Friday, January 20, 2012

The Coffee Survived...and That's All That Matters?

So, funny story...

But first: I am super duper paranoid about falling. Whenever it's icy out, I'm on hyperalert. Why? Because: 1. Falling hurts 2. I bruise easily and 3. Falling is really really embarrassing.

I've developed a strategy of short little steps and...well, it's this whole elaborate process. And it works.

But this morning I was criticizing myself about it because, you know, I have to criticize myself about SOMETHING at all times. I was saying, "Jennifer, you are so ridiculous! You are in boots and taking little ballet steps while that freshman over there is clomping along in converse sneakers like it's July. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FALL. Stop being so paranoid about everything."

Fast forward to this afternoon. I go to get a coffee and an egg salad sandwich. I'm wearing my boots. As I'm leaving with my coffee in one hand and sandwich in the other, I notice a truck plowing the walkway in front of me. He's reversing and slamming the truck into the snow like he's seriously got to pee but he can't until he finishes clearing this area—the area where I need to walk.

I'm thinking, Okay, he saw you. He'll wait until you cross behind him before he backs up again.

Nope. As soon as I'm behind him, I hear the beeping noise. I picture him throwing the truck into reverse with the exact same level of precision I observed moments earlier and I figure if I don't get out of the way, I'm going to get run over.

I speed up.

And then I fall. On brick sheathed in an inch of ice, which had been hidden beneath the snow.

I fall so hard that it jars my body. I fall so hard that I still have a headache twenty minutes later and it is not going away without drugs. I fall so hard I can only anticipate the exquisite bruise just now developing on my poor, mistreated right butt cheek.

I think: 1. Did anyone see me???

(A: No. Phew.)

And 2. OMG now it's like a movie and I'm on the ground and the truck is going to back up over me and kill me and that is even more embarrassing than just falling.

Of course, as you've already surmised, the truck doesn't hit me. The truck is just sitting, waiting to back up. I'm pretty sure he had to put it in park for a second so he didn't pee himself while he laughed at my pain.

(Correction: Yes, someone did see me fall.)

My sandwich is salvageable but a mess. It's not until I'm almost home, however, that I realize my coffee is perfect. It's in a flimsy cardboard container (I needed a bigger size today than my reusable mug, okay???) and I just completely wiped out, yet not a drop was spilled.

That's when I realize: My subconscious sold me out—for coffee. That's probably part of the reason why I fell so hard—rather than put my hand down to catch myself, I held onto the coffee!! In that split second when I had to make a priority decision, I put coffee before my butt, and the rest of my body for that matter.

I have to tell you, based on the pain in my skull right now, it just doesn't seem worth it. At least my mom would be proud (and will, when I recount this to her). I'm sure she'll say something like, "That's my girl."

Funny Side Story: When I was in elementary school, we learned about how damaging caffeine can be on the body. I had observed my mom's zealous coffee drinking and was now seriously concerned for her health. I immediately went home and wrote her essentially an intervention letter begging her for the sake of her health and her family, to quit coffee altogether.

My mom read it and then she gave me The Look (my mom is famously nicknamed the "Velvet Hammer") and she said, "Jennifer. Listen: everyone has a vice." And I knew by that look and the tone of her voice that it would be best for the sake of MY health if I NEVER criticized her coffee consumption again.

Seriously though, this jerk-face of a week can kiss my beautiful, bruised ass.

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