Freak Accidents Often Happen to Clumsy People

How I managed to fall backward over my ironing board one morning

I should be mentally programmed for home safety.
I should be mentally programmed for home safety. | Source

A Klutz is Born



I’ve been a clumsy person—a major klutz—all of my life. I’m the only person I know who (as far back in time as I remember) can walk across the middle of a room and manage to bump into a wall, a piece of furniture, or a door frame before reaching the other side. I have never had a strong sense of balance or equilibrium.

Klutzy children may realize their limitations, but that doesn’t stop them from wishing they were graceful. As a young girl, I was obsessed with ballet. I sketched ballerinas en pointe and performing arabesques all over my school notebooks. I read every book I could find in the library concerning ballet and ballerinas. Oh, how I longed to be a famous ballerina!


I saw myself as a famous ballerina!
I saw myself as a famous ballerina! | Source

Even Clumsy Children Have Dreams

But my enthusiasm was not going to change three major obstacles to my dream.

1. During my early years at elementary school, I lived 18 miles from the nearest town and attended a small rural school. Needless to say, the faculty did not include a dancing teacher, nor was it practical in those days for my mother to drive me to town for private lessons. Actually, I was lucky our little school had a teacher for Public School Music, where I got to sing with the class and play one note on a simple chime.

2. My clumsiness was a hindrance to any type of graceful or athletic activity. When I tried to mimic the ballet positions and movements illustrated in books, I suffered such a lack of equilibrium that I often fell. That same poor balance made me terrible at all games in physical ed classes, and I was always the last one chosen for any team. This state of affairs did not increase my popularity.

Access to a simple barre on which to practice the ballet positions I saw in pictures might have improved both my stability and grace of movement. Too late now. I grew up maladroit and stayed that way.

3. Did I mention I was a bit chubby? My body wasn't really fat, but had the slight padding known in my youth as “baby fat.” I look at photos of myself during those years, and the word that comes to mind is “solid.”

You may have trouble believing this part, but it’s true. I was the only pre-pubescent female of my knowledge to retain fluid. I loved salty foods and learned later in life that I’m salt-sensitive. Back then, I only knew that in the morning my clothes fit loosely. By afternoon—especially if I’d been eating dill pickles or green olives, which I loved—they were too tight.

My mother was frustrated by this phenomenon she didn't understand and which caused problems. She often had my clothing custom-made by a seamstress. If I had one fitting in the morning and the next in the afternoon, guess what? Nothing fit. My fluid retention was driving the seamstress crazy. She finally solved it by making every garment a bit too large for me. That really helped my popularity problem!


Oh, those wonderful salty dill pickles!
Oh, those wonderful salty dill pickles! | Source
Source

Klutziness and the State of being Accident-prone

Okay...I’ve gotten way off course. I began this little excursion to tell you what happened the morning I managed to break—yes, break--my ironing board by falling over it. I had the ironing board set up in the same room where I planned to photograph a few items to sell on eBay. I was inching my way backward to get the best shot, forgetting how close I was to the ironing board. when . . . Boom! Bang! Crash! Ouch!

Suddenly, the ironing board was on the floor, and I was lying on my back atop it. When I tried to get up, I fell over on one side and—oh,no! I fell onto my “bionic” knee (the replacement for an injured natural joint that's never felt exactly like it belongs there). Hitting it with all my weight (don't ask) is not recommended for the optimum care of an artificial knee, and I began limping a lot after I managed to pull myself to a standing position.

As the day wore on, every muscle, bone, and joint in my body seemed to be screeching in protest. However, that’s nothing compared to the ironing board's condition. Although I tried to push or pull its bent and twisted legs back into the correct position, one was bowed too badly for me to straighten it. When standing, the ironing board wobbled. This meant it was simply another accident waiting to happen, so out it went to the curb for garbage pickup.

Of all the things on which I’d prefer to spend my all-too-few discretionary dollars, a new ironing board is not on the list. My bank balance became another casualty of my klutziness, but I reminded myself that the purchase of an ironing board cost less than an emergency room visit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Scattered throughout my life's memories are multiple freak accidents around the house. When my youngest child was still a babe-in-arms, one of my backless sandals flew off my foot as I stepped onto the top tread of a staircase. Instead of falling forward on the baby, I bumped all the way to the bottom. The good news? I didn't drop my little one or injure him. The not-so-good news? A trip to the emergency room and an x-ray later, I had to sit on an air-filled doughnut cushion for a month.

I once slipped on a bar of soap in the shower, grabbed the plastic curtain hanging from a tension rod, and pulled both down on top of me as I fell into the very small bathroom across the closed lid of the toilet. As a finale to that swan dive, I hit my forehead on the sharp corner of the door frame.

