Like my mother before me, I seem to have a gene that makes me susceptible to out-of-the-ordinary crazy happenstances. I’m not kidding- stuff was always happening to Mom (like the time the deaf and mute woman in the laundry room at The Home for Wayward Seniors finally got her to realize she had a pair of her undies stretched across her walker…the very same walker she had just paraded through the common room with in front of God and everybody like a rolling Victoria’s Secret ad). That is one of many stories that we used to joke about, and Mom would inevitably say, “Only me!” Well, I’m here to say, thanks a lot, Mom….me, too.
I don’t mind bringing laughter to people when these things happen, though sometimes it can be a bit emotionally scarring….like the time I was prepped for surgery on my broken ankle and realized I needed to use the restroom. I hopped down the crowded hall only to have a nurse come running after me. It seems my gown had come undone in the back, and I was bouncing my big white backside down the hall for all to see. Hopping back to my room was mortifying…but I burst out laughing as soon as I reached the safety of my room. Dan has never let me live that one down. I’m also infamous at school for being that woman who seems to constantly somehow get the back of my skirt caught in my pantyhose. I’ve had students chase me down the hall, “Dr. GAINEY!!” I’ve also rather unfortunately noticed the problem myself….after having walked across the very busy intersection by the music building. This has happened twice, even though I swear that I check and double check. That also happened at a swanky home where we were gathered for a Birmingham Chamber Music Society Board meeting. The look on the wealthy folk’s faces was priceless.
Spinach in the teeth is child’s play- I go for the big guns when shooting for mortification. I have tripped walking on and off stage, hit the chimes while attempting to leave the stage quietly between pieces during an orchestra concert. This was during a big donor speech in front of 1500 people. Let’s not even go into the major food poisoning that occurred during a staged performance of Porgy and Bess on a packed stage- also in front of 1500 rapt audience members. I have never thrown up so much in all my life, and will always remember the feeble attempt of the second clarinet player trying to hand me a plastic bag…too late. Things like that you never forget….nor do the people sitting around you.
I guess I will proudly carry on the tradition set by my mom- when we girls do something, we put our heart and soul into it. My sister has the same gene, too, and we get lots of laughs sharing our latest misadventures with each other. I’ve come to expect these incidents, and sort of wait with bated breath to see what will happen next. I figure I might as well laugh about it. That’s what Mom did, and it worked out pretty well for her. The Goofy Gene…sort of has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?