See, when you tell folks you fell out of your porch swing, they immediately think either you were on your third glass of wine or you are a lazy homeowner who neglects important safety inspections of potentially dangerous furniture.
But pride is the culprit here. Not just one instance of pride, but a whole succession of unwarranted prideful thoughts.
It started on Mother’s Day weekend. My daughters and grandbabies were coming to visit, and as usually happens when company’s coming, I wanted the house to look nice. And as also usually happens when company’s coming, I got into a cleaning frenzy where nothing’s safe. That’s how I found myself on the porch, contemplating the swing that had been clean enough for me to sit on just the previous day but now seemed dirty beyond belief.
So with a fierceness I usually reserve for rooting against any Nick Saban team, I attacked that porch swing, cleaning-wise, and restored it to something approaching its original pristine condition.
Was I a little too proud of my hard work? Did I hope someone would walk by and say, “Oh my goodness, that is the best cleaning job ever!”? Did I secretly believe my gleaning white porch swing was the prettiest on our street?
I think we all know the answers. Prideful thoughts nos. 1, 2 and 3.
Proceed to a month later. This is when karma exerts her universe-balancing tendencies. Or luck and coordination fail me. Take your pick.
It was a gorgeous spring day – sunshine, warm breeze, blue sky. I was walking home from the salon in downtown Corinth where I get my hair cut and feeling good because my hair looked fantastic. I can say this with total modesty because I look in the mirror every morning after I’ve fixed my hair and I know it looks the same as before I did anything and sometimes worse. I am not a hair person. But for one day every two months or so, after I go to the hair salon, I’ve got the smooth and shining hair of my dreams and I take full advantage of it.
So on this rare gorgeous hair day, did I walk around town hoping people would notice? Had I planned lunch out with my husband and dinner out with friends to get full mileage out of my professionally styled ’do? Did I incorporate extra hair tossing into every conversation I had on my way home?
Yes, yes and yes. Prideful thoughts nos. 4, 5 and 6.
Now we come to the fateful moment that day when bad decisions and misplaced self-congratulations exact their due. As I rounded the corner to our house, I saw my husband standing behind our magnificently clean porch swing.
As I bounded up our front steps – hoping my hair was glowing in the sunshine – I noticed he was watching Smart Cat (so called because she gets us to do things for her, such as go outside) stretched out on the cool concrete. Feeling jaunty, I jumped up onto the swing and twisted around to tease her and see how many hair compliments I could get out of my husband.
But before he could tell me how good I looked (I know that’s what he was going to say), the chain on a corner of the swing slipped out of its eye bolt and I ended up flat on the floor with the porch swing dangling in front of my face, a huge weird sort of headache and my husband saying: “Don’t move. Don’t move. Wait, you have to move so the swing won’t hit you.”
He then got Smart Cat back inside and me to the emergency room. The good news was that I didn’t have a concussion.
And more good news: My hair still looked great.
(Cathy Wood is a freelance writer living in downtown Corinth. She contributes to the Daily Corinthian and Crossroads Magazine.)