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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

From the Story Archive: The Girl Who Bit It Hard

I think I've mentioned that I have about five really good stories from my life in NYC. Here’s a goody. I only sent this story to my family and very close friends. Now, it's for all for the virtual world to enjoy.

“It has been noted that the element of grace has elude my genealogical make-up. This causes me to be a bumbling accident waiting to happen. Thus, the following tale is evidence yet again, that grace, and now my pride, have both escaped me.

I have these great new shoes. These BCBG black pumps, in a word, are stunning. Paired with my black pinstripe pants, it makes for a great match. However, it a disastrous duo when running down the very narrow slick marble stairs of the Flatiron building. Under deadline and with an ad the needed to get out the door, and tons of changes to be made, I ran from the editor’s office 3 flights down to my cube. Four stairs from the bottom, my heels tangled up in my pants cuff causing my full body to cascade down the stairs. I splatted on to the 15th floor lobby, paralyzed with pain and mortification. Yes, my friends, splatting…it's a sound and I made it when landing.

I initially fell on to my knees, using my shins as skis to ride down the rest of the stairs. Like a scene out of a movie, my glasses, badge and files go projectile flying as i proceed to fall face first on to the linoleum floor. Alone, and using my remaining energy to hold back my tears , I was sprawled on the floor unable to get up, and couldn't reach the lobby phone to call anyone. I was literally stranded face down on the lobby floor…just picture it.

Then I heard the elevator ding. “Oh perfect,” I thought. The VP of Publicity, a raging old bitter gay man, came rushing to my rescue. I'm waiting for the moment when the body realizes what has just happened the waves of pain rush…like when you stub your toes and you know it’s really gonna hurt but the full severity hasn't quite hit yet. It hit me right as he was stepping off the elevator. After much maneuvering to get up, I couldn't actually feel my legs. The VP was able to get me inside the entry way to sit down on a rolling office chair with as little commotion as a flaming old gay man can do. Then, with my luck, the VP of Marketing comes around the corner, observes the situation, and proceeds to send his assistant to HR to get ice. He then proceeds to check my ankles and knees for injuries. Rolls up my pant legs, to my horror blood is oozing down from each knee-cap. Well that's just perfect. My injuries included bleeding from the knees, a messed up shoulder from initial impact, immediate bruising on the shins from the stairs, and severely wound pride.

The assistant who went to go get ice was taking too long so the VP of Publicity runs upstairs to our annual holiday party, yelling "Some girl from the Ad/Promo department just bit it hard down the stairs and I need ice!" I find this out later as I hobbled up to the party and a friends see me hobbling toward him saying, "OMG, you're the girl! I didn't think it could be…but it sure looks like it now." Word traveled fast. There went my under-the-radar approach to work and I was now “The Girl Who Bit It Hard.”

Once things got more situated a little, the two VPs ROLL me down the hallway in office chairs, legs propped up on one end, me sitting on another. Passing everyone’s' offices bleeding, bruised, and mortified, I couldn't believe this was actually happening to me. A flurry of commotion and screams of "Oh my god what happened?" followed as I relived the story again and again. All the while, holding my tears back, at least for the moment.

So there I was, ice packs on knees and ankles, still mildly shaking from shock, and a scorning look from Ilsa who thought I had fainted from forgetting to eat, I started to cry. The only thing I could muster up to say was, “We still need to get the ad out the door.” Brilliant.

I was then faced with the challenge of walking home. Unable to bend my knees, I slowly hobbled down to the subway, then back up the subway stairs to street level, and finally up our 2-story walk up. I had finally made it home. Mustering my remaining energy I made cereal for dinner and eventually crawled into bed.

I had briefly let E know what had happened so that she wouldn't be horrified when she came home. In true Roommate of the Year fashion, E walks through the door with a present for me: flannel pajamas. I would have jumped for joy if I physically could. I changed into the pajamas and E made sure I was comfortable. Here's what the damages looked like, notice the bruising, something I am particularly good at:

The day was finally over and we were waiting for news of the imminent transit strike and the 40 block walk to work. In my current condition this would be near impossible. When I woke up in the morning I felt like I have been trampled by a herd of elephants, run over by a fleet of semi-trucks, and thrown down a flight of stairs (weird), alas, no transit strike so I hobbled to the subway.

Anyhow, there's my long story. Add to To Do List today: regain my dignity.”

I wear those flannel pajama pants often and always think of E. I have scars on both my knees to remind me of that fateful day that I’d rather forget. I still have those BCBG pumps and pinstriped pants. I’ve got a really great story.

All it cost me was my pride.


stephanielynn said...

Since it's been a while and the physical, if not emotional, wounds have healed, I would just like to say that this story is HILARIOUS.

It's hard to pick a favorite part, but I think it might have to be this: "I initially fell on to my knees, using my shins as skis to ride down the rest of the stairs."

But give me a chance to read it a couple more times and that might change...

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