And This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I’m really, really, incredibly clumsy. I have tried and tried to tell my family that it is a syndrome and not something I can control. They insist on mocking me nonetheless. My goal in life is to own a blowtorch for jewelry making purposes but I persist on this path of self destruction and humiliation and I can tell that it is just never going to happen. If it did, I would probably burn my own face off.



This past week alone I have amazed myself and those around me with my gracelessness.

First I was in Walmart, where bad things always seem to happen, just minding my own business, when I saw a clearance sticker. I am a sucker for a good deal. The items on sale were syrups used in making those crushed ice drinks. My daughter had gotten an icee machine for Christmas last year and we’d let her use it about none times since then, because it’s loud and messy and generally a pain in the ass. But. The syrup was on sale. And I thought, she’ll be delighted to finally get to make an icee with flavoring since the one I let her make was just ice with Koolaid poured over the top. I know, I really outdid myself there. Anyway, they had grape and cherry and whatever flavor blue is. I reached in for a red one and KABLAM knocked over about half the display. They really weren’t stacked well, if you ask me. SPLAT! Purple sticky disgusting syrup EVERYWHERE. Now, because I used to work at Walmart about a million years ago, I remembered from their indoctrination tapes thatΒ if Jose stole something you should report him, unions are a no-no, and if there’s a spill you have to stand guard over it so no one is injured. So I stood there. And stood there. And stood there. Finally one of those tiny old ladies who surely shouldn’t be working any more wandered by and I corralled her to stand guard while I went to get someone who could actually carry a mop. It was a damned mess, all caused by yours truly.

Next on my list of things to destroy was my brand new tablet. I’ve been moaning for years because my kids have ipods and ipads and galaxy whatevers and I have none. My dad finally took pity on me and surprised me with a Surface tablet. I was so excited. Yesterday I ordered a fancy case for it, because I know myself well. I’d only had it about two weeks and was just finally figuring out how to work it when disaster struck. By ‘disaster’ I mean me. I don’t even know how it happened. One minute I was holding it, reading Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, and the next it was facedown on the concrete floor. I hoped that all was not lost, but sure enough, that fragile bitch was all cracked up.

These are not the only times that my clumsiness syndrome has caused me to injure myself or break something. Oh, no. There was the time that I dropped something while making pancakes and accidentally stuck my forehead to the pancake griddle. And the time I attempted to jump over a hedge while wearing platform wedges and a fancy dress. That didn’t end well, let me tell you. I once fell down my front steps in the rain while carrying my middle child. He was a baby at the time and somehow I protected him but cracked my tailbone. I’ve broken more toes than I care to count, and I broke my wrists so many times as a child that the hospital started taking me back alone to make sure I wasn’t getting beat up at home. No, sorry, I’m just a goddamn accident waiting to happen.

My mother-in-law knows I collect green glass and she used to give me glassware in that shade, but I would break them one at a time until they were all gone. Now she buys me plastic glasses in a pretty green and I still manage to break those too.

I used to smoke and my friends would always walk on the side of me that did not have the cigarette because I was really bad about burning people, and I have a scar on each finger from burning myself with cigarettes. I guess in light of all this I should be glad about my husband’s “No Fire” policy, but I really feel like he is stifling my creativity.

Are you accident prone? Do you want things even though they might be bad for your health? Do you think a blowtorch is an unreasonable request? We have insurance.


About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

39 responses to “And This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

  • qwertygirl

    I love your questions at the end–“Do you think a blowtorch is an unreasonable request? We have insurance.” Back in the days of the Palm Personal Organizer I was carrying mine to my car, and I dropped it on a concrete floor. The result would look familiar to you. I called, because it was TWO DAYS OLD, and they told me that the warranty covered every single part on it, except that piece of glass. Probably because they know that klutzes like you and me would drop and smash them, and they’d have to replace them for free and bye bye profits. And of course, this was way back before they had a glass replacement kiosk in every mall.


    • Steph

      Right?? Mine’s only two weeks old and I thought seriously about telling them it came like that but I’m a terrible liar and I really can’t afford to have bad karma right now. So 200 bucks to fix the damned thing. Arg. It’s hell being clumsy.


  • Michelle

    Hahahah….ummm…one time I gave myself a concussion with a measuring cup. It was a REALLY BIG CUP…


  • Tempest Rose

    Oh God I have the same syndrome, I feel for you. I’d totally let you own a blowtorch though.


  • Mental Mama

    The pediatrician told my mom to put me in ballet class so that maybe I’d learn some grace. That or buy me a helmet.


