Nobody saw it happen, though it was humiliating just the same. It was a classic kerfuffle, no doubt comical and absolutely impossible to replicate (though I probably will soon).
I did the very thing I constantly reprimand my children for: I didn’t tie up my shoelaces. I was in a rush. I am always in a rush. I’d left something in my car that was parked just a few steps from the office where I was working. It would only take a second to get it. Who wants to bend down and lace up big winter boots just to run to the car? Time is precious; so is the view of me bending over in my skinny jeans to tie up my big boots, making that less than lady-like “gumph” sound as the seams of my jeans implode. You can see why I spared myself (and those around me) that horror. Instead, I left my shoelaces to skip along freely.
You are probably wondering what I’d left in the car that was so important as to risk my dignity. Shamefully, it was one of those fattening donut shop muffins. I craved the artificial fruit-flavours and the sugar-loaded calorie intake. This was the breakfast of working-mom champions. Chase it down with coffee and I’m good to go. I had places to be, work to do.
Yes, I was a glamorous site I tell you, strutting like a teenager, too cool to wear a coat, dragging four long laces along the ground, the tongue of my big boots flapped outward like it was laughing – as if foreshadowing the disaster about to occur.
I got to the car just fine. No laces were going to trip me up. No sir. I grabbed my snack. For a klutz, it was smooth sailing, accident-free. I didn’t’ even lock the keys inside the car. Heck yah, I could walk with my boots undone. Only, now I was over-confident, arrogant even. Big mistake.
Walking back up the concrete pathway, fate kicked in. The lace of one boot caught the clasp of an eyehook on the other boot and I went down like Charlie Sheen in a 20/20 news interview, only way faster. One minute I was upright, the next I was sprawled in a messy display of awkward disfiguration. Bang, boom, splat. Groan. My chin broke my fall as I landed with my head upright, my right shoulder driven into the ground, torso twisted, hands slammed down in a frog pose and my right knee skidding across the bumpy concrete. My left leg flung behind me. I skidded to a stop. It was ugly.
Disgraced and in shock, I sprung up like a gymnast who’d fallen off the balance beam. I looked around quickly, to see if anyone in cars or the offices around me had witnessed my spectacle. Nobody was looking. Relief. My muffin survived without injury. I, however, left a nice blue streak of dye from the knees of my skinny jeans on the walkway.
My ego had the biggest bruise. There was no escaping the torment of my children that night, when Mommy had to explain why she was walking like the Tin Man. Yep, Mommy is a hypocrite. She didn’t tie her up her shoelaces.
My punishment? Enduring re-enactment impressions of my spectacular fall by the two people who know better; my children. Nice kids. Have a great trip? See you next fall. Funny. It hurts to laugh.