I'm sure my parents had high hopes for their daughter. I think they even tried to maintain that optimism after I managed to need stitches after simply walking home from school one day. I was in first grade. I was walking along perfectly fine when suddenly I woke up with my chin resting on the curb and the rest of my body sprawled in the gutter. My babysitter was walking with me, so she scooped me up and dusted me off. I had tumbled off the sidewalk. Under my own power.
My babysitter was a wise girl. She saw that I had caused some serious harm to myself, but she didn't let me know that. I had "split my chin open", and was happily oblivious to that fact - and the blood. She talked to me as if things were completely normal as she sped me back to the house and called my mom. I later came out of the Dr.'s office with stitches in my chin, one very weary mother, no lollipop and my first official blackballing from a Dr.'s office.
I've never been a good patient, even under the best of circumstances - and my abilities for fighting a Dr. were well honed, even at 6 years old. This skill would later earn me highlighted files in various dental and optical offices - as times changed and outright refusal to see a patient became a perceived litigatable (probably not even a word) offense.
Over the years I managed to chip my front teeth roller skating, ride a skateboard into a fence, follow my older brothers into situations with road signs warning "BAD DECISION", and other little gems that are now stories in constant rotation at the holiday dinner table.
You might see these examples and think "Sure, that's all physical stuff that most kids go through. Sure, most kids don't just fall down their entire lives and through young adult hood at that rate...but it doesn't mean she can't excel at something....right?"
I'll tell you about the day that logic went out the window for my Mom and Dad. I was 19. I was at home studying for class when my Dad asked me to run to the grocery store for him. I was happy for the break, and took the list to the store. I returned with all but one item. That was the 3 bananas he had asked for. He said "You forgot the bananas?" But I hadn't. "Well, I got to the banana section, and there weren't any bunches with just 3 bananas on them. So I couldn't get your bananas." He shook his head as if I'd just squirted him in the face with a water gun. "You.do.know....that you can...tear... bananas off a bunch, right? You do know that you don't have to buy them as they are - that you are allowed to pick and choose and separate them if necessary??"
I didn't know. HAD.NO.CLUE.
And you may be wondering what brought on these memories for me.
I was at work the other day. I walked into the copy room. There wasn't anyone else in there, which is rare. The door shut behind me and I began looking for my supplies. When I found what I needed I headed to the door I had just come through. This is an important fact, simply because of what I did next.
On that door was a post-it note. It said "Please do not use." And I'll be damned if I didn't just stand there and think "Hm. Wonder what's up with the door. I guess I shouldn't use it. I should stand here all alone in this room and wait for it to be safe to use again." And there I stood for a good 60 seconds.
Right about then, one of our copy guys came through the door. I had one of those "OHMYGOSH!" looks on my face. He asked "What's wrong?" I pointed to the stickie note on the door. He took it off. "That was left over from some earlier copy project we did." And then the realization hit him. "DID YOU THINK THAT WAS FOR THE DOOR? IS THAT WHY YOU WERE STANDING IN HERE?" Others had filtered in at this point.
"No, uh...no. I ... well!?...ok, yes. Maybe? But the note..and the thing..." I whined and pointed in a meek attempt to justify my immobilization. "gah...whatever...." I gave up and pouted all the way back to my desk.
It was the bananas all over again. And there were witnesses.