Sunday, November 30, 2008

Little Indignities

The other day a student rushed up for a hug. Then she looked at me and asked, "Why do you have two different shoes on?"

I looked down at my feet. Sure enough, the left foot wore a blue shoe, the right one a brown. I have taken to wearing Crocs since a bout with plantar fasciitis so at least I was wearing the same style shoe. They were just not the same color.

I grinned at her. "It's weird shoe day, didn't you get the notice?" I asked. She shook her head. Then she took off down the hall to ask her friends if it really was weird shoe day. I ducked into my classroom. Later in the day I saw the same student in the hall. "I think you're the only one who got the weird shoe day notice, Ms. Clarke," she confided. "No one else did!"


J burst out laughing when I related the story to her and told me about the day she went to work with her skirt on inside out. If anyone noticed they didn't mention it. Finally a student asked her why she had those funny threads on her skirt. J looked down. Sure enough, all her seams were showing. She hustled into the women's room and righted herself. "It was dark when I got dressed," she made excuse. I know. It's dark in my closet, too.

As if looking foolish wasn't enough for the day, that night I got out of bed to use the facilities. I caught my foot on a basket of magazines that I've avoided on my nightly trips for the past 8 years. My balance, never good since an inner ear infection, deserted me completely and I fell. Fortunately a chair stopped my body and the china cabinet stopped my face. I crept painfully into the bathroom to inspect the damage, fully expecting to see the beginnings of a black eye and a split lip. I thought I detected some minor swelling and two red spots on chin and forehead but the next morning there was not a mark on my face. You'd think I'd at least have had a bruise to show for all the pain, some swelling and a shiner to brag about.

"That's how it starts, Memere," my daughter-in-law said ominously when I joked to her about being old and falling. "I was able to get up by myself, though," I reminded her, feeling suddenly much older. While we spoke, I moved the offending magazine basket.

I am not yet, nor do I want to be, at the emergency-call-button-night-light-on-clear-path-to-the-bathroom stage of old. J says we just have to take these things in stride. At least, she reminds me, we're still laughing at our mishaps. I just wish I wasn't laughing so often!


Diane said...

I did the blue shoe/black shoe thing AND the inside-out skirt thing, both when I was in my 20's! So no worries there... it really IS simply a case of getting dressed in the dark! AND I fall all the time. The last time, I tripped over the dog gate that I've cleared a million times and went down on HARD on my knee. My daughter, who came in while I was still lying on the floor, stunned, asked what happened. When I told her, she simply said, "Wow, that must've hurt," and walked past me into the kitchen to get a snack. She clearly got her father's empathy gene. At least she didn't laugh. Small favors, right? Sort of like your no-black-eye/split-lip.

PS... glad you didn't have a black eye or split lip!!

susan m hinckley said...

Well, speaking of "little indignities", I witnessed a good one on Saturday morning at the dog park. It seems there is a mischievous but beautiful golden retriever who has the unfortunate habit of yanking his owner's pants down. It's quite magic -- just "yoink" and they're right down around his ankles. I believe I would have invested in suspenders by now, but we all had the best laugh I've enjoyed in quite some time. Luckily, my dog was rather occupied with sniffing instead of watching, and therefore will have to make do with the bad habits he has managed to think of on his own. . . . which are plenty.

etcetera said...

Getting older is life's way of making sure we don't take ourselves too seriously and can enjoy what we have left.

Molly said...

It's when the sense of humour deserts us that we'll really have to worry. I made one of those nocturnal trips, to use the facilities, as you so delicately put it, one recent night. I've been doing this for 60 [agghhh!] years now. No need for a light. Before returning to bed I decided to put some nose drops in my nose as it felt really dry. So I groped on the counter 'til my hands closed around what felt like the right bottle. I then proceeded to generously squirt "Seacret" cuticle oil up each nostril! At least I lived to tell the tale....

That was a quick recovery you made when questioned about your choice of footwear!

Pauline said...

Diane - you started young! Kids can be so insightful sometimes and so devoid of sympathy at others... my greatest fault is laughing when something like that happens - a kind of nervous laugh but laughter just the same.

susan - indignity personified lol

etc. I think you're right - but am I not humble enough yet?

oi, molly! that could not have felt good! Reminds me of the early morning J reached for a jar of peaches in the dark (who doesn't know what a jar of peaches feels like in the dark?) and was surprised to find a pickle in her mouth!

goatman said...

Hey, wearing your clothes inside-out is all the rage nowadays.
Nice comeback on the shoes; you are quick on your feet.

Pauline said...

goatman - for teenagers, maybe lol...

I work with second graders - I have to be quicker than they are. It's exhausting!

Java said...

We were at a restaurant once with friends and one of their other guests had a price tag still haging out from under his arm. My hubby enjoyed telling him that. LOL