Veeder: For your safety, don’t stand too close
So, I’m a klutz.
Accident prone. A magnet for small disasters. A target for falling things.
This is my confession and a quality that’s so much a part of me I often use it when introducing myself to large groups:
“A little about myself? Uh, OK. I’m an over-sharer who often has big ideas that require more muscles than I posses attached to arms and legs that are more often than not, flailing. I lack the attention to detail needed to glide through this world unscathed by stomping horse hooves, alarmingly uneven ground, muddy creek beds and rodents with wings that prefer to fly right for my head when there’s plenty open sky available to them. Oh, and chips and salsa are still my favorite food groups even though said food group almost choked me to death in a restaurant, making me forever indebted to Mr. Heimlich and his maneuver. And I got my crooked nose from a flying sled and an unruly beer bottle thanks so much for asking, I think l’ll sit down now.”
I mean how many women have been smacked in the head by a 15-foot 2×6 board that came screaming at 30 mph out of thin air one day, only to fall through the floor of the barn the next?
And have you ever bent over to pick up a napkin off the floor only to smash your head so hard on a kitchen table that the room fell silent while little cartoon bluebirds circled around your head?
Do you know any proper lady who’s gotten all dolled up to go out only to step out of the dining booth and fall directly on her face, flashing her entire rear-end to a bar full of strange men?
How many times can a dad rush his daughter to the emergency room for a crushed foot from jumping the wrong way off of a horse, a snapped ligament for falling off a small cliff, a smashed finger from getting her limb stuck between a 2,000-pound bull and a metal post, or a disjointed wrist from a unfortunate decision to heroically save herself from a runaway horse?
How many times can a husband shake his head at his wife before his head actually falls off, turning him from bystander to victim?
How many people do you know who have actually hit themselves in the head with a hammer, measure the time they have spent in casts in years and were nicknamed “Tuck and Roll” in seventh grade?
Yeah, life’s tough out here for humans like me. But it seems I’ve witnessed my dad in similar life-threatening situations, like welding his polyester shirt to his arm, getting clothes lined by a barbed wire fence and one or two cow trampling incidents, so perhaps his big nose and frizzy hair weren’t the only qualities he passed down to me.
Thanks a lot Pops.
If you need me I’ll be stocking up on bubble wrap and praying, for safety’s sake, my daughter also inherits her father’s coordination.
Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband and daughter on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. She blogs at veederranch.com. Readers can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.