I was asked the other day what my favorite memory of all time is. I don't have a favorite memory that I can recall, but there is one that never, ever, ever fails to make me laugh out loud when I think about it.
It involves my little sister, