I have a long, sordid history of accidentally falling headfirst into chaos. For example, at least twice, I caught birthday cakes on fire with those stupid little trick candles. I’m not very domestic, either. I burn everything I try to bake. I’ve thrown away many baking sheets just because it was too stressful to keep scraping the ashes off of it with a screwdriver. No one accuses me of being all wrapped up in my looks, I can sure tell you that. I brush my hair in the morning if it’s a good day and I can actually find my comb.
And so, yes, I’m one of the messiest, most disorganized people you will ever meet. Unfortunately, even during those rare occasions when I actually wish for something to go well – meaning I don’t ignite anything or break anything, lose anything or accidentally allow my sailor mouth to flap with no supervision – I often fail.
That’s exactly what happened when I planned to attend a friend’s play. I picked out a simple top and my favorite black skirt with beautiful, lacy ruffles all the way to my toes. Then I topped off the look with my dressiest pair of black flip-flops and smiled at the fact that I was attending the play in my friend’s Jeep, which has no top. I was excited to look up at the stars all the way home, with the night breeze on my face.
However, that romantic vision quickly faded when I threw open the passenger door to get in. I still don’t know what caused the catastrophe and I suppose that’s not important, anyway. But to make a long, unladylike story short, I fell out the door. When I realized that – yes indeed – I was going down, my only thought was that I had to avoid landing on my chest. My reconstruction surgery for breast cancer is still new, so I was not willing to squash my new implants all over the gravel.
Suddenly, I was on my back, staring up at the sky, with my hands protectively covering my chest.
“Oh my gosh, are you OK?” My friend’s face appeared above me, looking alarmed. “There was nothing I could do! One second you’re there, climbing into the passenger seat. And the next minute, you were gone.”
“Well, I forgot to inspect the muffler,” I said with an eye roll.
But when she tried to help me up, I turned into a brat.
“I don’t need help,” I lied since my pride was bruised nearly as much as my left shoulder, hip and the back of my hard head.
After I managed to get to my feet and get in the passenger seat without an ambulance call, I assumed the moment of embarrassment was behind me.
But nope, that was not true.
I stepped inside the theater, happy to see my dear friend, the beaming playwright, and all of my friends from the comedy writers group. But suddenly, instead of greeting me, other women started to pluck at my skirt.
Once again, I was too unladylike to check the back of my skirt until it was too late.
The ruffles on the back were dotted with dried leaves, all the way to the floor.
So much for trying to feel just a little bit worldly.
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups.