Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Whew, could've been so much worse...

Most of the time when I write these posts, I strive to put the News of the Day into some kind of context in the greater scheme of Team WestEnders. It could be an event we’ll want to remember for all time, or a story that highlights some important aspect of our Family Lore, or even a snapshot of behavior that characterizes one of the boys in their growing-up-journey. (Although I can certainly see how it may seem that my point is to highlight our foibles, for the purpose of sharing a good chuckle with the virtual world at large…and I’m not saying that doesn’t play into it, no doubt…where was I? Oh, yeah…) Today’s saga…falls into absolutely NONE of those categories. I definitely am going to do my utmost to put it out of my memory as soon as humanly possible. I never wish to repeat the experience as long as I live. And I’m not sure there’s a higher purpose to relating it…except perhaps as a cautionary tale…but I’ll let you judge for yourself…

You see, yesterday I planned to sort the basket of items I had gathered to drop off at the consignment store. This is a regular practice of evaluating and “weeding out”, but with the prospect of moving in less than a year, I’ve had “oh-my-gosh-get-rid-of-things” even more in the forefront of my brain lately. Thus there was a bigger-than-usual amount of…stuff….to be arranged (all of it perfectly usable, just not necessary to me anymore). I carefully packed the rectangular laundry basket I keep in the storage room for these trips--nestling books, clothes, a few decorations, and a rather large number of picture frames (FYI, this detail will shortly become very important…) gently into every inch of available space. When I finished, I surveyed my work with great satisfaction—an overflowing bin chock full of things that don’t need to be cluttering up my house, but that will benefit someone else. Yay for me!

Now, all that remained was to haul the bounty up the 9 narrow steps from our basement, so I could stash it in the car for my errand later in the week. (Okay, by now you’ve guessed where this is going, right? Stick with me, I promise it’s not too gruesome…) I heaved the basket up into my arms, instantly noticing, “Hmm, this is one freakin’ heavy load!” Meanwhile, a little voice of caution was chirping in my head--too quietly for me to attend to, apparently—“There’s no room to maneuver on those stairs…and besides, with the combined width and weight of that basket, you’re just asking for trouble there, lady!” So…I set it back down and waited for Husband to come home from work and lug it for me…..hahahahahahaha! Oh, that’s funny. What I meant to say was, of course I charged right up the stairs…and I almost made it, too. On the second-to-last step (dang it, soooo close!), my teetering, off-balance center-of-gravity finally caught up with me and I began to tip backwards.

I swear what happened next felt like a slow-motion sequence in a movie (albeit a violent, scary film about…The Thrift Shop of Terror…or something), yet probably took all of 2 seconds or so. I registered that I was falling, clutched desperately for the railing…which promptly ripped OFF THE WALL, so that was super helpful...and tumbled head-over-heels back down to where I’d started my perilous journey. And the traitorous basket? It crashed down after me, discharging its neatly-catalogued contents in a spectacular tableau of destruction all around me. Oh, and lest I forget to mention it, I now sat amidst a veritable sea of shattered glass, as Every. Single. Damn. Picture. Frame. Broke. during my acrobatic descent. And yet…I sprawled there, dazed from the somersaulting, shocked at the sudden disastrous turn of events…and distraught at the amount of repairing and cleaning up that would have to be done…but basically UNHURT.

That’s right, I felt sorely bumped and somewhat battered, but there was absolutely no blood whatsoever, nor did I twist, sprain, or break anything. I didn’t even really whack my head. (My best guess is that I instinctively tucked and rolled…thank you…yoga? Or dance class? Whatever, I’m extremely grateful…) After the initial period of stunned disbelief at the whole sequence of unfortunate events, I could not fathom how I had escaped serious injury. Adding to the “silver lining” (I realize I’m stretching here, just go with me…) wouldn’t you know Husband arrived home approximately ten minutes or so post-accident, and after assuring himself that the biggest victims were the banister and the stupid picture frames, completely took over the restoring of order and vacuuming of glass so I was off the hook.

I know I said this particular incident—no matter how painful or embarrassing it may have been--didn’t have any deeper significance in the Big Picture of Life…but the process of setting down the words has made me wonder: is there a Lesson To Be Learned? And I must conclude that the answer is: why yes, there are several, in fact. Number One: It turns out, I’m just not as big in the Real World as my Fantasyland mental image makes me out to be. I mean, I perceive myself as quite strong and tough…and I totally am…for 5’ 4-1/2 inches and 115 pounds. This leads immediately and directly to Number Two: There are appropriate circumstances for delegating…to the conveniently-placed people in the house that are actually larger than you. (I know, I know, this is a DUH moment…) Had I but postponed my little endeavor for the teensiest bit, Husband would have quickly and easily hoisted the basket up the stairs and into my car for me, no muss, no fuss. (LITERALLY!)

Finally, I have to also consider…could the underlying moral of the story be: Too Much Organization Can Be Hazardous to Your Health? Perhaps I’ll take a little vacation from…stuff-wrangling…and see if I'm better off for it. Well...to be perfectly honest, let's say "at least until the bruises fade"…oh, and "until next month’s basket is ready to go"…but at least I promise I’ll have my Handyman—I mean “Husband” do the toting for me!) 

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