balance, is now officially off, particularly as that fifth month settles over you.

I would argue, however, that I was hopeless from the start. Case in point: I "broke" my elbow when jogging on gravel with the dogs, just two months shy of my wedding.

When Meryl and I were at Bread Loaf, some insect bit me, and the itching and whatnot swelled the ankle up so much that when my husband emailed the photograph to my mother and his, they thought I had broken it.

Upon returning from my Vermont adventure, I jokingly asked Ryan how many times he thought I'd "bump" baby's head into doorways; I have a habit of shoulder-checking them as I walk through and hip-checking any countertop or dining room table. I used to come home from work at the bookstore with little bruises, and it took me a while to place them--oh, those tricky sharp-edged display tables at the end of the bookshelves.

I sprained my ankle off a two-stone ledge while moving into the house we had just bought. I sprained my ankle again a few years later while walking the dogs. On a sidewalk. On a clear autumn day.

The top photograph: I don't know if it was too much knitting or too much book-lofting (my left hand being my "reading hand," after all--my right being the one for page-turning) in the past week or two, but suddenly the fingers on my left hand tingle whenever I do anything that involves pressure on that hand, and when I wake, it feels as if I've beaten my lovely new pregnancy body pillow to tufts of fluff.

The bottom photograph: One of my favorite kitchen appliances, the waffle iron. We were having breakfast for dinner, and when I reached back to pull the plug, I caught my arm. I'm mildly amused at the dividing line. And I also must note: this burn is not, by any means, new. I've had it for nearly a week now, and it's still an angry brick-red. Ryan says I've been branded.

When I was in elementary school, my friend's mother asked if I was a dancer because my calves were so muscular. No, my mother told her, it's because she walks on her toes (like a weirdo), just like her father. My legs are useless, just pretend-strong. My legs are cloaked in pants, long skirts; I will never wear a cute sundress, unless I also wear high high heels. And we all know what kind of a danger that could be. No, I've never been a dancer, cannot dance at all, even though there was a period in high school when I loved to go to the gay bar on "juice night" and wiggle with my girl friends (and girlfriend), all of whom actually had a sense of rhythm, and I had no sense to be embarrassed. I'm sure I danced enough on my wedding night too; I still have no sense of shame.

I don't mind my lack of grace; I make up for it in other areas of passion. I'm amused more than anything else, so much so that I take photographs of my blunders, and with a total of six bits of evidence thus far (think of how much I missed by simple neglect), I've even created a photoset on Flickr, for your amusement. This also includes the photo where I decided that canoeing in quicksand was a wise plan. (This, said with an edge of sarcasm: I actually got out of the boat to pull us from a shallow spot and hadn't realized how loose that silty sand was, which began to suck me under; fortunately, we were very close to shore, so I literally swam through the lake's bottom--in a lightning storm, no less--and clamored back into the canoe.)

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