Grace and Dignity

As in, I have neither. I mean, dignity was pretty much shot during my first C-section; if it hadn’t been, motherhood would have finished it off right quick. There was that one time an almost-psychotically-sleep-deprived me mistook a tube of Desitin for toothpaste, and didn’t notice until I’d brushed my top teeth.

Yeah. Anyway.

You would think dance would have taught me grace. Nope. I am capable of amazing feats of dexterity while avoiding fists or when moving too quickly to really think about it, but grace? Nope. Not me. I’ll settle for not hurting myself nine times out of ten.

Those tenths, however, usually end up being doozies.

So, last Friday I was out with my climbing partner S. She talked me into cocktails. Not just any cocktails. We were going to have dress-up-like-real-ladies cocktails. It was the inaugural event for The Dress–wait, did I tell you guys about the Dress? I found it in the J Peterman catalog. First dress I’ve bought in YEARS. It fit (well, anything with a side zipper has a different value of “fit” than my usual “if I have to contort to get into it, it doesn’t fit” rule) so I couldn’t send it back. It’s a very light pink. With polka dots. And a bow. ANYWAY. I wore heels.

That was probably my mistake.

We met for lunch and a little shopping, and there was a very nice little boutique…where I proceeded to trip on a step and fall full-length.

Now, I know how to fall, so I only got a bruised knee. S had never seen me fall without a rope, so she was a little perturbed. I reassured her I hadn’t broken anything, blamed the heels (“if I would have been in my BOOTS–” I said, and she gave me an eyeroll that could have won at the Olympics and a stern “Don’t start, Lili,”) and we continued. The funny thing? The cocktails came afterward.

Yes, I managed to fall flat on my face while stone-cold sober.

Cut to this morning. Miss B and I are out for our usual five miles. Some of the sidewalks we run on are fairly cracked, the trees shading them have managed to heave up blocks of cement inch by inch. I know where all the bad cracks and edges are. We’re in front of the church, on a piece of pavement I’ve passed over easily five hundred times by now…


Yep, flat on my face again. Skinned my right palm and my right knee, bumped my shoulder (I went loose and rolled sideways to shed momentum), my left thumb got a bit battered (I do NOT know how, don’t ask) and I found myself staring at concrete right in front of my nose.

Miss B, of course, thought this was a new game. One she was not quite prepared for, but gamely ready to give a go at. “Alpha’s thrown herself on the ground! Should I too? What’s my role? What are my motivations? HALP SHOW ME WHAT TO DO!”

“Oh, fuck,” I muttered, which cheered me up immensely. If I’m cussing, I’m okay. It’s only when I get really quiet and say something like “Oh my goodness” or, more frightening, “Oh, fudgesicles,” that I know I’m really hurt and shit’s about to get ugly.

Miss B pranced, getting the leash wound around her front leg. I pushed myself up and took stock. Just a bit of skin lost and a little bruising. Nothing broken, sprained, torn, or pulled. Good deal. I untangled the dog, chirruped and gave her a treat, and we were off again.

For another four and a half miles.

The good thing about a bad fall is that the adrenaline tranquilizes me for the rest of a five-mile run. I got through the four-mile mark before I began to feel winded in the least. Miss B kept waiting for me to play the game again. I suspect she had some idea of her role the next time I went tumbling. I further suspect that self-appointed role will make it incredibly difficult for me to gain my feet again.

Oh, well. I am philosophical about my lack of grace or dignity. If I can’t have either of them, I will at least settle for persistence. And not wearing heels. Unless absolutely forced to. At least they were the Capezio character shoes. I can run in those, and I can even fight, if need be…

…but that’s another blog post.

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