Written by Kate Leaver


Life Critic: being clumsy

In her regular column, Kate Leaver reviews life’s banalities. This week, she’s got a little somethin-somethin to say about extreme clumsiness. And it ain’t good.

broken statueTruly, I don’t mean to boast, but I did something real special this morning and I need to tell someone. It was a momentous occasion for me.

Today, I safely carried a piping hot takeaway coffee to my place of employment while holding an umber-ella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay over my head… without spilling a single drop.

Sure, you’re probably thinking, “Oh good on you, Kate, I successfully tied my shoelaces; shall we car pool to the trophy shop?” And yes, it is technically true that I spilled the last drop of coffee down my front because I got so cocky about my hot beverage’s safe commute into work this morning.

But you have to understand: as an extremely clumsy person, I have to count the little achievements. If you’ve ever worked within a 10-metre radius of me, it’s highly likely you’ve either witnessed me spill something on my computer, my desk, or myself. Sitting in my vicinity puts you in grave danger of spillage reaching you, like a sad little caffeinated tidal wave. But it also gives you front-row seats to see a full-grown adult woman person spill stuff, trip or bump into things. For which, obviously, you are most welcome.

spilt drinkIf you’re a clumsy woman, you feel me on this. It’s a very real burden, physical clumsiness, made all the more awkward by Zooey Deschanel. Yep, that adorkable goddess and other professionally beautiful people make clumsiness out to be endearing. Comedians like Lucille Ball and rom-com stars such as Cameron Diaz and Anna Kendrick make dweebiness palpably endearing. They trip over furniture and land in the lap of the perfect man, who rates delicate clumsiness as his number one sexy thing. They make it look glam.

But it’s not glam when you’re leaning over a sink in the office bathroom, trying to angle your left breast under the cold tap to rinse a coffee stain out of the lovely pink jumper you wore today because you have important things to do. IT IS NOT GLAM or sexy or funny or cute. No. NO.

In fact, I give the experience of being perpetually clumsy HALF A STAR. And that half-star is only because I’m in too delightful a mood to be handing out zeros.


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Written by Kate Leaver

Wandering Australian journalist, professional-level Harry Potter fan, occasional funny person, gelato enthusiast. Still worried about the state of Britney Spears' mental health.