I grew up in a very small town, so it’s not like the wings of the school were miles apart, but two wings of the school were connected by our lovely gym. In my head now, not having been there in probably 20 years, it was ginormous. I’m sure it is actually a TEEENY TINY gym. Regardless, when we were in sixth grade, we shared the school with the seventh and eighth graders, who were in the world of seven periods. Being in sixth grade, where you just changed classes for French (or was it math – anyone? I can’t remember) , the world of periods was a big deal. Just BEING in 7th or 8th was a big deal too. They were super mature. They had much cooler clothes, they got to go to dances at the rec, and they had RELATIONSHIPS. Sure, I was most likely in my first relationship at the time (love you Deek!) but we didn’t have a RELATIONSHIP like the 7th and 8th graders did. It was like they were adults. Here’s some of the group to give you an idea:
Anyway, I can’t remember much of the day outside of what was to happen in the 10 minute period I describe below, but I’m sure it was just a regular day. I was walking down the stairs with gal pal Crystal Kearns, and we were at the very top. There were – are – about 15 to 20 steps that open up into the gym.
There they were. The 8th grade boys. Gathered at the bottom of the stairs, joking around, because it was the end of one of their fancy periods and they were about to part ways to jaunt off to the next class. In my head, they were all really good looking and smart, possibly soon to be George Clooney types, or Brad Pitt? At the time, I’m sure my comparison was more like Kirk Cameron or Jordan Knight, but whatever, roughly the same rugged good looks, no? Anyway, I turned to Crystal to tell her something, in an attempt to look cool. I have no idea why talking to other people makes you look cool. I’m pretty sure I still use that same methodology today, and although it is completely idiotic, I guarantee when I’m out and about this weekend, that will happen naturally. As I turned to Crystal, I believe I lost the ability to measure where the next step was. The steps are all the same distance apart, but in my attempt to look cool, I lost myself in the moment. And the next moment, my head was hitting the step two steps down. And then my head was hitting the step 5 steps down. In between that, I *think* some part of the lower half of my body may have hit the step 3 or 4 steps down. Because I was somersaulting. Somersaulting down the steps, very loudly, in the middle of the gym. I landed in a HEAP, at the bottom, at the VERY SPOT that allowed me to look up at the incredibly hot group of 8th grade boys, while Ms. Lawton, the gym teacher, LEAPED across the gym yelling ARE YOU OKAY ERIN???
I tell you this, because it is my earliest memory of being completely mortified. I’m sure there were earlier moments, I’m sure, thinking back, that there was a trip in kindergarten. A toilet paper stuck to my shoe in the second grade. But it hasn’t stopped since that day – and I will take you down that road, but wanted to prepare you properly for the journey.
Tonight, I am sitting elevating my leg, and rubbing my knee, after a grocery store injury. Anna and I stopped to get a frozen pizza and a movie – our Friday night routine (tonight is our Friday), and when I went to hit the self checkout, well – I honestly don’t know what happened. Was there a sign that said WET FLOOR? Maybe. Am I wearing shoes that are one size too big for me? I don’t know. I could be. Was I rushing and not necessarily paying attention? It’s possible. But what’s great about the fall – and no worries, it was great – is that my frozen pizza projected behind my head and hit the Valentine display. My keys hit a little girls leg. My daughter, as I tried to figure out if anything was showing, since I was wearing a dress, slowly inched away from me, in what may have been her first lesson in embarrassment. Her embarassment MAY have been from the fact that as I was going down, I was shouting at the top of my lungs, IT’S OKAY, I’M OKAY – even though no one around me seemed all that concerned. The good news is the team that took care of me post fall was really on top of their game.
Just kidding. But, my poor little banana. She just does not have any idea what she’s in for.