Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction

God Didn’t Make Me No Ballerina


3 Great Danes I dont know3How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.~ Song of Solomon 7:1 (NIV)

Graceful. Not a word ever used to describe me. Don’t believe me? I can show you the bruises.

I used to believe my lack of athleticism and coordination could be reversed. One day it hit me. God didn’t make me no ballerina. I’m okay with that. Most of the time. Until I’m in the presence of graceful people—which I was while recently visiting in-laws.

My husband’s sister and her husband [I shall refer to them herewith as “Darleen” and “Peter.”] are gracious hosts and lovely people. (Well, Darleen is lovely, Peter is blessed—and he knows it.)

Now, Darleen and Peter are ballroom dancers. I think they’re the inspiration for the Lladro dancers collection. Okay, not really, but you get the picture.  

Darleen is thin and tall–just over 6 feet. Peter is thin and taller. My husband David is not as thin, but the tallest. I am short and chubby. When all three of them sit on the furniture their feet touch the floor at the same time. My legs stick out straight–unless I sit on the edge of my seat and pretend they’re telling an exciting story.

As a former model, Darleen has perfect posture and walks like she’s floating on wisps of air. No matter how soft I tried to tip-toe, every time I entered a room, the crystal in their cabinets jangled. When Darleen poses for pictures, she angles one leg in front of the other and it looks natural. I tried that once and fell over. Even the way she moves her hands is graceful. She could hand me a used tissue, and I would feel blessed.

So, you can see why I was mortified when this happened. The four of us returned home from lunch out, entering through their garage. I was first to the back door. (What I lack in grace, I attempt to make up in speed.) Unfortunately, I underestimated the height of the step and tripped. Falling in a heap, I landed with a thud on an area rug just inside the door.3 Great Danes I dont know4

It knocked the wind out of me, I tell ya. I couldn’t speak. But I could hear the tall ones conversing: “Where’d she go?” “She fell.” “Is she okay.” “What happened?” “Don’t know.” “I can’t reach her.” “Let me see.” Their mutual height had blocked their view. (I should have seen that as God’s grace at work, but missed it at the time.)

Embarrassed, I laughed it off and tried to get up. Instead, like a clumsy, chubby Pug, I pawed and scrabbled at the rug–which kept slipping and sliding beneath me atop the shiny wood floor.

Question. Is it possible to re-fall when you haven’t gotten up yet? If so—as the trio of sleek, graceful Great Danes looked down from above—I re-fell twice. [Sigh to the 3rd power.]

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Tell me about it. Make me feel better. Please.

PS: Darleen and Peter, thanks for a most memorable trip. 😉 Love you both.


16 thoughts on “God Didn’t Make Me No Ballerina

  1. Hi Clarice,

    I could picture the whole scene—described so well and humorously. I literally lol’d.

    Glad you and David had a nice visit (minus the fall).



    *From:* Clarice James [] *Sent:* Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:13 PM *To:* *Subject:* [New post] God Didn’t Make Me No Ballerina

    Clarice James posted: “How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.~ Song of Solomon 7:1 (NIV) Graceful. Not a word ever used to describe me. Don’t believe me? I can show you the bruises. I used to b”


  2. I’m dying with you here, Clarice! I still cringe at the memory. I was in my early teens (and I’m now 65, so you can see how deeply this scarred me!). My mom raised Persian cats, and we traveled to cat shows. Sometimes owners want to have someone else take their cats to and from the show ring, because the owners may be well known by a judge, for better or worse.
    A well-known breeder asked me to take her kitty to the cage behind the judge’s table and all went well. I was all dressed up (think teenage girl with stockings, heels, makeup) and thought I was pretty hot stuff.
    Then . . . disaster. Still don’t know what happened, but as I was returning to the judging area to remove said cat (fortunately BEFORE I was holding the cat), I somehow tripped. And no, this couldn’t have been a somewhat gentle (and genteel) fall. Feet flew completely out from under me, and I ended up flat on my back, legs waving wildly in the air, and slim skirt bunched up to my rump, showing–horrors!–the garters on my garter belt! Dignity had definitely left the building at that moment.
    I managed to roll over (thus facing the audience) and claw my way to my feet. This is not easy in a slim skirt, even when one has youth on one’s side. Thus, the judge was practically throwing her body across her table to keep the prize ribbons & trophies from sliding off as I clutched her tablecloth in an effort to become vertical once more.
    And the cat owner? She looked way past horrified, likely envisioning what might happen to her beloved show kitty once I retrieved it from the cage. She almost bowled me over trying to take said cat from my arms at the edge of the show ring.


    • LOL! I think you win, Kate! I only fell in front of family. Your story would make a great scene in a book or short story. Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, you made me feel better–not because you were so embarrassed–but because it’s nice to know we non-ballerinas are not alone in this world.


  3. Clarice, you are petite and not chubby. I can top you on the clumsy and embarrassing experience.


  4. Hilarious, Clarice, and told well. Just be thankful they didn’t film it with their phones and upload it to FB.


  5. I’ll dance with you any day!


  6. Thanks for a memorable “trip”? Good one!
    I fall down all the time, usually over a change in floor heights. Or on the ice. For all my efforts to find balance in life, I’m sadly lacking in the physical kind.
    I wanted to be tall, but there was a waiting list for that and for “high IQ.” I got “funny” instead. I think.
    Kathy Bailey


  7. Nothing quite like this but I have broken a semi side mirror. . .with my face.


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