When I was still broadcasting my daily radio talk show, the topic one particular morning was the odd talents that listeners might have and be willing to share, on-air.
“I’m able to shake out exactly two aspirins every time I open the bottle,” our first caller informed us.
“I’m a whiz at spotting four-leaf clovers,” said another.
“What about you?” my producer asked me through my headphones. “Isn’t that horse thingy you do, that dressage thing, an odd talent?”
“Not really,” I replied. “The only weird natural ability I have is to injure myself with nondescript objects in a way that no one else can.”
Seriously, am I the only one who, when snatching a lead rope from its hanger in the barn aisle, somehow hits herself in the face with the heavy chrome clip? I mean, smack in the forehead so hard it leaves a raised knot? Or riding into a cloud of gnats and rubbing my eyes so hard that I miss the approaching tree limb? And let’s not forget leaping backward in the tack room in terror after coming eye-level with a young copperhead just as I’m about to lift my Albion back up there, then falling over the bootjack and twisting my ankle?
With all these horse-related accidents, it’s really no wonder my man had no intention of sharing my elation upon my finding the deal of a lifetime: a pair of brand-new, Petrie Anky Elegance boots being sold by, evidently, the only other dressage ectomorph on the planet with the same big foot and skinny calf size.
“I just put in the winning bid of $265!” I yelped. “These boots sell for over a thousand dollars! Brand-new, super-tall and ridiculously cheap. I just won the dressage trifecta!”
“Good for you,” Paul replied flatly, “but I’m not going to be seen anywhere with you in public until you are completely healed up after breaking them in. I’m tired of being looked at like I beat you up every time we go to the store.”
He has a valid point. During the summer, when I’m prone to wearing tank tops, Paul has had to avert his eyes from more than one questioning gaze as we stand in the checkout line and I’m sporting the giant forehead knot or a massive bruise or two on my shoulder (Dutch door slamming shut on me in the wind).
But I really wanted to go out for ice cream during this lingering Indian summer. “Wait!” I called after him. “Let me just throw on a pair of jeans!” And hopping around the mudroom floor, trying to pull off a muck boot, I smashed into the dryer with my elbow. Yep, that takes some kind of odd talent.