I don’t think my feet were ever this small. Literally. At the age of nearly three weeks, the baby next door now weighs about seven pounds. When I was born I weighed 9 lbs. 6 oz. And now I wear size 10 shoes. Maybe if my feet were smaller, they wouldn’t get me into trouble.
When I was in about ninth grade, my mom had this winter coat. (Well, we all had winter coats because hello—we were in Minnesota.) Mom’s was down-filled, and it was long and purple. When she wore it, she looked like a cross between the Michelin Man and a purple people-eater. But it was warm!
Now, you have to understand that we were not coat hanger-uppers. Instead, we just threw them over the backs of the dining room chairs. Because why put them away when you’re just going to need them again tomorrow?
So Mom’s long purple coat was hanging on the chair as usual. And because it was long, it puddled on the floor around the bottom of the chair. As I walked through the dining room one day, the table, chairs, and of course the coat were on my left. Somehow I managed to step on the coat’s hem with my right foot, pinning it to the floor. This formed a sort of triangle, as you see in the professionally-drawn graphic below.
As I was holding the coat to the floor with my right foot, my left foot caught the edge of the triangle. Before I knew what was happening, I was headed face-first for the olive green shag carpet. In an attempt at a graceful save, I threw my arms out and began frantically moving my legs forward to keep them underneath me. It wasn’t so graceful, but I did manage the save . . . inches before I would’ve crashed head first into the JC Penney television set (complete with channel-changing pliers).
Unfortunately, Mom witnessed this event. And in the last 20+ years, she’s told the story to I don’t even know how many people. Tonight when I mentioned that I was going to write about it, she instantly burst out laughing. We’re talking doubled-over, tears-squirting-from-the-eyeballs belly laughs. I think that one laugh made her whole trip worthwhile.