Friday, 27 May 2011

In which I fall flat on my face

I think I speak for womankind when I say we all have things we’d like to change about ourselves.

It might be that we’d like to have a slightly thinner nose, or different boobs, or Pippa Middleton’s bottom, but whatever it is we’d like to change, it’s safe to say that we’re never entirely happy with our lot.

There’s a whole host of things I’d quite happily swap around, but the first is rather more fundamental than wishing my eyes weren’t quite such a mish-mash of colours. I’d really love just a little more grace.

It’s difficult enough being thought of as elegant when you’re the wrong side of 5’4”: it’s even harder when you’re the clumsiest person known to womankind. As things stand, I’m more often than not highly embarrassed and nursing some sort of stain or bruise.

But I would dearly, dearly love to have grace and poise; to be able to drift elegantly into a room and sashay back out again without being gripped by the fear that I’ll fall over my feet halfway round.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be well aware of the frequency of tweets that involve me and some sort of spillage – whether it’s Diet Coke down my top; coffee on my scarf; or cous cous in the keyboard. And it’s not just at my desk that my malcoordination shows.

Working in a basement comes with its problems (the lack of natural light, and having to stare at a wall all day, for two) but for a gal as clumsy as I, the stairs prove a particular challenge. Ours up to the ground floor are winding and exceptionally steep in that way that stairs can only be in converted houses. And, not too long ago, in an attempt to sneak out quietly, I managed to make a total eejit of myself by falling not down, but up them on my way out of work. Planting oneself squarely in the carpet in front of a room full of people still sitting at their computers is decidedly not smooth. And, for the record, neither is my leg – whilst the large and purple bruise seems to have vanished, the bump hasn’t.

It’s not just at work, either – at home there’s more likely than not to be slutty red nail polish on the white bedlinen (painting your nails in bed: not wise, kids); and the number of times I’ve almost fallen down the stairs whilst performing a slalom with the cat is unthinkable.

At a recent Blonde Towers dinner party, just before the arrival of my guests, I managed to break six side plates in my attempt to remove them from the cupboard, resulting in a distinct lack of matching crockery (that might be a peculiarly middle class dilemma, but it is a dilemma nonetheless).

I look at other, more graceful women and think that I would love not to spend my evenings falling face first into the Soho pavement in front of people I’d really rather not fall face into the Soho pavement in front of. I would love to glide round place like a swan, no feather out of place, serene and beautiful. But sadly, I’m rather more familiar with the frantic scrabbling that goes on under the water in an attempt to get from A-B.

But if I were able to get from A-B at all, gracefully or no, without breaking something in the meantime, that’d be good too.

Or, y’know, Pippa’s bum. Whichever.


David said...

On behalf of men everywhere, we would all like ALL women to have Pippa's bum


I concur, grace and poise, serenity, elegance - I was RIGHT at the back of the queue when they were handed out. It's always my newest clothes which get dribbled upon, always my bestest crockery which gets dropped. As a child, friends of my parents would ask "is Lucy left handed?". I think this was a polite way of asking what on earth was wrong with me. I'm 5'8 so my clumsiness proves a very catastrophic and difficult to conceal air. Pregnancy made it ten times worse! No cure for clumsiness, but I'm sure surgeons all over the world are working on a 'Pippa's Bottom' operation as we speak....

Amy said...

I am sorry, but I will fight you for the title of clumsiest person know to womankind. Admittedly I would probably trip over my own feet halfway through, but I'd probably crash into you whilst doing so and the fight would end in a helpless mess on the floor.

Ten minutes before my musician partner was set to go on stage at an important gig, I knocked half a pint of Coke into his lap. I'm not allowed to carry tea from the kitchen to the living room after a succession of me tripping over with it. I have managed to ruin perfectly good meals by accidentally tipping an entire pot of black peppercorns into them. As for eating, on my first day at a new job I tipped my plate up and spilt half a plate of creamy pasta into my lap.

Strangely enough, I am also the wrong side of 5'4". Maybe they should start grace courses for clumsy women.

Gin Operated said...

This is a familiar one - I am permanently covered in bruises, and have a nice habit of falling over horrendously in public, so catastrophically strangers feel the need to come up and sympathise. In fact I haven't done it for a while - probably due a tumble on the way home.

As for crockery - did you not wonder why we have Denby? It's the only reason all of our wedding china (touch wood) looks set to survive till our second anniversary. x

The Pedant said...

"...but for a gal as clumsy as I...". (Unfortunate juxtaposition of a clumsy sentence about clumsiness.) I think "...but for a gal as clumsy as me..." would be better.

I don't know why it should be, but there seems to be a real dislike of the word 'me' in common English usage. There's apparently an unwritten rule of, if in doubt use 'I'. But I know that you know better or it wouldn't be worth pointing out.

Liberty London Girl said...

Was I wearing a dress when last we met? Because if was you would have been able to admire the purple crosshatchings on my legs. I have had to buy a new bed purely to stop myself walking into the old bedframe. I once fell on my bottom down a half flight of marble stairs at the Grand Palais after a Vialli show in front of the ENTIRE FASHION PACK. Take that and party. LLGxx

Redbookish said...

Ballet, classes. That's all I have to say. Ballet.

That's how I manage to look 5' 8" when I'm really only 5' 4", and a dress size smaller and 10 kg lighter than I really am.

Oh and the high heels.

Redbookish said...

Oh, and Pedant, I think 'as clumsy as I " is actually correct. Add the implied verb to be: 'as clumsy as I am.'

That's the test.

Anonymous said...

Redbookish, you may well be right there. I read it as an inversion which de-inverted and stripped down would read "the stairs prove a challenge for I" which is clearly not good. But I have to admit that "the stairs prove a challenge for a gal as clumsy as I am" doesn't bring me out in prickly heat.

Blonde said...

David: You know, I believe you.

Lucewoman, Amy, Gin O, LLG: Ladies, you make my heart sing. It's excellent to know that there are other clumsies out there. x

Pedant: I refer you to Red.

Red: Thank you for the grammar solidarity. I will, however, pass on the ballet lessons, I think. (No one needs to be subjected to my attempts to do that...) x

Brennig said...

I actually have Pippa's bum. Believe.

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