The Carpenter and I have been together a long time and, to his credit, he marks rather high on the romantic gesture list (if you consider remembering to put the toilet seat down affection).
But it’s not every day a kiss from the Carpenter knocks me to the ground – literally, as in, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
In all fairness, he was attempting a very passionate move, which would not normally have resulted in personal injury (though stranger things have happened). After all, a good strong kiss and a lingering embrace are enough to knock a girl off her feet on a good day, but when attempted on the frozen surface of the backyard ice rink by two grown ups wearing skates, neither of whom have sufficient skills to actually skate well (or stop for that matter), it’s disastrous … dangerous, even.
It was the first skate of 2015 and the first time I’d skated in two years. My skates were about as comfortable as stilettos and I’m about as graceful in either.
Picture Frankenstein walking, arms up, lead feet taking awkward steps, always off kilter, lacking balance. That’s me on skates. If there weren’t boards along the edge of the rink to hold me up I wouldn’t even try and I surely wouldn’t be able to stop.
Failure to stop is partially to blame for the romantic gesture turned collision. The Carpenter gave me a wink, opened his arms for me to skate into his embrace and as I glided forward for that promised kiss, he slammed into me full-on, with slightly more enthusiasm than he intended, knocking me down like a bowling pin. Timber. Thud.
I laid still on the ice, having landed on my curled up arm like a bird who’d just snapped its wing after hitting a windshield. My elbow took the brunt of the fall and it was ringing with contention. Our son skated past, unsure of whether to laugh or dial 911.
The barrage of apologies coming from the Carpenter was sweet, as he knelt down beside me to check for vital signs. I wanted to respond, really I did. I wanted to reassure him I was fine. After all, he literally knocked me down with a kiss. How great is that after 22 years?
Unfortunately, when I laugh really hard, I don’t make a sound. I suppose because I was face down, sprawled on the ice, it was impossible to see that I found the whole situation painfully amusing.
I had a mental image of myself, three limbs sprawled out in the most awkward way, my face sticking to the ice, and the flashback of the kiss turned full body check was hilarious. I couldn’t speak. I was also a little afraid to move. It hurt. The Carpenter kept apologizing. Let me be clear: that doesn’t happen every day either.
Best to lie still and listen. Giggle.
Eventually I got back up, ‘cause I’m tougher than I look. As soon the Carpenter realized I was fine, the laughter erupted.
And then, just to add that final flare to his romantic gesture, the Carpenter added this final expression of love: “To be clear, Kel, it was a good, clean body check.”
What can I say? I fell for the man once and I’ve been tripping ever since. Love is a funny thing.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.