I’d previously thought the expression “seeing stars” was an exaggeration, something on the order of poetic license, but it does happen. I literally saw stars of the shooting variety, blacked out briefly, and then I grabbed a towel to staunch the bleeding before crawling to my bed. People suffering from concussion don’t always react appropriately. I didn’t phone for help, but fell asleep with my blood-encrusted towel clasped to my head. The next day I had a painful goose-egg bump just below my hairline. It lasted for weeks. Then it grew smaller, and that size lasted for months. Many years later, there is still a tiny hard spot on my forehead to remind me of that incident.

I might run short of fingers on both hands if I tried to total my falls. There's always a reason, of course: stepping in an indentation on the lawn, tripping over an object lying on the floor, getting the back of my shoe caught in the automatic-closure storm door as I walked back indoors, etc. That last one certainly slammed me onto the floor!

My most recent freak accident happened when I sat on a small bench in my foyer to change shoes. The bench top has an overhang of seven inches on each side of the legs, which isn't a problem if I sit in the middle of the bench. Unfortunately, I had my mind on something else and didn't pay attention to what I was doing (probably a major reason for many accidents in the home) and sat off-center. When I lifted my left foot--farthest from the edge--my center of gravity shifted. The bench tipped over to the side, and I fell off, arms thrown out in alarm. The bruises and aches associated with a fall would be bad enough, but the side of my right hand made contact with the edge of a metal pin in the coat closet door's lower hinge. The resulting gash required four stitches.

After the blood flow decreased, I wrapped my hand in gauze and a stretch bandage and drove myself to the doctor's office. While preparing to suture my wound, she asked about a plastic bandage on one of the knuckles of that hand. Was that finger damaged in the accident? When I told her I cut it on a can lid while making lunch earlier that day, I thought she would fall off her stool laughing. The nurse and I laughed right along with her. After all, how many people injure the same hand in two separate accidents only a few hours apart?

After one of these mini-disasters, I feel a bit nervous about movement for a few days. After all, I've reached the age when breaking a bone can cause serious repercussions. I'm quite fortunate that I haven't broken one since 1978 (when I slipped while running on wet grass). Note to self: Be more mindful.

While it’s a folk saying that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same spot, that is inaccurate. There are documented instances of people who seem to attract lightning and have been victims of it more than once. Now, that would be scary! I should count my blessings. I’m klutzy, which is sometimes a hurtful and embarrassing condition, but not too bad when compared with being struck by lightning multiple times.

Another good thing: It's been quite a while since I fell out of bed, so sleeping is still pretty safe . . . I hope.





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NOTE: I am the author of this article, and it is owned by me in entirety.It is not available for use by reproducing in any form without my express written permission. If you see all or any part of this article (as written) on another site, please notify me where it can be found. Theft of a writer's work is plagiarism, and stealing another's words is no less wrong than any other theft. JAYE



Think I'll just go to sleep....
Think I'll just go to sleep.... | Source

© 2010 Jaye Denman

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Comments 21 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I loved the way you phrased that, nettlemere..."less than an elegantly disposed person." May I borrow it to describe myself from now on? It sounds so much better than "klutz." Thanks for reading, chuckling and for your comments. JAYE


Nettlemere profile image

Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

I chuckled with empathy through this one. I've had a series of mishaps due to being a less than elegantly disposed type of person too.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Stephanie....Your painting mishap makes you seem somewhat a "kindred soul." These things are funny--after the fact! And you're right about the ironing board. I try to stay away from it now. JAYE

Kathleen....Many people to whom I've described this incident say, "That could have been me." I wonder if this means the "klutzy" gene is rather common? Thanks for stopping by. JAYE


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Oh, my gosh! Although I'm sorry you hurt your bionic knee, I couldn't help laughing at the image of your mishap with the ironing board. Perhaps if you set up some video cameras in your house, you could record one of these incidents for Funniest Home Videos!

I once had a mishap that should have been on video while painting my living room ceiling. I mis-stepped off a ladder and while trying to stop myself, I dumped over a can of paint. In avoiding the spilled paint from the can, I stepped into a roller pan of paint and flipped it over... Meanwhile, my husband and son were rolling on the floor laughing. I think it took longer to clean up the mess than it did to paint the ceiling.

Enjoyed your hub so much! You do have a wonderful way of telling a story!

Oh, just get rid of the ironing board and go with clothes that don't need ironing...


