When asked to think of a FML moment from high school, there’s one that springs to mind first. It wasn’t a huge moment - my life didn’t shear away from it, headed off in an entirely new direction. But I remember it, with utter clarity, more years later than I’d like to admit.
At the time, I was a junior, and a dedicated actress, bound for DePaul University’s acting program. It was a Saturday morning, and I had some performance or other that I was supposed to arrive at relatively early. It had snowed in the night, just a bit. Enough to sparkle, but I could still see the tips of the grass above the flakes. I used to park my car - a blue Oldsmobile (please hold your comments) - on the street in front of my parents’ house. It was a terrible parking spot, because it was at a low area in the street and it tended to gather water and get mucky and disgusting.
Anyway, I was headed out for this morning call time, and I stepped off the crunchy, frozen grass and onto the snowy street to walk around to the driver’s side of my car.
Problematically, under the fine layer of snow was a thick layer of ice.
When I say “I fell,” I don’t mean I took a knee or landed rather adorably on my back side. I mean arms-pinwheeling-legs-akimbo-flat-on-my-face bit it.
I was fine. That was the good news. The bad news was that, out of the corner of my eye, I realized I could see a car, driving down the street towards me. I was in no danger of being hit by this car - that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I had been SEEN. I hesitated, just for a moment, while the enormity of my embarrassment washed over me. What was I going to do? Pretend it hadn’t happened?
With as much dignity as I could muster, I got to my feet, turned to the approaching car, and gave a deep and sincere bow. The car slowed to a stop, the driver rolled down his window and said: “I give it an eight.”
I laughed. He laughed. But it felt like laughing with, rather than laughing at. I’d taken that totally graceless and stupid moment, and, rather than letting it own me, I had owned it. It was a good lesson.
That, and walking really carefully when it’s snowed. That’s a good lesson, too.
Today, I've got a copy of The Gathering Dark, and a copy of Defy the Dark, in which Christine's story, Shadowed appears. For today's contest, leave a comment with the score of your most embarrassing fall.