Updated: Feb 26, 2022
The other day, when my mom was at a doctor's appointment, the doctor asked her if she'd been feeling unsteady on her feet recently. Her response?
"No, that's not a problem for me."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I turned to her and said, "Oh, so that wasn't you I found sitting in the laundry basket because you lost your balance and fell?"
Let's set the record straight. Falling is an Olympic sport in my family. I'm prone to slipping, tripping, walking into things, and wiping out. I fully admit and accept this fact.
If you were to ask my mom at any other time or place, she'd probably admit she does the same thing. For some reason, though, she feels the need to act like she's a graceful gazelle when she's with a doctor.
On more than one occasion, I've called the house, her cell phone, the house again, and then the cell phone, only to get no answer. Naturally, this makes me worry, even though Mom is notorious for not always answering the phone promptly. Here's an example of the conversation when she finally would get around to returning my call:
Is everything okay? I was starting to worry.
I was on the floor.
On the floor.
Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?
I'm a little sore, but I'm alright.
How'd you fall?
I was (insert some ridiculous activity here) and my leg gave out. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor.
You need to be more careful.
It was a bitch getting up, too.
Why didn't you call for Richie?! He's right upstairs! He would've helped you!
I didn't want to bother him.
The "I Didn't Want To Bother You/Him/Her" argument is unacceptable, especially when one is on the floor. My grandmother tried to pull this more than once. She took a flop in our living room one afternoon and demanded that my parents leave her on the floor until my brother got home because it would be too hard for them to handle her. Mind you, at the time there were about 4 hours until my brother would return home, so Grandma Marion's logic was just silly.
My dad was famous for falling, too. One day, when he was in his late thirties, he was riding his 10-speed bike down the street, the pedal hit the curb, and all 6-foot-6-inches of him went flying over the handle bars. Grandma Marion, who was sitting on the stoop, ran over and managed to get him off the pavement. That was a sight. It looked like a munchkin carrying Big Bird.
Another time, he was playing soccer with me in the driveway and got his foot stuck on the ball. The man went down like a ton of bricks. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist. Rather than let me call my mother and get some help, he demanded that I not call her at work because...get ready...he didn't want to bother her. Of course, I'm 99% certain it was because he didn't want to get yelled at for falling and hurting himself. Again.
As for me? Well...
When I was 16, and on the high school kick line, my left ACL (the main stabilizing ligament in the knee) ruptured in the middle of a kicking sequence during the Homecoming Parade, and I nearly took down a line of kicking girls with me in front of hundreds of onlookers.
I decided to redo my son's bedroom in 2018. Over the course of 5 days, I painted and moved furniture without getting hurt. After I put the sheets on his loft bed, and tried to get down, I misjudged the steps on the ladder, fell 6 feet, rolled my ankle, and scared the crap out of my kid when I started howling like an animal.
More recently, I was walking out of my house, didn't know the stoop was covered in ice, and got some serious air. That was a fun show for all the people driving by my house on their morning commutes.
Interestingly enough, we are also the same group of people that will laugh when we fall or see another person wipe out. Of course, we're not complete heathens: we're also the first people to be running towards you, offering assistance. In fact, my mom and I are the people you want around in a crisis. We handle adversity well. We'll assess the situation, make sure you're safe and cared for, and once we've established that the injuries are not serious, then, and only then, will we laugh at you.