I did another faceplant the other day.
This one was a result of my looking up to say hello to a friend standing on her steps. As I was smiling at her I somehow missed the curb, lost my balance and skidded across the pavement. In my attempt to save myself, I managed to roll over onto my back and into a muddy flower bed. I couldn’t repeat the process if I tried. The result was I was soaked alllll the way through my clothing, right down to my underwear. I began laughing hysterically, especially when I realized I had somehow miraculously avoided injuring myself. My friend ran down to help me and as she grabbed my hand and started to pull me up, an even more embarrassing event occurred. How can I say this delicately? I passed gas. Yeah, that was it. I ripped one. Talk about adding insult to near-injury.
We both sat on the curb, tears running down our faces we were laughing so hard. I had to go back in and actually shower again and change my clothes. The whole time I was in the bathroom I was still giggling.
This episode of “kissing the ground” was just another in the long list of unfortunate incidents of stumbling that have caused my Mediterranean skin to flush into rosy tones.
I’ve written several times about my propensity for falling. I blame it on the fact that I had back surgery a number of years ago for a ruptured disk. I walked around with it for so long thinking it would just “go away” I suffered nerve damage in my left leg and particularly my left foot. It is referred to as a “floppy foot.” I would like to say that this is the only thing floppy on my body, but those of you who are in your late 50′s or early 60′s know that would be an outright lie. Unless you are Suzanne Somers. Or married to a plastic surgeon. Anyway, this floppy foot is particularly annoying when I’m tired; I will it to step normally but it doesn’t always cooperate. That is what causes me to stumble on occasion, particularly if I’m in a hurry.
This brings me to the very first time I met the MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”).
I hadn’t been on a date in nearly 40 years and after my divorce I refused to become a bar-fly. I’m not sure exactly what a bar-fly does but I just knew I didn’t want to meet people by hanging out in drinking establishments. I opted to be modern so I created profiles on several dating sites. I sometimes refer jokingly to myself as “the internet slut.” They were all the same profile, although I must admit I was tempted to create some outrageous characters but there was always the off-chance I might actually get to the point where I’d meet the person. I would feel awful if they were terribly disappointed to find out that I really wasn’t a super-model who had just completed a run on Broadway in a minor role in a Tony Award-winning show who worked with the Hopi Indians in the off-season and listed as her hobbies sky-diving and dancing the salsa. So, I stuck to the truth, boring as that was.
Well, MOTNSO came across me on one of these and sent an email saying we seemed to have a lot in common and would I like to get better acquainted? He had no photo. He is the first to admit that he is technologically challenged with some aspects of working on a computer, one of them being scanning and uploading pictures. We exchanged emails for a couple of weeks and then progressed to the telephone. The code of conduct for this is the lady calls the man, blocking her phone number in case he turns out to be Ted Bundy. We talked for a couple of weeks (breaking an all time record once of eight hours on the phone. Upon hearing this, my youngest daughter said to me “Mom, that is so high school!”) and after a suitable amount of time determined that we should probably meet. I’d had a few dates by then but MOTNSO was the first one I really liked before I’d ever even seen a picture of him. That intrigued me.
We planned to rendezvous between 11:30 and 12:00 at the Ferris Wheel at the Irvine Spectrum. I asked him what he looked like. He was quiet for a minute and then responded that some people said he looked like Gavin McLeod, the Captain of television’s Love Boat. I thought that was okay and said something teasingly about that and he came back with “Well, you know, I may have a third eye.” I was to look for someone wearing a Notre Dame baseball cap.
The day of the “date” came and I had to make a stop at my broker’s office, which was in Irvine Center as well, to drop off a check. I got lost in the maze of office buildings and was running late so I was hurrying.
That morning I’d gone through the whole “what to wear” thing and decided on a black shirt (slimming) and white slacks, even though it was past Labor Day and would be frowned upon on the east coast. I finally found a place to park and was hurrying through the lot when I just totally did not see the large, bright blue bump in the ground that was the stop for the handicapped parking space. Yes, I did one of my inimitable faceplants. A woman came hurrying over to help me and I was suddenly spilling almost my whole life story I was in such a panic. Then I looked down at the white pants only to see that they had two large black marks where my knees hit the pavement. I wasn’t all that familiar with the Spectrum so this angel walked me to the nearest ladies’ room and helped me clean myself up. All I kept thinking (besides the fact that MOTNSO was probably thinking he’d been stood up) was “This is what I get for wearing white pants in September.”
I finally made it to the meeting point (it is a very big Ferris Wheel and it took me some time to find the entrance where he was supposed to be waiting) and I finally spotted this nice-looking man wearing a Notre Dame hat. As I started toward him I saw him glance down at my knees. Before I could explain what happened he lifted his hat and taped to his forehead was a third eye. As nervous and embarrassed as I was about my appearance I just started to laugh. It was the first of many, many laughs we have shared.
In the 2.5 years since that day, he has witnessed the results of more than one of my meet-ups with asphalt, cement and other hard surfaces resulting in war wounds caused by my floppy foot fussing. He has even prevented a few by grabbing me before I could hit the ground.
Since I write about him so often, I thought you might like to see a picture of him. What do you think?