Turning End Tables

There was a new bruise on my knee this morning, roughly the size and shape of the coin slot in a pool table.

This time I know where it originated (excitement over a particularly close shot in last night’s UNC – Oregon game while standing unfortunately close to the aforementioned pool table), but that’s not always the case.

I tend to move through life at high speed, whether it’s Ultimate Frisbee, swing dancing, speed walking to get out of the cold, or power walking to assert a confidence I don’t feel. Unfortunately, when you combine that tendency with inherent clumsiness and legs that stretched me from 5′ 4″ tall in ninth grade to 5′ 10″ by eleventh grade, you get a lot of unexplained bruises. End tables, counter corners, TV stands, bed frames, and trailer hitches just aren’t my forte.

More recently, I’m finding that when it comes to bruising, end tables have nothing on the sharp corners of my assumptions.

Allow me to explain.

If you know me, you know how I relish a good pun or a witty repartee. At high speed, it’s lighthearted, a little sloppy, a little lazy, but it feels as good as sprinting past an opponent on the sports field. This year has provided numerous opportunities for that kind of banter. I think you know what I mean.

Then comes the crash.

It might be a direct comment that cuts the motion short. It might be more subtle–a too-slow laugh or an abrupt departure. Those breath-catching, eye-watering corners of the metaphorical end table let me know that not everyone present is of the same mind, as I had assumed. Sometimes I know exactly when and where it happens. Sometimes I don’t realize it until the next week, when a bruise blossoms in a friendship. Those deep tissue bruises are the worst.

Does that mean I’m stepping back from the banter or the snark? Not a chance. (Don’t get your hopes up, my non-pun-loving friends. I’m not ready to pun…t.) Rather, I’m just trying to develop a little better spatial awareness.

Note to self: Before having a verbal dance party, be sure to push all assumptions to the edges of the room.

Your shins, and your companions, will thank you for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go rearrange some furniture.

Published by Jen

The author of Snark on the Side is not your average run-of-the-millennial generation. Jen is a contradiction in terms: a graceful klutz, a smart blond, a math-savvy English major, a southern liberal, and an employed young adult with a master’s degree. Snark on the Side is a work in progress, born out of years of rambling email newsletters and anthropomorphized Christmas letters, small town observations, and the ever-present irony of pursuing a career with a degree in English literature. Thanks for visiting!

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