Monday, 31 May 2010

the unbearable clumsiness of being

One way to survive in this world with your self-esteem intact is to have an imaginary, idealised version of yourself firmly implanted in your head. If you don't like your size, or shape, imagine yourself how you truly want to be as you go about your daily life. Sometimes I think we do this unconsciously, when I catch a glimpse of myself in a random mirror or shop window, it takes a moment to really recognise that person.

My idealised self is graceful and elegant, gliding through the world without the least bump or bruise. It's been a very clumsy week for me. Last Tuesday I was getting off the top deck of the bus early in the morning, not really paying much attention as I was chatting to a colleague, when I heard this grunt of protest behind me. I turned to find that, as I'd let go of one of the bus's poles, my hand had smacked into the back of an elderly man's head, knocking his headphones askew. He was quite rightly red with outrage. The next day, in a small and overcrowded meeting room I managed to walk right into a shelf protruding from the wall. I've walked into the bed twice, I have matching bruises on my shins. But my nadir came on Saturday. Iwas at my mate's house, and she, foolishly perhaps, asked me to pour the tea. It came out in a dribble from the spout of the teapot. So I shook the pot and jiggled it around, until the leaves blocking the spout cleared, and the tea fountained everywhere, saturating the place mates and spoiling the polish on her wooden table.

Some of these incidents can be explained by my physique, I'm tall, with long limbs and big hands and feet, so there's quite a lot of me to fit into spaces that often aren't ideal for a person my size. I also have shocking spatial awareness and no sense of depth, or any of the dimensions at all really. This is one of the reasons I gave up driving; I was a menace when trying to get through parked cars against oncoming traffic, I could never tell if there was room. I lost a number of wing mirrors doing this until I gave it up as a bad job.

But some accidents, such as the teapot fiasco, could happen to anyone yet always seem to happen to me. Sometimes I think the world of inanimate objects is out to get me...

1 comment:

Ursula Read said...

No honey - we're all like that to a greater or lesser degree! And the stain on the table will always remind me of you xxx