Advent Day 3 on life’s lessons – learning to put the right foot forward

I have always been a bit chaotic, preferring to be getting on with things rather than actually thinking about what I should be doing.  I will never read instructions, always unplugging, connecting, building and eventually returning to the manual to find out how I should have done things.  Attention to detail is not my strongest point.

Over the years this lack of care has put me into situations that, frankly, are embarrassing.  Not looking in a mirror, getting dressed in the dark and generally being to impatient to get doing, well it seldom ends well.  During my teenage years this reached a pinnacle, when up late and rushing to get to school I flew out of the house without any thought.  This was not an unusual thing for me, I was probably up in plenty of time, but engrossed in a book I would forget to check the time, meaning a panic to leave in time.   One such day I remember well, I had left it to the last minute and couldn’t find my shoes.  Eventually I went upstairs and grabbed them from under the bed.  With a quick wave goodbye to Mum I was off up the road, school bag in hand.

I arrived at our large school before the bell, and was just about to go into the playground when a friend came to say hello.  As we are chatting I notice she is staring at my feet.  I followed her eyes and suddenly felt very warm.  A couple of the older boys were nearby, we were always trying to impress them, as she said, more loudly than was necessary, ‘your shoes’  She looked, the boys looked and a passing teacher of PE, who had a mean throw with the board duster stopped and looked.

In my defence it was a winter morning, I had paid no attention to what was under my bed and I even now I think a black patent leather slip on and a brown moccasin style shoe are a natty combination.  ‘how did you not notice?’ she asked, ‘on is a slip on the other has laces’  I have to admit she had a point.  I then had to go to the classroom and ask our form teacher if was ok if I popped home to change my shoes.  Trying not to laugh he agreed and I dashed out of the school quickly before anyone else could notice.

Do you think that when I returned, wearing the brown moccasins if you are interested, I had got away with it?  Not a chance, for the next week or two where ever I went there were jokes about two left feet, getting dressed in the dark (not entirely far from the truth) they followed me everywhere.  Eventually someone else became centre of attention and people seemed to forget.

You would think something like this happening would have taught me to take more care, but sadly that is not the case.  In fact only last year I got to work and realised that I had odd boots on. As were both black and slip on, albeit one had a tinier heel, they were virtually identical, I did get away with it this time.  I suppose I really should learn to start paying attention to such things.

This palls into insignificance when I think of the mix up in the swimming pool, but that is a lesson for another day.


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