Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Dancing Klutz

Welcome to my Birthday Week during which I post random, interesting or embarrassing facts about myself. If you missed the yesterday’s introductory post, you can find it here. Today, though running a bit late, I’m going to tell you about the less glorious side of being Melfka: being a Klutz.

You might recall I’ve mentioned in the past I used to attend many dancing classes, but it doesn’t mean I’m a good dancer or an agile person. In fact, I’m terrible when it comes to anything balance-related, and tend to hurt myself by accident… A LOT. And that’s when I’m already being extra cautious to avoid these things to happen. On the other hand, I seem to be lucky enough to get away without any serious injuries.

If you follow me on Twitter or you’ve read my Birthday Week introduction post you might recall that I’ve cut my finger last year, shortly after arriving to the USA. I was cleaning knives, and because of that, I was careful… sharp objects beg for an accident, right? Well, when my hand had slipped, I didn’t cut myself with the knife I was holding. I cut myself with the knife lying on the counter. I guess I should be happy I still have the tip of the index finger of my left hand, and the scar and deformation after the month-long healing process is barely visible.

I could also mention how once I’ve lost balance at the edge of a curb and flipped onto the street, right in front of the approaching car. Good it was taking a turn and already slowing down, so I ended with as “little” as twisted ankle (two weeks of pain) and a scraped knee.

I also have a story of how I, sitting on the floor, turned and smashed my head against the edge of a heavy wooden table: a sight that got the ever-calm Inq (who jokes about me being a klutz) quite worried… Needless to say, I got away with as little as an ugly bruise.

But these are the gruesome and rather serious, while I have a more entertaining story: the one of when Melfka, not the sporty type at all, played volleyball, and how it ended with a bit of disasters because of… one friend’s goodwill.

Back then I was still studying at the university, and whenever I could, I’d jump on the train to meet my friends in Warsaw. This time our host, who invited quite a few people from all over the Poland (and even more local ones) announced that even though he was going to devote the 4-day-long weekend to his guests, he was playing volleyball on Saturday. Sure, we said, we’d tag along. With the June weather being all summer-like, it would be a nice picnic for those not playing.

Pretty much sums up the outfits I wore in my early 20s. Yes, I liked black, A LOT. Don’t judge. 😉 (Ok, 15 years later, I still wear a lot of black.)

And indeed it was: we had some laughs and took pictures, while some people engaged in the game. Our host laughed that everyone would play in the end, but I had my doubts: I didn’t pack for any sport activity, and a long skirt along with straps-tied sandals was hardly appropriate. Needless to say, of course, I gave in.

A bit of magic transformed my long skirt into a short one, but I couldn’t do much about the sandals. I’ve mentioned I’m not the sporty type, and volleyball might actually be the one of the few group activities I enjoy (and I don’t totally suck at). I could receive the ball and send it back on its way… most of the time.

Hardly sportswear, but it was comfortable enough.

One of the players in the other team was much more skilled and whoever decided to receive the ball he served could expect the burning pain either in the wrists or in the forearms, which in a way was part of the fun and few laughs about limbs being broken by his hits. When I saw a ball coming at me, I knew I could take it. I also knew it would hurt a lot, but the angle was perfect. One of my friends, standing next to me, had decided there was no way I could get that ball, so he jumped in front of my the very moment I was making a step forward to take position.

Did I mention the sandals I wore? They’re important when you get to know what followed: my friend’s foot on top of mine, and even though he wasn’t particularly heavy, his exceptional height along with the sideways motion had done the job well enough.

This is the actual picture taken by my friend. I guess he liked the sandals.

My big toe was quite painful and all bruised, but that was to be expected, right? I kept playing volleyball for the next few hours, though I avoided jumping up as the pain flared, then spent the rest of the weekend walking quite a lot. Back to Poznań, and to the exams, I kept walking for another week, though regardless of the heat I swapped the sandals for more protective shoes. And only then I decided that the extensive bruising and continuous pain were a bit too much to ignore. From the doctor to the X-rays, and back to the doctor so she could confirm my toe was broken. She wasn’t sure if I needed a cast, so she sent me to a surgeon.

Having friends with cameras means “everything” gets documented, even one Melfka curling in a sudden pain.

The surgeon looked quite sinister: like an evil nurse in a psychiatric ward, but he decided I didn’t need cast. “Just wear sturdy shoes,” he said and didn’t seem impressed the only “sturdy shoes” I had were a military boots. “These will do,” he commented. “Come back next week for a checkup.”

I can assure you, I didn’t. I wore my heavy boots through the two months of summer heat, and my toe had healed well, leaving me with a fun story to tell, and reinforcing my reluctance toward any sports. And dancing? I might be an ultimate klutz, and definitely don’t look well when I dance, but so far I somehow managed to avoid falling over my own feet.

This post is a part of Melfka’s Birthday Week in which I share some interesting or embarrassing facts about myself. Posted so far (links will be updated daily):
Melfka’s Birthday Week Introduction
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Witch’s Black Cat
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Love of Earrings
Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Writer’s Special Pen
– Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Dancing Klutz (this post)

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I am very impressed at your high pain threshold! I broke my toe falling off a scooter and the pain was excrutiating, especially at night… I think you were a great sport continuing with the game. I would have probably howled with agony and rolled around, making a great scene… Thank you for once more sharing some of what makes you you…

    1. melfka

      I think I was lucky with my toe. When I flipped over my own foot in front of the approaching car, even though I didn’t break an ankle, the pain was unbearable…
      I only continued playing because standing and receiving the ball didn’t cause pain. When I tried to jump up or run up, it was an entirely different matter.

      1. sjhigbee

        Still think you’re a heroine – I am SUCH a baby when I get injured…

        1. melfka

          I can be a baby too (especially when poked in the arm). In that case it just seemed “proper”: it got stepped on, it’s normal it hurts, so don’t jump up and walk slowly.
          And I did have a distraction of the ball game. 😉

  2. J.R.Bee

    I am not remotely sporty, but it’s mainly due to the fact that I don’t like sports, I don’t mind exercise, but sports, blah. Of course it might have something to do with the fact that I have absolutely ‘no’ hand eye co-ordination.

    1. melfka

      You should play some video games then. 😉

      1. J.R.Bee

        I don’t have a gaming console any more, but I do have a brain training app, does that count?

        1. melfka

          You have a PC and an iPad, right? 😛 That’s a start. Not all the games are played on the consoles and they also enhance your motoric and mental prowess. 😛

  3. portiabridget

    Yeah, friends with cameras are dangerous, they tend to document the worst moments of your life! Thanks for sharing and let’s hope you’ll have no more accidents in future!

    1. melfka

      Thank you for the good wishes, but looking realistically… “let’s hope you’ll have no more health-damaging/life-threatening accidents in the future” would probably be more achievable 😀

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