I’m accident prone. I’ve always got a bruise from some mishap or other, another adventure to laugh over. I’m not clumsy – just distracted.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been easily distracted. I can be very focused, but in the day-to-day I’m often tripping over things, running into things, falling, stumbling… Most of my injuries are explained this way. Perhaps it’s the curse of being creative? Before I turned to writing, I was always searching for a creative outlet. I learned how to cross-stitch, make chainmaille jewelry, constantly rearranged furniture and cupboards, created adventures for my kids, even tried my hand at decorating. I just couldn’t contain the creativity.
But, the hazards of this personality trait generally mean my mind is never on my surroundings. Here’s a few examples.
As a young teen my grandmother dragged me into town (if you’ve been to Bowmanville, ON you’d know I use the word ‘town’ loosely – though it’s bigger now than it was then). She had a variety of errands and I followed her up and down the main street. I got distracted and walked into a giant wrought-iron plant holder erected on the sidewalk by the town. They still have them there. This kind of thing happened so regularly that my grandmother didn’t even stop walking to see if I was OK. “I’m going to the bank,” she said.
I had never seen a motorcycle up close before (hey, I grew up in a really, really small town) and this man pulled up in front of Beckers, the local convenience store, in full leathers on a big bike. I was mesmerized. So mesmerized that as I opened the door to the store, I walked into the metal door frame. Of course the man on the bike was watching. I was reminded of my own stupidity every time I entered that store for years.
In highschool I was constantly running into things, being hit with doors, falling down stairs, tripping over floor lint. I devised a system for safe travel between classes in crowded hallways. A student two years ahead of me, Josh Storey, advantageously had classes in the same hallway I did for about three semesters in a row. He was immense – I mean, basketball player tall. Everybody moved out of Josh’s way. I would wait for him to walk by and slip in directly behind him and stay safe on his heels before the crowd closed in again. My friends thought this immensely funny and teased me that I just liked Josh – but really it was purely a safety concern.
My friends invited me to this all-nighter youth event in Buffalo. We went to a Buffalo Sabres and Hartford Whalers game (I’m dating myself there, aren’t I?), went bowling and then roller skating. I’d never been on roller skates before, but how hard could it be? All my friends picked it up easy, after all we’d grown up going to the hockey arena for public skating for years. I actually found it quite easy to roller skate, but there were these strobe lights, and the music was super loud. And there were a lot of boys there. Let’s just say that I won an award for the biggest pileup of the night and leave it at that.
In University, I only had two exams in the large gymnasium throughout my university experience because I majored in English and History. Writing essays is definitely safer. I waited for my exam to start at the top of a staircase packed with other students. Below me were a group of students carrying Chemistry texts filled with little slips of paper marking spots for an open-book exam. I got distracted people watching, tripped, and took out one of the Chemistry students. Her little slips of paper filled the air like confetti after a wedding. It wasn’t pretty. I actually feel bad about that still.
At all my wedding showers, if people gave me knives they also gave me a box of band-aids. That’s telling isn’t it.
Two days ago I was texting the hubs while walking through Walmart and ran into a shelving unit and two shopping carts. I had to put my phone away before I brought down the display of Ritz crackers on my head. If I tried to text and drive I’d never make it out of my driveway. How do people do that, anyway?
Life with me is never dull But I am not clumsy – I’m just creative.
What about you? Are you prone to distraction? Do you know someone prone to distraction? Got a funny story – share it in the comments. It’ll help me feel a little less like a freak.
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“It would be different if one had tried to tell the whole truth. That would have some value.” – Ernest Hemingway
“A woman is like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt