People who know me would universally acknowledge that I can be an idiot. As well as a klutz.
One morning a few years ago, for example, I woke up and reached for my glasses on my bedside table. I dropped them; they broke. As I got out of bed to pick up the pieces, I stumbled, hit my head, pulled a muscle in my back, and knocked over a lamp. I had managed to do all that just by getting out of bed, so I worried that I could accidentally kill myself if I left the bedroom. So I went back to sleep for a few more hours. I called in "clumsy" to my boss. And she completely understood.
Another morning, as I was putting dishes away in the cabinet over my stove, a glass bowl leaped into the air and smashed on the kitchen floor. With three cats usually hanging around the kitchen, I knew I had to act quickly to clean it up. But as I stepped backward, I cut my bare foot on a shard of glass. Plenty of blood, with a big piece of glass sticking out. So I hopped the long route from kitchen to bathroom, leaving a trail of blood. I maneuvered my foot into the sink, removed the glass, and opened the medicine cabinet for a bandage. But somehow I knocked a full bottle of cologne off its shelf. It smashed on the sinktop, dousing me with Hermès Eau d'Orange Verte. With my foot stuck in the sink, I was in no position to avoid it. So, in less than two minutes: Broken glass in two rooms, an injured foot, blood everywhere, and me reeking like a lounge lizard. Luckily the cats slept right through it.
People kept their distance at work that day.
In the past few days, I've been true to form four times. I fell spectacularly on some ice a few doors from our house last Wednesday. But everyone was doing that; it was icy. I spent some time down there, thinking about how to safely stand up and observing the neighborhood from a dog's-eye view, which I seldom have. My street looks interesting from that sidewalk vantage point, but I don't plan to spend more time down there.
Over the weekend, I accidentally washed and dried one of my cashmere sweaters. I usually have a careful laundry routine but I've been sleep-deprived lately — thanks to construction noise in the building that makes it impossible to think or write during the day. (I've gotten a few writing assignments that keep me working from after dinner until the wee hours, but there's always a guy swinging a sledgehammer right under our bed at 7 am.) And I discovered that moths were eating my sweaters in our closet, so clothes are lying everywhere until I figure out a safer way to store them. And one was mistaken for laundry.
When I pulled the toddler-sized item from the dryer, I had no idea what it was. Then I decided to soak it immediately in cold water, stretch it hard, and let it drip dry over the tub. It worked, sort of. I'm not sure I'll wear it much, but at least I don't have to give it to one of my old Barbies.
While making breakfast today, I reached into our bread box for the loaf, but somehow the brand-new package of Trader Joe's Ginger Snaps opened up and they went flying everywhere. That was typical.
Right now, I am doing more laundry to the din of brick-drilling from close by. I just noticed a suspicious amount of expensive-looking fluff on the lint filter. Had I forgotten to clean it in the aftermath of the cashmere sweater episode? No. I had just washed and dried one of my husband's nicest sweaters.
I hope the same technique works this time. But I'm getting too much practice.
Time to go see what else I can ruin.