Me & My Life

I’m clumsy

Have I ever mentioned that I’m clumsy?

My clumsiness is often harmless, and entertaining to those around me. I’m most commonly clumsy with my food and drink. When I was young, I was notorious for getting mashed potato into my hair at meal times. I’ve left that trait behind, thankfully, although that was possibly helped by becoming bald. To this day, I frequently end meals with food around my mouth, stains on my top, and spills around the table. I don’t know why I ever decide to wear lightly coloured clothing. I can’t even reliably transfer water from a bottle or a glass to my mouth.

I enjoy that my clumsiness with food and drink is entertaining to others. I like making people laugh, even when it is at my expense. And how can you not laugh when someone keeps making the same inconsequential mistakes, over and over and over again?

The problem for me is that my clumsiness is not limited to small and funny mishaps. I smash another wine glass roughly once per month. I drop my phone, and iPad, and Kindle with an embarrassing frequency, although luckily they all still work. I’ve ripped out my laptop’s SATA cable while upgrading the storage, and another time I spilled a pint of apple juice over it. Unsurprisingly, it no longer works. Since then, I’ve spilt many more drinks in close proximity to laptops and other electronics, and only narrowly avoided disaster. My clumsiness can be stressful, and expensive.

Other times, my clumsiness can cause me pain, and make me feel down. As I write this sentence, my left index finger hurts with each key press: I think I gave it an invisible glass splinter while dealing with another episode of clumsiness yesterday.

I was invited to a dinner party that was held yesterday evening, so I decided to go into town beforehand, and from there, at the appropriate time, I would head straight to the dinner party. As a good guest, I would bring a bottle of wine. I chose one and put it in a fabric bag, and then placed the bag at the bottom of my otherwise-empty rucksack. The bottom of my rucksack contains a rain cover, which provides extra padding.

Later on, when I was several miles from home, I sat on a metal bench, waiting for a bus, with my rucksack on the bench beside me. And then the rucksack slipped, and fell 60cm to the ground, landing upright. I wasn’t alarmed, but just to be safe, I felt through the rucksack to test the structural integrity of the wine bottle. Unfortunately, it was compromised. I removed the fabric bag which was now full of shards of glass and was gushing red wine. This was really disappointing. I had brought that wine back with me after a recent trip to France. I had only had my rucksack for two weeks. And the fabric bag was one of my favourites: I bought it during my first week in St Andrews, and it depicts the skyline of the town. I use it to carry food when I travel, but it is now stained a deep purple, and likely contains a multitude of small glass fragments.

At this point, I came to my senses, and placed the fabric bag on the ground, to stop any more wine from damaging my rucksack… and its contents. My iPad. An important letter. And various small items. Thankfully, the contents were recoverable, despite being a bit wet. I poured the broken glass from my fabric bag into a nearby bin, emptied as much wine from my rucksack as possible, and caught the next tram home. There I would be able to clean up properly, wash my rucksack and bag, and then fetch another bottle of wine. But it was so embarrassing sitting on the tram, stinking so strongly and obviously of wine, and with my rucksack producing a small puddle at my feet. And it was so time consuming to travel all the way home, clean my belongings (and sustaining glass splinters, I believe), and then travel back into town, having abandoned my previous errands.

In the end, the dinner party was nice. But, in one final piece of misfortunate for the day, I miscalculated my timings, and left with not quite enough time to walk to the 01:05 tram. Since it was the last tram for an hour, I decided to run… and while crossing a road, I landed awkwardly and twisted my ankle quite horrifically. I’m pleased to say that I did catch the tram with about 30 seconds to spare. But today, my ankle is in agony, and I wished that I had left a little earlier, or taken a little more care, or even missed the tram and waited for another hour.

My clumsiness, my carelessness, and my lack of physical coordination strike again.

And today, it’s getting me down. Will I always have to put up with this? I don’t want to be frequently causing myself injury, and pain, and inconvenience, and embarrassment, and expense, wasting my time and energy. Spilling food on myself is funny. But the rest of it? It really isn’t. I’m sick of it.

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