Ever since I’ve been old enough to perceive the world around me, I have had a horrible habit of laughing whenever anyone falls down. I sincerely can’t help it. Watching someone fall down the stairs, fall down while running down the halls at school, fall down while just plain walking…and I’m seized with helpless, weak kneed laughter.
About 30 years ago, one of the biggest styles of footwear for women was enormous stacked heel shoes. My mother had a pair of these shoes. Sometimes she would take me, my sister and brother to the mall to shop, and inevitably, her heel would catch on something and down she would go, with her purse swinging around and rising in a slow circle up, up, up, and then crashing down next to her. It always looked like it was in slow motion.
And then IT would happen.
My siblings and I would have a case of the giggles so bad that we had to duck behind a rack of swimsuits or dress pants so that she wouldn’t see us. My red faced mother would hiss at us all the way to the car. Thinking back, I don’t ever remember asking her if she was ok. Or if we did she was too embarrassed to appreciate it. Probably because we were all laughing too hard. (My poor mother. What she put up with.)
Fate is fickle, however. One year, when I was 19, I wore that same type of ill fated shoe to work as a legal secretary. As I pranced into my building to catch the elevator, two ladies from the courthouse and I waited for a packed elevator to empty before we could get on. They got on. I however, caught my ginormous heel on the rug, tripped and landed on the floor. In front of everyone.
Oh, it gets better. I was wearing a DRESS and panty hose.
I landed on my side, and it felt like two years passed before my right leg landed on my left leg, blocking the view. In that space of time, half of
got a good look at my control top part of control top pantyhose. It was absolutely humiliating. The ladies in the elevator were having a hard time keeping silent. I so badly wanted to tell them to go ahead and laugh, because I sure would have. Joliet
Fast forward 25 years. One month ago, as I raced up our wooden basement stairs, I hit the top one with my big toe and down I went, right onto the tile. My left arm bruised, my knee bruised, my ego bruised. You would think I would learn not to fly up the basement stairs, right? Right. Thank gosh no one saw.
Well, last night I was in the basement while helping my 17 year old with a persuasive essay. When we realized Gray’s Anatomy was on, we raced (see where this is heading?) around the corner to run up the stairs. However, hiding around the corner was my middle child (who I SWEAR has my sense of humor) who jumped out and scared the living crap out of me and my youngest. Having such a running leap at the stairs, I was continuing up even while giggling, my knees weak with laughter until finally they gave out and at the top of the stairs, that big toe that won’t learn its lesson got caught on THE SAME STAIR and down I went, AGAIN.
Only this time, I had an audience of four. And a full cup of coffee, which splashed up in a perfect, slow motion arc to drench my entire face, hair, and glasses with perfectly creamed coffee.
Now if I had witnessed this of MY mother, I would have really been in trouble, because I would have been doubled over, wheezing with laughter...but I have to hand it to my teens…they didn’t laugh. They were actually very solicitous and concerned and helpful. My husband helped me up, and as I dried the Folgers off my face, I noticed both girls were shaking, had their hands over their mouths and their eyes were teary, and it looked suspiciously like they were laughing.
Nah. I’m sure it was just a trick of the light.