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Pride goeth before a fall...and words for pain - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Pride goeth before a fall...and words for pain [Dec. 12th, 2008|08:51 am]
Well, I wish that was true, because maybe my pride would provide some cushioning. Frankly, I think that pride goes WITH the fall, since it's usually my pride that is hurt worse than anything else.

Although, I have to admit that I pride myself on falling well. I've had a LOT of practice -- I'm not saying it's a natural ability. Certainly the excess padding that I tend to carry around helps. And I did actually do some training. I'm not really a circus person, but I figured that the only act I'd be fit for would be one of the acrobats on horseback. Post-puberty realization that I would forever be built like a brick sh**house (and by that I mean, big, solid and hard to knock down) meant that acrobatics weren't going to happen. But I still thought it would be cool to be able to leap off a running horse and land feet up.

So I taught myself to do that. Aided by my big horses' tendency to slow down or stop as soon as my seat became unsettled and by the ponymares (we always had some little half-Arab mare in the barn) being very near the ground. So, it was easy to practice and I got very, very good at it. Even when we weren't doing it on purpose. I could get tossed and land on my feet with reins in my hand. Whoo! Which is good. Because if I had NOT taught myself how to do that, surely Christopher Reeve and I would have more in common than a distinct lack of an upper lip.

And early on, I realized that fighting the fall usually caused more damage than just giving in, so non-horsey falls became rolls and tumbles, or at the worst, rag doll falls -- where the padding really came in handy. I remember really impressing some guy when, on a first date, we were walking down a gravelly hill and I slipped, went down face first, but managed to turn it into a forward roll and wind up back on my feet and walking. I think our whole relationship was based on his thinking that mad falling skills would translate into something else, perhaps in a more grassy location...

My brother was not impressed, when I later did the same thing on a busy Boston street, falling off a curb into a forward roll and landing back on my feet. But he was a young college kid trying to be cool. And I had already thrown off any pretense to coolness and was embracing my uberdorkness. Thankfully, he too, has aged out of coolness and now I can embarrass him at my leisure.

But anyway -- I had a spectacular fall yesterday morning, involving lots of hard objects, heels, a case of vitamin water, rocks, gravel, mud. And I was very proud that I was able to stand up and think hmm, that I didn't even do any damage. Wow. No gravel burned hands, no runs in the stockings. I wasn't even going to have to change, since I only got mud on easily washable parts of me. Of course, I'd landed on my bad knee, so while it didn't hurt now, I did fear later.

And I was right. By the time I got to work, things were swelling and aching and NOT in a good way. But, thanks to naproxen and ice packs, it was kept fairly in check and today I've just got a few vague aches and twinges.

And it got me thinking about pain and about how really, like the apocryphal story about Inuits and their thousand words for snow, that I, of all people, Empress of What Can Go Wrong, should have special words for pain. Ache, twinge...not good enough.

Let's face it, there should be a special word for the pain that comes, not right after you hurts yourself, when there's a distinct LACK of pain, that clearly presages the pain to come.

And there are other pains that need special words:

The pain when you can't express how much pain you're in, like when you smack your knee on the table leg in the middle of an important meeting.

The pain of getting pubic hair caught on the adhesive of your panty liner.

The pain of an earbud getting ripped out of your ear because you forgot you were wearing them and turned around too far, too quickly.

The pain of a guy putting his hand down on your hair in the middle of intercourse and pulling all of those little short hairs along the edge of your face.

The pain of your neck hairs getting caught in a necklace clasp.

The pain when you get a cramp in your foot or flank in the middle of an orgasm. Which is so ironic that you start to laugh, which makes everything hurt/feel good even more...um, not that ever happens to me. All the time.

And of course, the pain of when you do fall down or do something that looks incredibly painful in public, but really, the only thing bruised is your pride.

I mean, clearly I'm immune to that, but others should have a name for it.

[User Picture]From: madam_macaw
2008-12-12 03:05 pm (UTC)
I am nodding my head in agreement to all those cited painful moments.

The charlie horses at the most inopportune times - OMG yes. And when your spouse/significant other happens to notice the half grimace/half smile and STOPS, wondering how he is hurting you - it makes ya want to scream. Yeah - that has never happened to me either, much.

Clearly, I love the way your brain works and how you tend to make me think about things I wouldn't normally ponder.
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[User Picture]From: fountaingirl
2008-12-12 03:08 pm (UTC)
The first wordless pain, to me, is "white pain." It is just so blinding.

The others are hysterically funny btw.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-12-12 08:30 pm (UTC)
Or... pain that happens in the midst of negotiated sensory involvement/overload and you have to muster up the wits to say, "Wait, stop, no, really, wait a sec... okay, I'm okay, really, I'm okay!" because of foot/calf/flank cramp.

I ditto the hysterically funny. Twice now today you've made me laugh really hard. When are you going to bottle this ability, patent it and make a fortune?

Speaking of falling in a controlled manner, I once pulled off a beautiful forward roll and foot landing when I encountered an unexpected curb on my motorcycle. I was rolling very slowly on grass aiming for a cement parking spot and the curb was hidden. My bike shook its head, promptly fell over and I just sort of... rolled right off and up again without even thinking about it.

I was really impressed as was my friend who was watching at the time. I was a little sore afterwards but nothing compared to what I would have felt like if 450 pounds of machine had landed on my leg.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-12-13 06:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Dorky Pain Story................from the Rocketeer

Had an art restoration specialist friend once. She got a contract to produce about 300 miniature plaster Easter Island heads as embassy party table decorations. In mid -pour for one of them a hooked earring she was wearing snagged on her sweater. If I remember correctly, she stood balancing plaster and mold,alone and, trying not to rip her ear off, head cranked over for some minutes before I wandered into the shop and freed her.
Cool heads, though!
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[User Picture]From: buglefly
2008-12-15 05:59 pm (UTC)
I always end a fall with "I meant to do that"! ;-)
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