By Leigh Brandt
I want to start by saying falling in public is totally okay. It happens to the best of us.
Even Ellen DeGeneres trips on things. In one of her old stand-up comedy routines, she recounts when she tripped over a pebble. In the wise words of Howie Day, “even the best fall down sometimes,” celebrities included.
I would know, as someone who recently tripped on completely flat pavement. It would be a stretch to say that the sidewalk was the slightest bit uneven and I’m also really trying to be honest here.
Tuesday, Sept. 24, at roughly 9:07 a.m. (oddly specific, I know, but probably because it’s forever ingrained in my memory) I was casually walking down the street, very much enjoying my morning. That was until my flip flop caught the ground at the wrong angle at exactly the wrong time and I stumbled and spilled my coffee. I could feel eyes on me but I’m telling myself that it was only because they “wanted to make sure I was okay.”
My initial thought was “keep walking, just go along with it.” If I pretend it didn’t happen, then maybe everyone else will, too. But, the funny revelation I made was that no one truly cared or even paid attention. I would’ve hoped had I truly fallen on the ground that someone would have expressed some concern, but for a minor misstep, it really was no big deal.
Any shame and embarrassment I did feel was concealed behind my sunglasses and eventually dissipated. I tried to remove myself from my own body and observe the situation of myself tripping, from the eyes of an onlooker. Again, no big deal — it has happened to all of us.
Whether you’re tripping up the stairs or falling on a sidewalk, it’s totally acceptable.
So, one way to deal with such public embarrassment, or in my case more specifically, eating it on the sidewalk: brush it off, it’s not a big deal. Channel your inner Ellen Degeneres and just laugh it off. Or, in Tom Petty’s case, go “free fallin’.”