I spend most of my waking hours trying to think of a specific word that eludes me, incoherently mumbling thing like “what’s that word for eyeball glasses,” only to find that I’d just forgotten something basic like “contacts.” Not this time, though. I found a nearly perfect descriptor of last weekend… because, honestly, what a trip.
I was in Northampton, Massachusetts last weekend for a pitch competition (before Uber stranded me and I missed my flight and then lost my laptop,) so it was a trip in the basic sense. Urban Dictionary, the source of authority in my life, has a few other definitions.
“A trip”: meaning that was crazy, weird. You didn’t expect what happened or what someone did.
“Trippin”: when someone is overreacting or getting bent out of shape over something small
“Tripping”: a state of mind brought on by experiencing a different state of consciousness—mostly through vast changes in perception, senses, and thought patterns
Probably the last one was a diplomatic description of the effects of LSD, but I’m choosing to interpret the “different state of consciousness” as that of my unwitting stupidity because no one can stop me from taking artistic liberties when on my raging power trip.
All the Urban Dictionary definitions aptly described the finals for this pitch competition. The semifinalists had our first round in the morning, and in the afternoon the competitors, judges, and audience members gathered around a stage for finals. Ten finalists would be announced to present, and no one was notified beforehand—each finalist was called on stage, one by one.
I watched several competitors go onstage with aplomb and pitch their businesses. This one competitor walked up the steps in high heels and a perfectly fitted suit, looking impeccably groomed and poised. How could she be so confident she wouldn’t fall? If I’d been her, that’s all I’d be thinking about.
Then they called my name as the last finalist. Surprised, I stood, having forgotten there would only be ten. How embarrassing would it be, I thought, if I pulled a Jennifer Lawrence and tripped while hundreds of people watched? I started walking toward the stage, thinking nothing more of the hypothetical. I often wonder about stupid things that might happen—like, one time, when I was running with a friend and she said we would make it to the finish in three minutes, I pointed out that we could still drop dead before then. So while there are many possibilities I fail to consider in many situations, let it not be said that “What if I just died?” was one of them.
My heels clicked in the silence as I cleared the first step, then the second. On the third, my left heel caught on the edge and I lurched forward. Someone gasped.
Miraculously regaining my footing before I completely fell, I stumbled to the podium and gazed into the horrified crowd. I contemplated waving it off with an “ah, my worst nightmare.” Instead, I just pursed my lips in resignation.
Judge: Nice save.
Me: *nervously laughs*
I delivered my pitch, thinking people were probably embarrassed enough for me already without me dwelling on the near-tumble. Afterward, I exaggeratedly held onto the rail as I stepped off stage, though I don’t think anyone cared at that point.
It’s not that big a deal, of course. Believe it or not, I have a history of tripping in competitions. People forget. I’m sure the audience last weekend has more important things to recall than that girl who semi-tripped onstage that one time… or at least they would, if only I’d stop constantly bringing it up.
Based on the Facebook page poll results, it looks like I’m keeping up last week’s ugly napkin drawings to humble myself rather than redraw for “quality.” Thanks for voting and enabling my laziness, everyone!
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