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

This soooo could be me!!! Working my way through your hubs as well. A pleasure.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Ah, Victoria! I very much relate to your falling (stumbling, bumping into things, or whatever) while doing ordinary everyday activities. So has it always been with me.

It's ironic you mentioned being a fantastic dancer as well as a klutz. When I was younger (and before osteoarthritis touched me with its chill hand), I too loved to dance. Never once did I stumble or fall on the dance floor. Perhaps we simply need music playing in order to be graceful! :- )

I hope your angel friends continue to watch out for you. Thank you so much for reading my essay about my lifetime of freak accidents, and for your interesting comments.

Take care....JAYE


Victoria Rembeau Miko 4 years ago

I seem to have a Ph.D. of Klutz. I am a bit banged up from having fallen while gardening. I have been able to manage to hurt myself while walking, going up, or down steps, gardening, etc. However, I seem to survive everything.. no osteoporosis. My dear husband, Joseph, used to say, "how can you be such a fantastic dancer, and kill yourself while walking?" Friends have keys to my place in case I do another waltz, or tango, while doing normal things around the house. God must have his hands full with me,but I have angel friends everywhere who love me. Thank you God!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, fpherj48....I'm glad to have contributed to laughter through the years because, yes, many a trip and fall has occurred in my life. The older I get, the worse my equilibrium (and the more likelihood of breaking bones). I walk more slowly these days...just in case.

Jaye


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

F U N N Y! I can truly relate! My Dad didn't give me the nickname, "Grace," without good reason! Bless The Klutz, for they create laughter where ever they trip & fall! Up & funny


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

That's a very interesting theory, particularly since I've been plagued by a certain amount of clumsiness all my life. It would be nice to have something on which to blame this tendency, even if it's my own brain! In fact, now that you've piqued my interest, I'll do some research in that direction.

However, if it's just bad karma, thanks for your good wishes. A generous win (of any type) would be most welcome.

I haven't seen the film UNBREAKABLE, so will put it on my "to do" list.

Thanks for reading and your thoughtful comments.

Jaye


The Blagsmith profile image

The Blagsmith 5 years ago from Britain

Reading this article brought up similarities with the film Unbreakable though not so much in hard and soft but more in lucky and not lucky. I used to know an octagenarian lady that always managed to knock things over but I realised it was not her size that caused these problems but her lack of awareness of her immediate environment. She saw things but not thoroughly, some of us have brains that are subconsciously making risk assessments and so accidents are naturally avoided, and some of us don't. I do not know if this is the case with you, if not, then I hope karma comes back and rewards you generously with a lottery win.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Rose, and welcome to my hubs. Just call me SuperKlutz, since that label fits all too often!

I try to see humor in anything that isn't tragic. Laughing is so good for one's spirit!

Jaye


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago

A kindred spirit! Thought I was reading about myself! I like that you can see the humor in your mishaps, even if it takes a while. : )


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by, daydreamer13. I find these things funny, too--after the fact! JAYE


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

Thanks for the laugh! Great hub!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

...but you're scared of me! Go ahead, A.T., admit it! Of course, you're not the only one, but I usually just hurt myself and inanimate objects. Hey--if I couldn't laugh at myself, I'd be in a sorry state of affairs. I'm not a funny-funny person, but the things I do unwittingly make for some comedic moments. I don't usually laugh while they're happening, but find them funny after the fact. Thanks for stopping by....JAYE


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

The best kind of humour is when we can laugh at ourselves. I was laughing with you and felt a tiny bit sorry for you, but much sadder for that poor crumpled ironing board. I'd like to come visit but..........


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, J....Glad you stopped by. I have to laugh after one of these mishaps occurs, even when I feel a bit foolish that it did. Speaking of scissors, I'm v-e-r-y careful with them, but now must add ironing boards to my list of "be careful around" items. JAYE


jstankevicz profile image

jstankevicz 6 years ago from Cave Creek

Pretty funny! And sad, since I can relate… I wish I had a cat because I could point to it every time there is a stain, broken item, or miss-placed thing. Instead my wife points to me (and is too often correct). Can’t let my wife read this or she won’t let me near her sewing room with ironing board. Come to think of it, she won’t let me use her scissors?!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 6 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Lisa. It's better to laugh about being clumsy than to cry, isn't it? Thanks for your encouragement. I hope you will check out my other hubs. I'm still a bit of a newbie on HP, but have a few articles and several short stories published here. Everyone is so nice...like you. JAYE


Lisa M Smith profile image

Lisa M Smith 6 years ago from Coupeville, WA

Thank you for making me laugh! I too am clumsy and have had too many accidents to count! I wish you much success on hubpages and look forward to reading more from you!

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