Thursday, May 14, 2009


Can stress make you clumsier? In the last couple days, I've dropped things, stumbled, spilled water on a friend, cut myself in a very sensitive region, and nearly gotten hit by a car. The worst incident came at the end of my second interview yesterday. I bid farewell to the nice crowd of people who had been quizzing me, then strode gracefully through the lobby and straight into a glass door.

"Oh!" gasped the three women nearby. "Are you okay?"

I was, luckily. Nothing was broken: not my nose, not the glass. I did however leave a perfect kiss on the door, as though I'd planted it there on purpose.

In general I am not a klutz, because I am neurotic about not hurting myself. Even when I kid, I just sort of knew: Do this, and you could die; and as you don't want to die ere you become a famous writer, leave ice skating / roller coasters / black diamond slopes to the masses of future unknowns (or future deads). The closest I've come to a broken anything is when I twisted my ankle before my debut as Tzeitel in my 7th grade production of Fiddler on the Roof.

My mom took me to the ER, where a nervous young doctor fussed over me for a while and then finally took an x-ray. Several minutes later, he tracked me down in the waiting room and said, "I'm sorry, I messed up. Can we try again?"

The second time was also a flop, and he looked more pale as he asked for a third go-round. But when he came out the last time, he looked like he had just seen the Ghost of Christmas Future and it had told him his fate was to end up a dentist. He gestured for me to follow him to a corner a discreet distance from everyone else.

"You're not pregnant, are you?" he asked the thirteen-year-old me.

"Um, no," I said, wondering what the hell the x-ray had shown.

"Phew!" he said, the color flooding back to his cheeks. "Because we would have killed the baby."

Speaking of both clumsiness and inept professionals, the Daily News reports that an Arkansas state senator named Hedren has made an art of putting his foot in his mouth. First he called Chuck Shumer "that Jew." Now he's trying to make things right in the most hilarious way possible:
Defending himself again to the Arkansas News, Hendren went further, saying he didn't know why the words "that Jew" came out of his mouth. He added that there is a Jewish person he admires — Jesus. He's also partial to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.


Nava said...

worry definitely makes people distracted and accident prone. this may be why i am perpetually distracted and accident prone. sorry you walked into a window.

tami said...

ha! hilarious (re: Hedren). p.s. the water on my pants dried very quickly :).

yanni said...

Eighth-grade production of Fiddler. For shame!

Nathan said...

I am sorry for being so close to Arkansas. We are only marginally better: This morning on local NPR I heard one of our state reps, in regards to a bill that had been hung up by amendments, say "Maybe we can get 'er done."
I stopped brushing my teeth so I could weep.

ester said...

I'm pretty sure Annie was 8th grade ... Anyone from the JDS metasphere want to cast a tie-breaking vote?

Rebecca said...

First, as others have pointed out, stress can absolutely lead to klutziness. It's really common.

Second, have I told you my story about jews and jesus? In 4th grade I asked a christian fundamentalist mom, "If Jesus was jewish, why don't jews believe in him?" (because I had not known before that day that jesus was a jew and I was genuinely confused) and she replied, "Good jews do." That night my mom explained that "good jews" in that sentence meant christians. That's what the Hedren story reminded me of.