Regrets of an awkward onlooker

You know how sometimes you're walking and all of a sudden you find yourself on the ground? Ok, well, this has never actually happened to me, but I've seen it in the movies. But I have had my fair share of moments when my foot underestimates the height of a stair and I trip a little. I'm only human. What I've learned from these moments is that they're better when a friend is there to laugh at you.

Like, dropping your ice cream on the ground is embarrassing and awkward if you're alone, but if a friend is there you can openly discuss the spaz factor of the moment. If you tried laughing about it with a stranger you would end up looking a little pathetic and desperate . . . right?

Well, I just witnessed one of these moments from the outside, and it turns out they can be awkward for the onlooker as well.  

This poor girl. She was strolling around campus like no big deal. But next thing you know her backless-wedges slipped from under her heel and after a few desperate attempts to save herself she landed flat on the ground, notebooks and binders flying. 

I felt terribly awkward. I mean, this was a big fall you guys. Literally everyone in the vicinity had stopped to stare. I didn't know what to do. I was clearly the person nearest her - did I run forward to help with her sprawled notebooks? I was a little too far away for that to be natural. Did I make eye contact and give her a "just one of those days" kinda look? Did I ask if she was ok?

As I stood there in silent debate she pulled a remarkably fast recovery. She gathered her books and regained her composure in one swift movement, walking on with her face a little more red than the moment before. As for me? I played off the pause in my stride and continued on as though nothing had happened. I averted my eyes and let her live in denial of the fact that everyone had witnessed her fall. 

At the time I thought I was doing her a favor. If no one mentioned it, it never happened. But if I could go back I'd do it differently. If I had been the one with a huge, epic, out-of-a-movie fall in public then the only thing that would make me feel ok about it would be someone trying to laugh it off with me. I'm positive that the embarrassment of the moment could have been lessened exponentially if someone had been there to laugh with her. 

So, moral of the story? Don't wear backless wedges. Also, when in doubt, offer a helping hand. You won't regret it.* 

*Unless the person is a serial killer. You guys, this may sound extreme, but let's not forget Ted Bundy. Ok thanks bye. 

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