Have you ever tripped but regained your footing just before hitting the ground? Was your first reaction one of relief you were actually agile enough to stay on your feet followed by a quick scan of to see if anyone was watching? Yep, we all do the same thing. Some of the best clips on America’s Funniest Home Videos are people falling. Why do we find so much humor in someone else’s unfortunate bumble? I really think we’re just glad it’s not us. Falling feels so stupid.
I know because the standing joke in our family is, “Where will she fall next?” Jim, Jill and I were crossing the street in New York City. When Jill turned around to say something to me, I was gone. Not really, I was on the pavement in the middle of Broadway. A mounted police officer got off his horse to help me as the hundreds of pedestrians were stepping over and around me. I realized I could either laugh or cry. I laughed so hard I could barely get up.
Last year in London I fell down an old rock stairway headfirst in to a men’s restroom. I blamed it on the 200 year old steps, but in reality it was my lack of paying attention. After she realized the only thing injured was my pride, Jill went into one of one of those so-intense-there’s-no-sound laughing fits. Jim stood at the top of the stairs and said, “Well, it’s official: She has fallen in London.” Clearly my family doesn’t cut me much slack.
Over Christmas we were recounting how many times and places I have fallen and it suddenly occurred to me every time I fall, Jill is with me. She assured me she would never push so it must be me all by myself.
Not only am I an admitted klutz, I also trip over myself so many times trying to do life right. I fail in relationships, I forget things, I offer my opinion too freely, and my attitude gets stinky. I look around to see if anyone is watching and sure enough they usually are. I pout for a little while then remember we’re all going to trip and falling is sometimes unavoidable. Here’s what I’ve learned; the most important thing is to not stay down, get up, dust off, and try again. And … it doesn’t sting so much if you can laugh at yourself.