Telling It Funny

Earlier this week, I went to the calling hours for my friend’s father. Having arrived in the parking lot without incident, I wasn’t really thinking about whether I’d be able to continue safely into the building on foot.

As it happens, the funeral home has a short step before the front door. I discovered this by catching my foot on it, hard, and desperately trying not to fall down. You know in the movies when someone is trying not to fall and they wave their arms around and do that crazy half-running scramble? Yeah. That happened.

Unfortunately, for that maneuver to be truly successful, you have to have a little room in front of you. I did not. What I had in front of me were the heavy double doors of a funeral home. So I did a face plant into the center of them. (I’d like to point out at this juncture that I did not actually hit the ground. I think I should get at least a little credit for that.) There was, sadly, no one else outside to capture this special moment on film for your viewing pleasure. So you’re stuck with my version of events. I stood up straight, shook my head like a dog clearing its ears, and opened the door.

Two men in somber dark suits greeted me, their faces registering half concern and half wonderment. “I’m fine,” I said. “Really. I tripped and ran into the door, but I’m not hurt.”

“Did you know your lip is bleeding?” the dark-suited men asked. Huh. I put my hand up to my mouth, and they were right. I’d hit the door hard enough to split my lip a little. Luckily, I had a handkerchief in my pocket. Always prepared, I am. Except for steps in completely random places like in front of doors.

The cut on my lip was seriously nothing at all. Tiny. But it would not stop bleeding. So even though I waited in line behind a lot of people, I was still bleeding when I got to the family. If it’s never happened to you (and why would it, because really, only me), I can tell you that you feel a special kind of foolish when you’re at a funeral home and the bereaved are trying to take care of you. Do you need a tissue? No, I’m good. Did you know you’re bleeding? Yes, but it doesn’t hurt. Are you okay? Yes; I fall down a lot. I’m used to it.

Sad but true. Someday I’ll tell you about the time I fell into a hosta. Or off my bike and down a hill. Or out of the shower at my in-laws’ place in Florida. It occurs to me to wonder whether I fall down a lot more than other people, or whether I’m just more willing to share my own absurdity for the entertainment of others. Maybe it’s both.

So if you’ve been giggling or grinning or outright guffawing (yes, Stephanie, I know you are) as you read this, don’t feel bad. As I told my cousin Nancy who was in line with me that night, “No, no, it’s okay to laugh. I’m telling it funny.”


Picture included so you can see how tiny the injury truly was. Also because it’s the only legitimate reason I can think of for a middle-America pushing-middle-aged housewife to post a duckface selfie, and I think that’s a hoot.

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