I am not a graceful person. Back when I had my growth spurt in my teens, I was anything but light on my feet. My dad used to compare my walking to that of an elephant. I could be heard stomping around the house upstairs, and it would echo downstairs.
But beyond my stomping gait, I'm also prone to stumbling over nearly nothing. A few years ago, I was running in my neighborhood, listening to a walkman (pre-ipod days), and tripped badly over a part of the sidewalk that was slightly raised above the rest. My walkman broke into three pieces (although I was able to put it back together) and I've got a tiny pebble lodged in the palm of my right hand. Thank goodness it was at night because I'm sure someone would've loved to have seen that.
When I worked at Blockbuster during breaks at college, one of the duties I had was to run all of the returned tapes back to the wall. Of course, such a brainless task became a game for all of the employees, as we'd challenge each other to carry as many tapes as possible in one single trip. For me, this was quite an adventure as I'd try to carry stacks of thirty-plus tapes around the store. There were many days where those stacks of thirty-plus tapes would slip out of my hands and would crash to the ground. All eyes in the store would suddenly turn and focus onto the red-faced asshole who couldn't just carry a smaller stack of tapes. There's not much more humiliating than knowing you've had a really embarrassing accident and someone saw it.
But as I've gotten older, I felt like my klutziness was receding quicker than my hairline, which was a good thing. And today, I had a relapse, and in a very public way.
I was running some errands and stopped at Costco to do some browsing. Since I was going to be out for a while, I decided to grab some lunch while at Costco: a couple of slices of pizza and a soda. After filling up with coke, I walked from the soda machine over to the tables to find a place to sit. Since there was a mid-day rush, I had to maneuver through the crowd, as well as balance the two pieces of pizza on top of each other in one hand, while carrying my soda in the other hand.
Instead of carrying the soda like a normal person, I was holding it with my fingers around the top, much like a claw on one of those arcade games where you try to grab a stuffed animal. But, I guess the soda top wasn't on as tightly as I assumed. The cup with the soda slipped out of my hand and fell to the ground, but the plastic cover remained in the grasp of my fingers.
The soda flew out and all over my sweatshirt, my shorts, and the ground. I said aloud, to no one in particular, "That sucked!" My sweatshirt looked like I had just run in from a downpour, and my shorts were soaked as if I had pissed my pants. As I looked up from the puddle of soda on the ground at my feet, I saw a teenager sitting right in front of me with a giant smile on his face. This kid now has a funny story of that asshole who spilled the soda all over himself.
Humiliated, I tried to wipe myself down, but both my sweatshirt and my shorts were drenched, so there wasn't much point. I re-filled my cup, carefully carried it, as well as the pieces of pizza, to a nearby table, where I sat and ate as quickly as possible, worried that someone was going to point and laugh at me. I tried walking through Costco, but felt too self-conscious of the giant wet spots on my clothes. So instead of finishing my errands, I ran home, and changed into some dry clothes.
I know that anyone who reads this wishes they could've been there to seen me at the very moment I dropped my soda, especially Willer. It probably looked pretty hysterical. But for me, it just means more laundry and lesson learned: never carry your soda from the top.