Note: I’m on Ignite Social Media’s list of “100 Women Bloggers You Should Be Reading“! Lots of thanks and offers of cake to Olivia Hayes, who put me there!
Occasionally I am awkward the way someone is awkward in a slapstick movie. When I’m flustered or nervous or just really not paying attention, I have been known to drop things. And then drop other things. I mix words up in interesting ways. I can’t count on myself not to.
In the train station the other day, I was running late, but I was really thirsty, so I grabbed a bottle of water at a convenience stand and attempted to pay for it. First I dropped my purse. Then all of the cards (credit, license, metro, Zip car, Borders gift with $3 on it that has been there forever for no reason) fell out of my wallet. I crouched down to collect everything, my scarf slipping off onto the floor. Then, when I managed to pay, finally, the water started rolling down the counter. The cashier grabbed it, laughing.
“Good luck!” she called after me.
“I’ll need it!” I called back.
Sometimes I think I look about that awkward, too. As though I might at any moment be caught by surprise by the strangeness of my own face in an unexpected reflective surface. My body might do something crazy– like bulge in a place I hadn’t thought it should bulge, or slouch in a part that I’d thought wasn’t slouchy. In the East Village the other evening, I walked by a long, dark window, and actually had to put my hand on my stomach, to see if it was really my stomach sticking out that far, or if it was just my shirt. Because it had to just be my shirt.
Sometimes I think I can’t afford to be awkward, if it turns out that I might look awkward, because that’s just too much awkwardness for one person.
If I act totally confident and hilariously funny and fabulously in control of everything, then there’s a chance my body will appear totally confident and fascinatingly unique.
Because, I imagine, people who drop things a lot are only adorable when they’re brilliant men with tousled hair and glasses or fresh-faced, lovely young women whose eyes widen sweetly in surprise at their own clumsiness. Can you drop things adorably with a big, complicated nose? Probably not.
But then sometimes I get the sense that there’s a chance I’m carving out a new definition of cute. Because my awkwardness sort of suits me. I think it’s funny. It makes me laugh. It’s striking, in its way. After all, it’s not often someone can manage to drop nearly everything they’re carrying, in sequence, while reaching for a single item. That’s special. And it’s probably not going to get better.
And as for the way I look, I’m clearly a mystery to myself. Which, when you look at it more kindly, is pretty fun.
Yesterday I saw a cousin I hadn’t seen in maybe a year and she told me she’d noticed me on the street a while back, in midtown. But she hadn’t known I’d cut my hair, so she wasn’t sure until I was gone that it was definitely me. She said, “This totally confident girl with a little outfit and these cowboy boots and really short hair went by. She looked like she owned the world. And I was like, wait…is that my cousin?”
I knew exactly what she was talking about. Because I wrote about that day. Here it is.
Because you never know when I might own the world for a day. It happens sometimes.
As long as I’m not carrying things and going up a flight of stairs. Then I might be in trouble.
(source. The pictures, btw, were all of things I can’t handle)
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Unroast: Today I love the way I look in lots of autumnal layers. Yay, cool weather!!