I have never felt more like myself than today.
It started with the bright pink skirt. When I wonder about beauty and attraction and whether or not I am, will be… all of that, I put on the bright pink skirt. It makes me brave. I wear it proudly to the office, make my early morning splash in all my exuberance. I decided, today’s the day I’ll work in my new office. Perfect. I scampered up the stairs, settled in, laughed a little as I answered emails from my very own desk…
But today is the day they were putting new carpet down in the hallway. And at 10am, just as I’m feeling the coffee wear off, I remember that it’s time for a meeting. I rush out of my office… and step straight into carpet glue. Yes, I am serious. I skid, and leap to safety on the other side, just as the guy says, “No! Don’t touch the carpet!” Oh no! I’m touching the carpet, I think to myself.
And so I try to get back to the other side of the hallway… but you see, my legs aren’t long enough to span the space. And so instead my other foot lands in the glue, trips me, and I fall flat on my face into carpet glue.
I am not even slightly kidding.
I stand up, looking sheepish, and look down. The beautiful bright pink skirt, the symbol of my brave, I-believe-in-beauty-and-life! skirt? Covered in the stickiest glue known to man. The guy runs off for mineral spirits, which I have to mix with water while standing with my skirt on backwards in the ladies’ room on the first floor. I was late to the meeting, and I arrived smelling strongly of nasty, poisonous chemicals. I had to wear that skirt backwards to another staff meeting, and halfway through that? I realized that crossing on leg over the other meant that my legs were stuck together. I had to rip them apart in utter embarassment.
My brother came to the rescue with a couple different substitute dresses. aha! I thought. Things are looking up.
But this afternoon, after scrambling to run an errand during lunch and parking in a forbidden spot on campus, I looked down at my substitute dress number one, and realized… I had spilled a mysterious substance on it. I don’t know what it is, but it looked terrible and so in my car, praying nobody could see me, I changed again. Outfit number three had spaghetti straps, and I had lost my cute sweater, so yours truly had to run up the stairs before anyone could see me and question my professional attire. I hid in my office, consoling myself with very quiet country music, attempting to put a fan together, and drinking iced coffee.
And you know? I felt like me. I am the girl who trips in high heels, who is about as elegant as a duckling learning to walk, who manages to fall into carpet glue and down stairs at a wedding and into a puddle in public and who walks into a revolving door… I am that girl, who stands in the bathroom bemoaning her fate, wiping her skirt with mineral spirits. Jo March and Anne of Green Gables, and Lizzy Bennet, and all the rest – these heroines are clumsy too, running through fields, their hems in mud, chasing cows or picking wildflowers.
Maybe today was a funny showing of grace – that I’ll get to be like those girls who I love in more ways than one.
And maybe it was about time I had a good laugh at myself (promise me that if you read this, you’ll laugh too? Because I really did fall into carpet glue today).