Someone once commented that a person falling was one of the funniest things to see.
Granted, a lot of the video clips on American’s Funniest Videos feature people falling and some are kind of funny. Especially, when the person is doing something they should have known better about doing, like riding a skateboard down a flight of stairs.
But, it always made me cringe a little, especially when the fall looked like someone got hurt pretty badly.
Maybe it’s empathy.
Mama never let me take ballet lessons because I was not exactly the most sure footed and nimble child. Said the woman who cannot exit a movie theater without tumble rolling down the aisle.
When I tried out for cheerleading, I realized my mama was right in that I couldn’t discern my right from my left foot.
But somehow, somehow, I managed to walk easily in heels.
I would wear the highest heel I could find and somehow, never lost my footing.
“You’re gonna fall and break your darn neck,” Granny would warn.
“I walk better when I have on heels,” I would reply.
This made the old gal snort. “You either gonna fall, or you gonna end up with all kinds of varicose veins or foot problems. Shoes can be bad for your health if you get the wrong ones.”
Thankfully, I have somehow avoided both even though I wore four-inch heels while working retail for years. They made me feel graceful and elegant, as I had to be mindful of where I was stepping, lest I break a heel.
Heels were my friend. Wedges, on the other hand, another story.
“If a shoe is ever the death of me, it will be a wedge,” I said one day.
Mama was not sure what a wedge was.
“Remember espadrilles from the 70’s and 80’s, the shoes you never wore?” I reminded her, Mama favoring heels herself when she was younger.
“That was a wedge heel.”
“That’s a flat,” she said.
“Well, it’s kind of how a wedge heel is – flat across the bottom but it’s stacked up a little.”
Mama thought that was kind of silly. Either be a flat or be a heel. Probably part of the reason she never wore them.
“Why are they going to be the death of you?” she asked.
“Because, I can’t walk in them,” I replied.
A few years ago, I had a cute pair of silver espadrilles that I adored. They were comfortable and went well with jeans. I didn’t wear them very often but decided to wear them one Sunday.
As I walked in to pay for gas while Lamar stayed at the car with Cole, I tripped walking up on the sidewalk and stumbled. In an attempt to catch myself, I grabbed a trash can. A trash can with wheels on it. I proceeded to be propelled down the sidewalk while holding on to the trash can like it was a lifeline. I hoped it would crash into the ice machine and I would stop in an upright position.
That did not happen, of course.
Somehow, the trash can veered off the sidewalk, spilling all of its messy contents in the parking lot and delivering me face down in front of the gas station doors.
A man opened the door to exit, bumping my prone body with it slightly. He grunted at me and then stepped over me. He didn’t even offer to help me to my feet.
“I fell,” I said as I got back in the car.
“I saw that,” Lamar said.
“And you didn’t come to help?” I cried.
“Not much I could do. I thought you were moving the trash can to the other side of the store for some reason. Didn’t know until the end there you were falling,” he said.
I threw those shoes away the minute I got home.
You’d think I would have learned my lesson.
Flash forward about seven years later, and I found a pair of wedge sandals I thought would be cute for the summer. They would give be a bit of much needed height and look casual or sporty when needed.
I wore them once.
Once was enough.
Even as I sat in church, I thought to myself, these shoes are not that easy to walk in.
I should have worn heels.
As I walked across the street to the car, the wedge sandals met uneven pavement and down I went.
I was temporarily parking lot road kill.
When Lamar finally managed to scoop me up, I was a bloody, sobbing mess.
“Do you want to go to the emergency room?” he asked me.
I told him no, hoping it was just a horrible sprain.
I had to tell Mama, of course.
“If it’s broke, she will hurt bad enough to go get it checked out,” my uncle said.
I did and it was.
A hairline fracture on my funny bone, and there was nothing funny about it.
Not the bone or the fall.
Granny was right; the wrong shoe could be detrimental to your health. In this case, it was a wedge instead of a stiletto.