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Fall From (lack of) Grace

By July 7, 201611 Comments

“So this is how disaster can happen,” I thought to myself.  “How humiliating.”

nail salon

In the middle of getting a wonderful pedicure at a posh nail salon in Tribeca, I left my chair to pick out a captivating shade of new polish. Satisfied that I’d found a yummy pale/peach, perfect for early July, I returned to my cushy chair.  As noted in the above photo, the chair was located on a platform, right behind the  wooden wash basin. I put one  foot on the platform, then pushed off with the foot that was on the floor. I’d planned to do a quarter turn in the air, and land perfectly in the deeply cushioned chair.   It was a bit of a gamble, I knew, but the confidence I’d developed over years of dancing made me certain enough of what my body was capable of doing.  The moved I planned caused little hesitation, unfortunately. How quickly a nice day can turn treacherous.

Just as I pushed off, with one foot on the floor, to transfer my weight to my foot on the platform, my foot on the platform slid out from under me.

woman falling

Crash. Maybe a scream too? All eyes in the salon turned to see what had created the noise.  The expressions on their faces registered horror, as they saw what had happened.  Most looked away quickly, I think to help me preserve whatever shred of dignity I had left.  For some reason, I thought everyone would be laughing, because it seemed like such a pratfall.  But, no one did.  I feel pretty sure if any of my kids had been there, we all would have enjoyed a good laugh together.

Here was a grown woman of an uncertain age who managed to catapult herself into a tub designed to house only two feet and not an entire female body. As I remember, my legs stuck straight up in the air. I doubt if I could have repeated that move if I’d wanted to.  I hurt, but quickly determined that I couldn’t linger in that  basin. Someone offered me a hand. Somehow I indecorously managed to extricate myself.  I was simultaneously shocked at my position, angry at the poor design, and embarrassed by my woefully misplaced faith in what my body can now do on command.

I’d really banged up a foot and one thigh.  I turned hideously black and blue the next day, but fortunately, no serious injuries.  As far as I know, my stunt didn’t show up as a photo or video on social media.

Lesson learned.


Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Susan Ward says:

    One of the pit falls of aging 😚!!

  • Mark dendy says:

    So sorry this happened. I find that my body cannot do what it used to do also. It is so frustrating. I just took a fall the other night sitting down and one of my stackmore chairs which I thought was folded out to the seated position but it was folded up and down I went on my coccyx I could’ve broken my pelvis. So I feel very lucky. I just didn’t realize steven had folded the chairs up onto themselves. Feel better arnica gel works wonders for the black and blues

  • Susan Alexander says:

    ohmygosh! I hope you’re OK, Dianne, both physically and psychologically! But as you say, disaster can happen when you least expect it — I can relate!

  • devapnek says:

    thanks Ann! Kindred spirits!

  • ann starck says:

    I am so glad you weren’t seriously hurt. I’ve started feeling grateful for these near escapes – to remind me to watch my step (which I do till the next time I forget). So glad, too, you can laugh about it. Being the fool every once in awhile (or more ofte, as seems to happe to me) gives me a good belly laugh. Loved this description – especially with the pic of the teeny tiny tub. Ann

  • lauriebyoga says:

    I feel your pain. The image of you in that tub is funny, but I know it really hurt!

  • devapnek says:

    Thinking that my faith in my body has been tempered by this experience!

  • Judi Wallner says:

    OMG You didn’t tell me about this…hope that all the bruises are gone and that your faith in your body is restored.

  • Linda Mason says:

    bad design, this is surely not the first time this has happened!
    glad you are okay!

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