I may not have mentioned this before, but I am a really clumsy person.
I promise you: If there is something on the floor, I will trip over it; if there is a wall, I will walk into it.
As of late I’ve taken to yelling “Mazel Tov!” or “Opa!” when I break a glass. That way, an everyday accident becomes a celebration!
Beyond keeping the house stocked with ice packs and Band-Aids, clumsy people have other things to worry about. For example, I would never feel right naming my future kid “Grace,” although I think it’s a beautiful name. I read Freakonomics. And I know what genetics can do.
In any case, here’s what drives me (and I gather other similarly klutzy people) nuts – when people say "Careful!” right after one of my incidents.
Now, is this meant to say, “You shouldn’t break that stuff.”? If so, my response is, “You’re so right! It was stupid of me to purposefully drop that antique vase on the floor!” (By the by, I should note that because of my lack of hand/eye coordination, I try to be very mindful of other people’s stuff. I ask someone else to carry my friend’s antique china. Drinking red wine over a white rug in polite company is a forever no-no. If I’m babysitting, I make sure the room has very thick carpet.)
Or, is it meant to say, “You might try being careful.”? If so, my response is, “I never explored that as an option. Tell me more about this ‘being careful.’ It seems all the cool kids are doing it.”
Or, is it meant to say, “Oh, careful! You’ll hurt yourself.”? If so, my response is, “Really? I never knew that’s how I got so many bruises! You’re a genius! (Pulling out shards of glass from my hand.)”
Here’s an actual discussion that happened today in my house, paraphrased for your reading enjoyment.
J(Handing me package): Hey, what’s this? A new license plate?
Me: Uh, yeah. I ordered one of those special ones. (Unwraps special “Garden State” plate, which advertises NJ agriculture.)
J: You paid extra for something that you can for get for free?
Me: It was only, like, $20 and it features cute pictures of vegetables. Look! Corn!
J: But we already pay taxes and renewal fees for this. (Rolls eyes gratuitously.)
Me: I thought the charming license plate might draw my attention away from all the dents. Don’t you want me to be happy? (Pouts gratuitously.)
J: (Shakes his head, turns around and leaves my office.)
After ever-frugal J got over his initial shock, we got into this whole discussion about why I chose this particular plate. Weren’t there other special causes I could choose from? Then, I proceeded to lecture him on the merits of each plate.
Organ Donor Plate: Yay! Organs! I would love to give them some bucks but the flower didn’t do it for me. Why not feature a healthy-looking liver or something?
Law Enforcement Plate: It’s a very good cause – for children of fallen police officers. I’m happy to give money, but I hate driving enough as it is. Thinking of mother/fatherless children every time I get behind the wheel? Oy…
Animal Friendly Plate: Supports animal population control. I figured that since I won’t let J get a dog, I don’t deserve this plate.
The Meadowlands Plate: Gives bucks to land preservation and conservation in the Hackensack Meadowlands and River Watershed. Whenever I think of the Meadowlands, I think of crime bosses encased in cement – not migratory birds.
Deborah Heart and Lung Plate: Helps fund the Deborah center for heart and lung disease. Admittedly I’m still reeling from an occasion where one of the volunteers gave me a thorough (and very public) tongue lashing for pronouncing the organization’s name “Debra.” So you never get in the same pickle or ever wish to regale people with fun heart/lung stories at cocktail parties, it’s pronounced “De-BOAR-uh.”
Liberty State Park Plate: This helps support the re-development and modernization of the area surrounding the Statue of Liberty. It’s just a sore spot for me. I’m all for “your tired” and “your poor.” However, it bums me out that – despite its New Jersey location -- The Statue of Liberty is considered by most to be a New York landmark. (And don’t even get me started on how the NY Giants and NY Jets play in a New Jersey stadium!)
Treasure our Trees Plate: Very pretty! This was my second choice.
Pinelands Plate: These bucks are used for the Pinelands National Reserve. However, this plate freaks me out. Makes me think of Pineys and the Jersey Devil.
United We Stand Plate: This plate “helps fund the ‘Rewards for Justice Fund’ (sic) which provides reward money for reliable information that leads to the capture of terrorist (sic) and terrorist plots (sic).” OK. Let me get this straight. I’m giving money, so that New Jersey (?) can give my money to people who want money for doing what they should be doing in the first place -- pointing law enforcement in the direction of bad people.
Stressful day, so J and I went out to the local Applebee’s.
As you likely know, the server’s rap at Applebee’s (along with just about every other Stuff-Salvaged-From-Garage-Sales-and-Tacked-to-the-Wall-because-it's-FUN!!! joints) is a tightly scripted exercise in salesmanship.
They test drive the hell out of these scripts because every blessed word that comes out of the servers’ mouths (“Would you like to try an order of our tasty mozzarella sticks?” “How about some of our caramel-drizzled, hot apple pie to finish you off?”) is meant to extract another $6.95 + tip out of your wallet.
Considering how much research goes into this stuff, it drives me nuts that this is the new thing I hear when I go to these joints…
Hi. My name is (Blank). I’ll be taking care of you.
This makes me think that they plan on changing my diaper, giving me a painful injection or doing some kind of hooking on the side.
Ran to library (or, as it’s pronounced in our town, “li-BERRY”) and had the liBERRYan call me by my first name. I know it sounds corny but it made me feel like a local celebrity.
Whipped together dinner and an experimental “Wacky Cake” from a recipe I found in Cook’s Country. The historical cake, the result of some crafty cook's response to World War II rationing, is butterless and involves making three craters in the batter to dump in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and – get this – white vinegar. When covered with Reddi-Whip, it takes just like a Ding-Dong. However, I should probably mention that I’m not a huge fan of Ding-Dongs.
Just a lot going on. And blogs are tricky little things. I tend to be pretty conservative about mine. If I ever ask myself the question, “Should I be posting this?” The automatic answer is “No.”
Yes, the world at large will miss out on saucy tales about miscellaneous squabbles, career-related adventures, and some anecdotes that begin with, “So, I was throwing back pomegranate martinis and you won’t believe what happened next…” However, at the end of the day, we’re probably all better for it.