A lot of embarrassing things have happened to me in my life. If I didn’t have witnesses, there’s a chance people would consider my misfortune to be either exaggerated or blatant lies.
Like the time I got caught huffing oils at work.
Or the time I cussed out innocent bystanders in an elevator.
Or the time I got rejected from employment at Red Lobster.
Well, here’s another doozie that I think we all have a little something to learn from.
It was October of 2014 and my husband and I attended a destination wedding in the Florida Keys. We were stoked to be staying at a nice hotel and my parents were gracious enough to stay home with the girls, then ages 2 1/2 and 5 months.
Parents’ weekends away are good for the soul and good for the marriage.
The day after the wedding, at the recommendation of our breakfast waitress, we decided to drive 30 miles west from our resort in Duck Key to the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key.
The waitress said the bar was in the middle of nowhere and was surrounded by key deer, which were native to the area.
My husband, being the outdoorsman that he is, thought the idea was perfect.
So we got in the car around eleven and ventured off
into the wild blue yonder on a 45 minute ride to head to a restaurant famous for its history, deer, pizza, and cold brewskis.
When we arrived close to noon, the restaurant was packed and there were people standing in line for a table. It was super casual in what seemed to be a 1200 square foot dining room and dollar bills adorned the ceilings and walls.
It was only proper to personalize our own dollar bill to commemorate Parents Weekend 2014.
We finally found a spot at the bar next to two highfalutin gentlemen who lived in Key West. The bar stools were exceptionally tall. We enjoyed our conversation with the men regarding property values, land investments, and working from home over a large pepperoni pizza and two Blue Moon beers.
Yes, I drank two beers over the course of the entire hour and a half we were at the restaurant.
The calories and carbohydrates from the pizza effectively cancelled out the beers’ entire alcoholic content, so it was pretty much the equivalent, in my mind, to drinking two glasses of water.
When it was time to leave, we bid adieu to our new friends and I attempted to step off the bar stool.
Only it was too high.
Much higher than I remembered.
The whole ordeal felt like it was happening in slow motion.
I fell off the back of the stool and literally crashed into the table behind me, causing the bar stool I was sitting in to topple over. I fell on top of my neighbors’ table, causing their pizza and drinks to splat all over the floor, before I eventually landed on my derriere.
It was like Wile E. Coyote falling backwards off a cliff.
When I finally came to, the once-roaring restaurant was completely silent.
Every single person was staring at me.
The yorkie in the corner.
In a effort to make light of the situation, I stood up, did a gymnast-style pose, and loudly said, “I’m all right, everybody!”
But nobody laughed.
So I skedaddled out of the restaurant as quickly as my bruised ego (and hiney) would permit.
When I got into the parking lot, my husband asked me if I was okay. I said yes. He then convulsively laughed until he was nearly crying and continued laughing the entire ride back to the resort.
In his defense, it was pretty funny.
Then I started thinking.
The event was a metaphor about life.
Sometimes when you fall, all you can do is get back up and keep on keeping’ on.
There’s been so many times in my life where I’ve been handed a whopping slice of humble pie and was glad I kept my eyes on the end goal and continued trying.
Like the time I studied my head off in law school for final exams and still got a dreaded C in criminal law.
I felt like an idiot. Especially when I heard some of my classmates bragging about “the one B+ that ruined their chances of grading onto Law Review.”
Or the time I essentially crawled to the finish line of my first marathon after losing steam at the 20th mile. I wanted so badly to give up after getting smoked by a lady who appeared to be 16 months pregnant and a dude who was on crutches.
Like the fall at the bar, sometimes there’s no point in dwelling on our embarrassments or letting them define us.
All we can do is laugh, learn from the situation, and keep moving forward.
The next morning, my husband and I returned to the same restaurant where we had breakfast the day before and was assigned the same waitress who recommended that we eat at the No Name Pub.
We told her we took her tip and went to the No Name Pub.
Then she said, and the good Lord (and my husband) is my witness:
Those bar stools are really high!
Apparently, patrons stepping off the bar stools and getting hurt is a common thing.
Attention personal injury attorneys: go sit at this bar one afternoon with a stack of business cards. You’ll make a fortune.