The Boy is always saying that I’m clumsy. That I can’t get a kitchen blow-torch because I would burn myself. (I have to use the oven grill to finish my crème brûlée.) I disagree. I can’t be clumsy. It’s simply not possible, thank you very much. I’m a trained dancer. I can waltz and I can foxtrot. I have never taken a tumble during my weekly yoga lesson. So, there you have it. I simply cannot be clumsy.
Sure, my hands and forearms at any time sport a respectable number of cuts and burns from my cooking adventures. That’s normal, right? It’s almost a badge of honour. Sure, I sometimes find bruises on various body parts, usually because I bump into furniture or doorways. Yikes, I sound like the biggest spaz now. But I’m sure this happens to everyone. Please tell me it does.
It’s just that most all of my humiliating, clumsy experiences happen in front of The Boy. A few weeks into dating him, we were walking to the tube when I slipped on ice and fell on my bottom in a not very elegant manner. I come from a place of almost perpetual summer, I shouldn’t be expected to know how to walk on ice. Then there was the time when we were taking a romantic stroll in London and I walked into a bus stop. That was painful. And very embarrassing. I still cringe when I think about it. Last summer I was removing snails (my eternal enemies) from our pot of basil and somehow I pushed the pot off the windowsill and smashed it. And yesterday morning, I took my bowl of porridge from the microwave and managed to spill half of it on the floor and The Boy’s slippers, and to stick my hand in the hot, sticky porridge that remained in the bowl. Ouch.
It’s all a big misunderstanding, really. I’m not clumsy, but all my clumsy moments (a regular number over one’s life, I’m sure) happen in front of him. Just a really unfortunate coincidence. The one person I wish to appear coordinated and elegant in front of, is the one who sees me walking into a bus stop. A bus stop. I asked him if this perceived clumsiness is at least an endearing trait. He said “No.” without even having to think. I suppose he’s still upset about the porridge on his slippers. Or that nice vase I broke the other day.