I’m no Bella Swan, but when it comes to physical coordination, I rank alongside toddlers with enlarged heads and Weeble toys. Cursed with 2 left feet, I have a list of walking mishaps (and no, as impressive as that is, you cannot ask for my autograph) that is bound to stun even the most professional walkers. This ability isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By learning what not to do while walking and talking, I’ve been able to steer others away from potentially embarrassing situations. I am the Walking Guru, The Strollmaster, the Jedi of Ambling Along. My Native American name would be One Who Walks With Grace. (Or One Who Laughs With Double Chin but that’s not really relevant.) Here is a sneak peek of my master list of walk-and-talk errors. If you’re one of those “learn from experience” types, I give you permission to employ any of these methods.
Walk into a Table Have you ever had a conversation with your head turned 180 degrees around? (Owls, don’t answer that.) If you have, you know that when you’re talking to that cute guy directly behind you and you’re at a movie theater holding a slushie, there is a 99% chance that your stomach will embrace an inconveniently placed table and the slushie will launch itself across the surface, causing the entire theater staff to pummel you with angry eye-daggers from across the room. When you quickly abandon the premises out of shame, leaving the puddle of red-blue ice in a melting pile at the scene of the crime, you can be sure that the bitter teenager behind the concessions stand will post your picture under the counter and make a point to spit in your popcorn next time, all because you tried to walk and talk.
Trip on a Sidewalk Crack If there’s one thing I learned this summer, it is how to maintain a relatively normal image while commuting. Coffee goes in your left hand. Bag on right shoulder. Phone in right pocket with train card. Commuting is the training program for future tightrope walkers and jugglers. This delicate balance can easily be ruined by one simple phone call, as it takes your attention away from avoiding uneven sidewalk cracks and often leads to tripping, flailing and attempting to catch everything mid-air.
Walk into a Person Nothing feels better than plunging your head into the sweaty crevice of someone’s back. It’s such an intimate moment, you, nuzzling a stranger’s backbone with your nose and their odor, hugging the corners of your nostrils. To experience this gift of life, simply turn your head to your friend who is walking behind you and blubbering about the end of shark week and completely ignore the block of people ahead of you. When you pivot around at the last second to get a face full of blubber, you’ll be thanking me in no time. This situation works best on crowded sidewalks, in hallways after the school bell rings and at birthday parties for people you don’t like.
Slip on Ice When I come up to you the first day of spring and say “Long time no see!” even though I saw you all winter, it’s not because I have amnesia but because during the winter, my eyes are glued to the ground. Black ice is more devilish than people who don’t like cats. If you do not keep a constant lookout, these crystal clear pockets will twist your ankles, knock you down and pull you under piles of snow, never to be seen again. If for any reason you are caught talking to a friend (and looking them in the eye as you do so), just be prepared to come face-to-face with the ground before you reach your destination.
Walk into a Pole (Texting) The media won’t admit it but that law in New Jersey that charges people for walking and texting? That was me. Long story short, the rogue photographer that hides in my bushes every morning one time caught me furiously texting. At this time, my face decided it wanted to meet a nearby pole. Because my face and my brain have conflicting personality types, the pole ended up not liking me as much as my face thought it would. Not only did I gain a flattering bump on my forehead (accompanied by numerous Facebook pictures) but I also learned to never text my rogue photographer around poles because he’s a jerk and he likes to watch me suffer.