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Memoirs of a Clumsy Girl: Sandals and Staircases

No shoes were harmed in the making of this tale.

By Dianne CromptonPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you stop and go huh, how did I manage this? Even after time as passed, the question still pops up and you still aren’t quite sure? Those are the moments that make the unforgettable memories… even if you wish they could be.

High school parties. Was there anything better to do on a Saturday night? If you had asked me and my friends we would have told you no way. Especially this one. We had been looking forward to this one for weeks. Everyone was going, and our friends that had graduated the year before were returning. It had been so long since we had seen them, and this party was going to be the perfect venue for the reunion. We had some extra excitement added in as we were anticipating the arrival of two guys in particular. One was the boyfriend of my bestie and the other was the guy I had a massive crush on.

Growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s was interesting. It was a weird time for fashion, which was very apparent in all of my wardrobe choices. The jeans were low-rise, and the shoes and accessories were big and chunky. Getting ready for a party like this took a while. A girl needs to look her best and with the help of her friends, it was easy to get there. I had wanted my crush to notice me, and if only I had known that it might not be the make up or the over sprayed curls that made that a reality.

After all our prep, we decided we were ready, and it was time to party. My lips were slicked with shiny, sparkly gloss and I was wearing my most prized possession. A pair of silver platform sandals. The holographic material had the straps shifting colors as the light hit it and they sported a conservative five inch platform heel. They were beautiful and looked as if they had been plucked right out of Baby Spice’s closet. I wore them everywhere. I mean everywhere. Even to a recent track and field competition, but that’s another story for another day.

The party was fun. More people that we had expected had attended and we were happy to mingle, dance and catch up with our other friends. At some point in the evening, my three friends and I had convened to the upstairs bathroom to freshen up and more importantly, gossip and giggle. No one knew how long we had been up there when the music floated up the stairs, and the intro to the song caught our attention. Not just any song, but the song we’d deemed as our song. As is required by all teenage girls, the minute you hear your jam start pumping out of the speakers, you must squeal to alert everyone, and then dance. Dance, like you’ve never danced before. Which is exactly what we did. We squealed and began our hurried decent down the stairs to the living room to dance.

I was the last one to head down, and just as my bestie was at the halfway point, I let out startled yell. Turning in unison, they all paused, gasped, and then burst in roaring laughter. No one could believe what they were seeing. There I was, hanging upside down on the staircase, dangling by a shoe. Somehow, in our rush to dance, I missed a step and started to tumble down. I say started to tumble because it really wasn’t much of a tumble. I barely made it down two steps before I found myself abruptly stopping. My tumble was halted by my left shoe being wedged in the slats on the staircase, leaving me dangling there. Foot securely wedged, my head hanging down and no clear way to get myself out of this predicament. The angle was so obscure that I was positive that even my best efforts could not recreate it. At first, we laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Then we tried to un-wedge my foot. The darn thing would not budge. The only thing our efforts did was to help my already low-rise jeans slip even lower. Oh and incite another round of laughter. It was a ridiculous situation I had found myself in.

This time the hysterical laughter drew the attention of the entire party. The music stopped and everyone came to check out the spectacle. The spectacle of me, dangling by my shoe, low rise jeans slipping with each movement. It wasn’t until everyone was there, looking up at me, did we clue into another side effect of the tumble and our efforts to release my shoe. My struggles and efforts had shifted my jeans and there, exposed for all to see, were my bright pink Joe Boxer underwear, with the big yellow smiley face. Flashing that big smile to everyone, including my crush. I don’t know which was brighter, the neon pink underwear or my blushing cheeks.

Was this actually happening? Was I truly hanging here, flashing my underwear to the entire party? I couldn’t believe that I had found myself in this place. You know that dream you have where you are standing in front of a crowd, about to speak, only to realize you are naked? The one that instills feelings of panic, even after you wake to find it was only a dream? That’s what this felt like. Everyone staring at me, all of us laughing, and my cheeks flushed red in embarrassment. I don’t know how I’d managed to stop a party and flash them all my underwear, but I had and all I wanted was to get free and find a hole to hide in.

After the laughter died down, my bestie decided that I had been the entertainment long enough, and it was time to rescue me and my poor shoe. At this point, all I wanted was to be released and to have the party festivities resume. Fingers crossed that my beloved platform sandals would come out of the rescue unscathed. After enlisting the help of her boyfriend and my crush, my best friend climbed the stairs to cover up that big yellow smiley face and free me from my misery. A push, a pull, and a pop. With a cheer, I was free. The smiley face was once again covered and my prized possessions showed no signs of their entrapment. It appeared, the only thing that was injured was my dignity.

The crowd dispersed and the music started up again. We partied on, and too this day, we remember the flashing of that big yellow smiley face whenever we hear a certain song.


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