Okay, I know I normally don’t blog on Sunday, and this isn’t a real blog. It’s just an observation, really. Today, I was at a Renaissance Faire, and the ground was very soft and uneven, and somehow I missed my footing and I fell. (I know it sounds like a lame excuse, but that’s better than just admitting I’m a total klutz.)
It was rather spectacular. When someone my size falls, there’s no such thing as a “little” fall. I was in search of my children, and I was carrying my chair over one shoulder, my bag over the other shoulder, with my (nice) camera around my neck and my umbrella in my hand. It was one of those slow-motion experiences when you realize you are starting to fall, and you try desperately to regain your footing, all the while knowing it’s a lost cause, and then SLAM! You fall flat on your face, on top of your camera and your bag containing your cell phone.
Lots of people saw me fall. It was so humiliating. But here’s the thing that I can’t get over. Even before I actually hit the ground, people were running to help me. Before I caught my breath, I had three concerned people hovering over me, asking me if I was all right, helping me to my feet, telling me to stop and calm down before trying to walk anywhere. They were full of concern.
This is, as far as I can remember, the third time in the last 20 years that I’ve had a bad fall in front of an audience. (There was a prizewinning fall that no one saw, thank goodness.) Each time, bystanders rushed to my aid. Each time they showed nothing but concern and kindness. Each time, not a single person laughed or made fun of me.
After all these years, I still expect the ridicule, and am so deeply grateful to be met with concern instead. I loved growing up in central Africa, but one of the drawbacks was that whenever someone fell down, even if they injured themselves, everyone stood around laughing hysterically and mocking the unfortunate person who fell. No one offered to help. I’m not sure what the cultural reason for this was, but I grew up absolutely terrified of tripping and falling because let’s face it, that by itself is embarrassing enough without getting jeered at as well.
I was shaking for well over an hour after my fall, but the consequences appear to be relatively minor. Despite the fact that I fell on my camera, the ground was soft and the camera appears to still be functional. (That was the thing I was really worried about.) My cell phone also appears to be operational. My body is going to be sore. My knees, one ankle and my chest and shoulders are all banged up. But, nothing is broken. It could have been so much worse!