ANN BAILEY: Memoirs of a klutzWhen I was growing up, it was much to my older brothers’ amusement that my name, “Ann,” meant grace. I was something of a klutz, so they got a big kick out of teasing me about my parents’ misnomer.
When I was growing up, it was much to my older brothers’ amusement that my name, “Ann,” meant grace. I was something of a klutz, so they got a big kick out of teasing me about my parents’ misnomer.
One embarrassing moment that I still vividly recall happened at a summer picnic when I was about 10. I was carrying a plate heaped with the usual fare, including a hotdog smothered in ketchup and mustard. As I headed outdoors with the plate, I tripped and the plate landed on the white pants of one of my oldest brothers’ friends, a dapper dresser named Larry.
Fortunately, Larry took the yellow and red addition to his pants in stride and assured me the mess would come out in the wash, but I was mortified.
Some 25 years later, I had another similar hotdog incident.
This time it was at a UND basketball game I attended with my husband, Brian, and brother, Richard. I had just grabbed a hotdog and found my seat when the national anthem began playing. I stood up, placing the hotdog on my seat. When the song ended, I sat down — right on top of the hotdog, smashing it flat as a pancake.
The ketchup and mustard was smeared all over my backside. I didn’t want to go home and change, so I tied my coat around my waist for the rest of the game.
Spray of coffee
I was reminded of some of my less than graceful moments the other day after I was at a meeting. This time my red face didn’t involve tripping or smashing something, but, instead, drinking coffee. I took a big sip and immediately the coffee left my mouth and sprayed across the table.
As the other women at the meeting looked at me startled, and then, concerned, I couldn’t even tell them I was OK, let alone apologize. The coffee had gone down the wrong way and I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. When I finally caught my breath, I assured them that I was all right, said I was sorry and grabbed some napkins to wipe up the drops of coffee on the table.
The coffee incident reminded me of a breakfast meeting held by edible-bean growers that I was at several years ago. I was quietly taking notes when I reached for something and knocked over a glass, spilling the contents all over my notes and my lap.
I wiped it up as fast as I could, hoping that nobody had noticed. Of course, they had, and several farmers came to my rescue. They were gracious and assured me that it was no big deal as they helped me mop it up.
I thanked them and tried to appear unruffled, but was hard to maintain my dignity when I had orange juice all over the front of my pants.
Laughing it off
But one of the funniest episodes involving food was when I was going through the buffet line at a wedding rehearsal dinner and grabbed a tong-full of croutons. As I closed the tongs, the croutons exploded and went flying through the air. With the help of Brian, I picked up the pieces of the dried bread before they were turned into crumbs by the guests behind me in line.
After a little time passes, I can laugh at my clumsy moments. That doesn’t mean, though, that I hope to have any more. I’d just as soon find my amusement elsewhere.
Reach Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 779-8093.