Sunday, March 26, 2006

Freefalling

The sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, and always fascinating blogger, cmhl, recently wrote a guest post for another blogger. cmhl bravely told a cringe-worthy story of a ski trip she once took, where she was embarrassed and humiliated in front of her then-fiance (now husband) and his oh-so-cool friends. It is a very funny story. Go here if you want to laugh WITH cmhl (scroll down to last Monday's post).You could probably even go there if you want to laugh AT cmhl. She's a pretty good sport, I can just tell (cmhl, am I right?!)

cmhl's tale reminded me of one of my more embarrassing blunders. I think I will share it with you. I will warn you in advance that there is nothing remotely as cool as skiing in this story.

All through high school, I played the violin in the school orchestra. Yes, I am a nerdy violin player. Our school orchestra was quite highly-regarded (as school orchestras go, that is!), and almost every year would win the all-schools title in our state-wide competition. So when, in my final high school year, I was made deputy leader of the orchestra, I was SO proud. I knew that I would be the one to lead the orchestra onstage for each performance (so that the leader could come on after the orchestra had seated, to her own round of applause). I would probably have a short solo here or there. I thought I was the bees knees and the ants pants.

One afternoon, our orchestra was performing in the city hall. I was excited. There would be a large audience. Two of my closest friends were watching. A boy who had just broken up with me would also be there. I had practised the music over & over, and knew it well. Now was my chance to shine.

I strode onto the stage, violin tucked neatly under my arm. I was also carrying an electronic tuner which our slightly tone-challenged conductor used to tune the orchestra. I circled around the back of the violin sections, making my way towards the front of the stage. It was dim light, and a large, plush curtain hung almost touching the chairs at the back of the violin section. Head held high, I stepped behind the last chair......felt my foot descend into nothing but air.... and landed in a small stairwell. CRASH! - my violin came down on its bridge, WHAM! the tuner hit the deck, and batteries rolled across the stage. OOOOOOH! inhaled the audience, in a rush of surprise and concern. I lay, half in the stairwell, half on the stage, for a moment, hearing the rumble of murmuring concert-goers. Why? Why do I always find a way to commit social suicide? I asked myself bleakly. A man climbed onstage and retrieved the batteries, handing them to me. I scrambled up awkwardly, pretending mild amusement. I wanted to run off and hide in a cupboard.

I had whacked my hip very hard in landing, but no way was I going to add to the drama by crying or limping. Making what I hoped was a 'rueful but unfazed' face, I continued to my chair and sat down. I played as usual, I smiled, I bowed with the orchestra at the end as though feeling perfectly fine. When I got home later, my hip was sporting a bruise the size of my hand.

After the orchestra's performance, I slunk into the audeince to watch other orchestras play. My friends greeted me with a muttered, "Are you OK?". There was something odd about the way their mouths were held - as if they were desperately trying to resist some uncontrollable movements. The second I affirmed I was, indeed, still physically intact, my friends bubbled over with muffled mirth...

"Oh my God, that was so funny!!! You should have seen yourself! You looked like you were trying to DIVE across the stage!"

They sputtered into silence as I looked at them in utter despondence. Kirsten tried to pacify me.
"Um, Michael didn't laugh. He seemed worried. We were with him when you - you know - fell. Down those stairs."

Great. He dumped me, and now he's witnessed me dump myself.

I rolled my eyes at my friends, but managed a small smile. I had to admit, I must have looked pretty funny - walking on with such proud, dignified bearing, then splatting onto the stage. Iris and Kirsten grinned back at me. Every so often Kirsten would start with muted laughter. Iris would shush her, and then we would all start to giggle again.

They say pride comes before a fall. I like to take these things literally.

12 comments:

Alice said...

Oh how mortifying at the time, but gorgeously funny now, and told your own inimitable style. Wonderful.

Hope you're having a great Sunday.

TUFFENUF said...

God, that feeling of embarrasment being worse than any physical hurt! It is a miracle that you didn't break something. Funny story!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Oh how embarassing & painful it must have been for you, but it seems once people find out you are ok, it suddenly becomes very funny, and they can't stop laughing.

I'm glad you didn't break your violin or seriously get hurt...although suddenly falling off-guard like that, I'm sure you were hurt much more than you let on.
I think you still need a hug for falling all those years ago.

T. said...

Ha ha! Now imagine falling on your ass infront of the boy you have been making kissy eyes with all week long. That would be me!

Tag, your it!

Heather said...

Thanks for making me laugh, Jelly! That SO sounds like something I would have done!

Val said...

It sounds like you acquitted yourself quite well. The fact that you continued on, playing, bowing, smiling - good for you! AND that you could join in the giggling afterwards, AND all those years shared with us, your blogger audience - seems to me you have a good handle on things, Jellyhead.

Motherkitty said...

Well, if we don't fall on our behinds every once in a while, what would we write about? It's great that you felt compelled to share this gem with us, your loyal fans.

I think we've all had excruciatingly embarrassing moments in our lives, ones that make us want the earth to swallow us whole. I'm happy that you lived to tell the story, and could finally laugh about it.

Kerri said...

Oh poor Jelly! How totally mortifying for a teenage girl. It made a great story though :)
You have a very healthy habit of being able to laugh at yourself, and share the humour with the rest of us in a heartwarming fashion. Thank you for sharing the moment :)

doubleknot said...

What a great story and the greatest part was you could laugh at yourself.
I used to take myself way to seriously until I found out that some things really were funny - I'll have to post some of the more postable ones.
Thanks for the story.

cmhl said...

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


and how funny!!! I played violin in my high school orchestra as well! not well, mind you, but I did play..

LZ Blogger said...

SLUSH her? What is that? ~ jb///

Motherkitty said...

lb blogger: That's "shush her" as in hush or be quiet.