So since we’ve been talking about my proclivity for accidents and also laughing at other peoples’ expense lately, I thought I’d combine the two and tell you about my freshman year of college.
Here’s the thing about me. When I get into a new living environment, I bump into things and knock stuff over a lot until I get accustomed to where that corner is and hey, maybe I shouldn’t cut it so close when I’m walking down the hall and the bathroom door is in a different place so make sure you open your eyes while walking through it. Stuff like that.
So I get to college, and my dorm room, while not horribly tiny, is about 2/3 the size of my bedroom at home with twice the beds, twice the desks and twice the people. You can imagine how this was going to work out for clumsy new environment girl. And also for the girl who never shared a room with anyone. Luckily, my roommate Elaine and I were already friends from high school, and so we were reasonably excited about the fact that we were ROOMMATES!! In COLLEGE!!
Let me explain the layout of our room a bit. When you walk in the door, on your right are two built in closets, side by side, that essentially look like armoires. On the left is my desk and my bed. Elaine’s bed was perpendicular to mine (we put the heads near each other so we could TALK at night. About BOYS.) and then her desk sat on the other side of the closets. Also, our dorm is not air conditioned and it’s the middle of August. Hot. So we have a fan going on the floor. I’m standing on a chair, hanging up a poster over my desk, and Elaine is standing behind me telling me when it’s straight, because god forbid that a poster be off by a fraction of an inch in Obsessive-Compulsive Girl’s room. Anyway, I finally got the poster hung perfectly and I stepped down from the chair. Straight onto the fan, which, in case you didn’t know, is not so much for the stable footing. I stumbled backwards, right into Elaine, and the momentum caused us to land in her closet with me sitting on her lap and, once the initial shock had worn off, both of us in fits of giggles. And so Elaine was the unwitting victim of my new surroundings clumsiness.
But it didn’t end there. A few weeks later she came to class (we also had pretty much every class together and all the same friends – good thing we got along as well as we did) and she was wearing a gauze bandage on her hand and she was maaaad at me. Turns out, I had left my curling iron on the floor by the t.v. – which I always did – except for this time I had forgotten to turn it off. Somehow, she had put her hand right on it and burned herself. Ooops. Sorry Elaine.
So the semester passes, and we are now going to go home for spring break. We’re getting ready to leave, and Elaine is packing up the car. She had all of her stuff in, and she was being nice and carrying one of my laundry bags down to said vehicle. She comes up a couple of minutes later, laughing, with a skinned hand. Turns out that she had tripped over one of those yellow concrete parking lot dividers while carrying my bag. Not her bags – she got to the car ok with those – but my bag. Hmmm. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here.
But wait! It gets better (or worse). One day my friend Brigette was driving me and some other girl home from class. There’s a four way stop on campus, and while we were at the stop sign, we saw Elaine waiting to cross. I waved at her, she waved back, and we went on our merry way. About two seconds later, the other girl in the car is like “Oh no! That girl you just waved to got hit by a car!!” WHAT??? I guess what happened is that Elaine started to cross the street and a car hadn’t come to a complete stop and sort of bumped into her. She was fine. Seriously. Fine. I’m telling you this part because I wanted you to know that she was NOT HURT before I told you about how Brigette and I could NOT stop laughing about it. I’m sorry, the mental picture was too much. When Elaine got home from class, I tried my very best to be sympathetic. I made sure she was definitely ok before bursting into uncontrollable laughter again. And again. And again later. At first, she did not appreciate the humor in the situation. I probably wouldn’t have right that minute either, if it were me.
But the thing is? It wasn’t me. I came out of freshman year unscathed. Well, except for the time I fell out of my six-foot loft. But that was due to a vodka-related incident, not from plain old clumsiness. Oh, and there was the time Elaine was drunk and bit my arm. But I think after all I put her through, she deserved a little payback, am I right?
I'd also like to say at this juncture that as I've gotten older, I've reverted back to injuring just myself and not others. So we can be friends now without your fearing for your safety, ok?