Fresh Ink 2006)
There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place after distressing things happen. In the retelling of them, they become funny rather than upsetting. You now have a story that will make people laugh every time you tell it.
Such an incident happened to me years ago, and as you read about my moment of acute embarrassment, please feel free
Back in the days when women dressed in suits and high heels to go to work, my friend
and I treated ourselves to lunch at an elegant restaurant close to the office. I’m
sure we gave the impression of very successful career women—women in control of their destiny. My high-heeled shoes with straps around the ankles actually matched my blue suit.
We enjoyed a delicious meal (no wine) when we suddenly realized the time. We would be late getting back to work if we didn’t leave immediately.
The tables in the restaurant were unusually close together with little space to navigate. Sandy left first, and people watched her walk through the room, the epitome of lovely sophistication.
Soon, all eyes were focused on me but unfortunately not for the same reason. When I took my first step forward—I fell flat. Surprised
and startled, I jumped to my feet—and fell straight back down. A little
slower this time, I pushed myself to a standing position—and fell again! This
time, totally confused, I stayed down. No one in the restaurant moved. No one rushed to my side. There was a sudden cessation of
all conversation. I was now definitely the center of attention.
It was then that my dear friend said the words that make me laugh to this day. Sandy stood, looking down at me, calmly, as if nothing unusual had happened. Finally, in an unruffled, quiet voice, she asked, “Libby,
why do you keep falling down?”
To which, I responded, meekly, “I don’t know.”
My very wise friend then asked the pertinent question, “Is your foot asleep?” Reaching down, I realized I couldn’t feel my leg below my knee. It was completely numb. Since I tend to cross my legs when
sitting, I had obviously cut off the necessary blood flow.
Relieved to understand the problem. I quickly jumped up one once more and with my head
held high, gracefully hopped across the room on one high-heeled shoe. After sitting
on a chair in the lobby for a few minutes and rubbing circulation back into my leg, I assured Sandy I was able to walk. Keeping a wary eye on me, she followed me out of the restaurant to our car.
For a few weeks afterwards, my friend always answered my request to go out to lunch with
the question, “Do you promise not to fall down?”