  • The Hopeful Herbalist

    Mmm, you with a blow torch?well let’s see you could live life to the full and share the consequences or be safe and that would be a bit πŸ’€πŸ˜΄


  • Sofia Leo

    Every woman should own a blowtorch! And a soldering gun! You can get some serious shit done with just those two things. Of course, if your goal is NOT to set things on fire, you’ll have to be careful, but think of all the cool stuff you can teach your kids πŸ™‚


  • Scott (AKA Twindaddy)

    Okay, what was your face doing that close to a pancake griddle???


  • ercatalano10

    OMG. I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing far enough away from you to ensure my safety. The pancake skillet thing seems right out of Bugs Bunny. Verdict: no blowtorch for you!


  • J Rose

    I’m on my third Kindle now. The first I was charging on my bed the day before my NYC trip for my blarg and I might have put my elbow on it when getting up, cracking the screen. They replaced it free of charge (and amazingly it arrived at my door before I left for my trip). The second one, I had in my purse and picked up my nephew who was leaning on/sitting on my purse. That one they gave me a new one for just 100 dollars because I had had it for over a year. This one, named Charm (third time’s a), has survived pretty well, so far. *knock on wood*


  • Chris Dean

    You are my soul sister and I am in awe at your mastery of creative klutziness! (Which I personally believe should be an Olympic event.)
    I haven’t laid my head across a griddle (yet) but I do have a very nice scar from pulling a pan of cookies out of the oven a little too fast (I thought the pan stuck, but that was the other pan). When it didn’t stick, I stumbled backwards and kinda kalf hugged the pan against my stomach. While wearing a halter top. So yeah, bare skin.
    Like I said, soul sisters!


  • LVital7019

    Oh man. Don’t feel bad – fellow “syndrome” victim here! A long time ago I had some trouble cracking a coconut open. The hammer just bounced right off so I tried slamming it on the concrete patio. No dice. THEN came my fantastic idea to stab it with a Phillips-head screwdriver using the hammer to drive it in. It worked! Until I tried to get the screwdriver OUT of the coconut. I kept pulling and shaking it to widen the hole until it finally popped out. And I slammed myself right in the face with the hard plastic handle. Gave myself a black eye. If only there was YouTube back then…

    Very recently, I was in the kitchen making my breakfast-shake before work. I use a mix and one of those shaker-cups with the aerating thingy that goes with it. I’m shaking and shaking to make sure it’s well-blended when the drink-top flies open and gets shake ALL OVER my kitchen and ME. I was so livid I was almost in tears – had to call work and tell them to expect me later than usual because pretty much EVERYTHING needed to be re-done: hair, makeup, clothing.


  • Gina W.

    I feel like I’ve found my soulmate after reading this. Thank you for making me feel better about myself. I’ve managed to give myself very painful burns on my (ample) bosom several times while cooking. A friend suggested I should stop cooking while topless (ha). I also gave myself a black eye by hitting the car door with my face while opening the door. That takes talent.


    • Steph

      Good! It’s hard to do things when you have to keep track of where your face is and whether it’s in danger or not. I myself can’t focus on two things at once like that.


  • Brandyn Blaze

    You just described my life. I am a walking disaster! In fact, the catch-phrase in my family is “B’s home!”…spoken when I inevitably knock something over/drop something/walk into things. This stems from a babygate I managed to knock over Every.Single.Day. for a good 5 years…
    Clumsy gals unite!


  • REDdog

    If you get that blowtorch you might consider cctv as well, just so you can keep us up to date on YouTube with the inevitable “stuff” that will happen. I say go for it, if you’re gonna be clumsy, might as well go viral too.


  • Samara

    I’m so clumsy I say that tripping over invisible objects is my superpower.

    Unfortunately, my kid inherited that trait from me – only worse. Maybe the gene for clumsiness mutated? He’s scary. Objects just leap from his hands and go crashing onto the floor.


  • ksthompsonauthor

    Wow! I thought I was bad. Congrats. You are the Grand Empress of Clumsy. I would bow, but I’d probably fall over and take out most of what’s currently residing on my desk.


  • Jana

    I once sliced the back of my calf open (about three inches and 20 stitches worth) with a straight edge razor (I was TRYING to sweep my skirt under my butt so I could sit down – and forgot I had the razor in my hand). But I have a REAL talent for turning cars onto their sides or totally upside down – all by myself – with no other vehicles involved.


  • AmberLynn Pappas

    Were you walking while reading? I’m confused….

    I am totally accident prone which is why my children are too. I have two fake teeth and a metal plate in my wrist to prove it!


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