Yesterday I attended an important strategy meeting at an upscale restaurant with two other businesswomen. During the meal, I accidentally knocked over a glass of wine, soaking my papers, my Ipad, the tablecloth, and the menus. The women continued to discuss the agenda as we calmly moved to another table. My inevitable clumsiness came as no surprise.
I don’t intentionally plan to cause havoc, mayhem, and disruptive behavior, but I’ve been cursed with the exceptional ability to stumble, sprain, break, bruise, and choke my way through life with consistent proficiency. A few true examples show pathetic proof of my accident prone existence:
I broke my foot a few weeks before my son’s wedding so I had to wear a huge black boot. So I covered it with jewels and danced all night.
On a business trip to the east coast for Boise Cascade, I sprained my ankle and tore ligaments and the injury required a visit to the emergency room so it was reported to Workers Comp. My boss was furious because the accident impacted our department’s safety record.
Once I threw a stick to a dog and a splinter impaled a nerve in my finger. My hand swelled and turned black and I needed regular transfusions to battle the ensuing infection. My arm had to be tied above my head on my bedframe, and now my finger remains crooked.
In 2000, I was the Commencement Speaker for the University of Idaho. On the day of the speech, I developed laryngitis. My voice sounded like James Earl Jones doing phone sex.
I was gallantly attempting a high impact exercise class with women half my age and I tripped over some hand weights, resulting in more torn ligaments.
I was the keynote speaker at a large banquet but right before it was my turn to speak I choked on a piece of chicken. The audience waited patiently while I coughed up the offending food, caught my breath, dried my watering eyes, burped, sneezed, and then stood to speak.
One late afternoon when I was skiing at Sun Valley, I flew off the side of a steep trail and landed in a tree on the far side of the mountain. By the time I could unstrap my gear and crawl down, the lift was closed. I had to catch the employee bus into town and then take another bus back to the ski resort where my friends and the Ski Patrol were frantically searching for me. My friends never skied with me again.
Instead of focusing on the negative reality of being awkward, I try to appreciate the positive aspects of surviving any day without calamity or an accident. I have another important business event this weekend and my goal is to go 48 hours without some catastrophe. If I can make it, my friends will be so excited they’ll bring me some wine – in a sippy cup with a lid.
Today’s blog was fueled by a Sabastiani Cabernet, a robust wine from Sonoma County. It’s about $55 a bottle at Bonefish Grill in Boise, and it’s embarrassing and painful to spill a glass. Next time I’ll bring a travel mug.