Klutzy Confessions

                                    By: Loretta Casteen


     Living with a bona fide klutz is hard.  Just ask my poor husband, he can tell you.

     Our broken dish replacement budget is soaring into the triple digits.  Emergency room workers know me on sight, we have more icepacks than food in our freezer and my husband has confiscated my electric knife–permanently.

     The trouble with a true klutz is that we’re so often in deep denial of our own chronic clumsiness.

    I’ll never forget the terror on my husband’s face the day he discovered me standing on tiptoe in the middle of the dining room table changing out a light bulb.

     “Get down from there”, he squeaked, as the color drained from his face. “You’re going to kill yourself!”

     “Don’t be silly”, I said, rolling my eyes. “See?” I grinned as I lightly stepped down onto the seat of a chair. “No harm done!” I bowed dramatically, hopped off the chair and promptly broke my ankle.

     “Don’t do it. You’ll kill yourself” has become my husband’s mantra.

     “Hey Mom, want to jump on the trampoline with us?”

      “Don’t do it. You’ll kill yourself.”

     “Want to learn how to rollerblade? I can teach you!”

     “Don’t do it. You’ll kill yourself.”

     Sometimes he even mumbles it in his sleep.

     So, where was his usual warning to me before the “Horror of the Thumb” incident?

     Last summer when we were invited to go water skiing with my best friend and her boyfriend, my husband didn’t even give me a “be careful” warning as I jumped into the water.  He just tossed me a towrope, grinned and said “Hit it!”

     I was pretty wobbly on my skis at first, but was soon doing better.  I was skiing! I was feeling so happy and confident, I decided to impress everyone by crossing over the boat wake—big mistake.

     In an instant, I knew I was going to fall, hard. Thinking quickly, I raised my hand, hoping to be able to pinch my nostrils together to avoid getting water up my nose—BIGGER mistake.

     As I fell forward, my elbow crashed into the water first and… well… Did you know that if enough force is applied, a person’s thumb could be shoved completely up their nose? It can. It did—up to the second joint.

     The pain was indescribable.  Looking back, I can only be thankful that I don’t keep long fingernails.

     Though it hurt coming out almost as much as it did going in, I immediately jerked my thumb out of my nose. I mean, I didn’t want to look like a dork or anything.

      The boat circled around to me and I tried to play it cool, but the gasps of horror and the exclamations of “Oh my God! What happened?” let me know that, amazingly somehow, they all knew my secret. I guess the blood pouring from my right nostril gave me away.

     A quick trip to the ER ensued. There was no permanent damage done, but one side of my nose was horribly bruised and swollen and a certain nostril remained about two sizes bigger than the other one for a week.

     Of course, with experience comes wisdom. Now, I know! If I’m ever water skiing again (though I’m not planning on it) and start to fall, I will NOT try to hold my nose. Getting water up your nose is bad, but a thumb, believe me, is worse.

     Also, if I can give just a little advice to all you other chronic klutzes out there, (and you know who you are) it’s simply this: Don’t do it. You’ll kill yourself.


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