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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bitter Grace

On my lunch break today, I swam upstream amidst the downpour, to the Nashville Public Library. My goal was to pick-up a History Channel documentary on the twelve apostles for our Bible study retreat this coming weekend. So, I'm bebopping along, listening to my high-heeled boots click along the marble floors and echo off the lobby walls of our gorgeous downtown library. I looked good today, and I don't mind saying so. My hair was bouncy, I had on dangly earrings, and my sapphire blue satin top shimmied as I walked. Let's just be real....I strutted across that library, and I knew I was being noticed.

After conducting my library-related business I sashayed back across the marble floor, and made my way to the exit. I must of had momentum when turning the corner, because in a mere second, my foot slipped out from under me and I took a great fall. Thankfully the only people who saw was a young mother and her toddler, but I was still mortified, nonetheless. What's with me and my ability to walk lately? Do other people have these issues?

My name literally translates to "Bitter Grace." Mary, meaning "bitter," and Anna, meaning "grace." Are Mom and Dad prophets? Did they know they would raise such a clumsy daughter?

If you would like further evidence of my spazziness, let me take you back to January of 2006. I was one of the few females employed at a technology firm in East Nashville, and I was constantly fighting against perception that the PR girl was just around to "look pretty."

On Friday afternoon, I'm sitting in our conference room with about fifteen other men, including our company President, Vice Presidents, and my boss. Another female coworker was in the room with me, and she was sitting right beside me. The room was silent as our President spoke, training us on a new product the company would release a few months later.

I'm sitting in an old, rickety, rolling office chair with only four legs at the bottom forming an X shape. I assume this chair was built in the seventies, before the days of safety codes and product standards. It's nearly impossible to find a rolling office chair these days with any less than five legs for stabilization.

So, I've got my legs crossed, and a stack of paperwork in my lap. I lift my hand, and the top sheet of paper flutters away, and down to the floor. I lean over to pick it up, legs still crossed, and my female coworker does the same. She realizes I'm going to get to the paper first, so she straightens back up. As she does, her right leg extends behind her, and she accidentally kicks one leg of my chair.

The chair shoots backward, and I shoot forward, onto the ground. My legs are still crossed under me, and one foot is tangled in the chair. My chin has a burn rash from where it hit the carpet. And the worst part is I can't get up quickly enough.

Now, picture a silent, serious room, full of men with big egos, and a 24-year-old girl, trying to prove she can hang with the big boys, but instead, flails like a fish on the conference room floor. I've never been more embarrassed in my entire life. Except, maybe, since the time I accidentally walked into the men's restroom at Outback when I was eleven years old. Forgive me for not knowing the difference between "sheilas" and "blokes."

I'll be honest, though...I've told the above story many times to many people, and it's never failed to illicit peals of laughter from my audience. It is funny. On my way home from work that day, I called Mom and told her what happened, and I cried...but I laughed too...just like you are right now.


Blogger thesciencegirl said...

Mary Anna, we are kindred spirits in this regard. I have fallen on my face (or behind) more times than I can count, and some of the stories are epic. I fell down the stairs off the stage at my high school scholarship awards ceremony. I got up and took a bow, to thunderous applause from the room of hundreds. I was known as the girl who tripped up the stairs in middle school. I've fallen up and down the stairs at movie theaters. Just tonight, I was getting out of a guy's car, and I stumbled into a puddle, tried to step back, and fell into the side of his car. haha.

10:11 PM


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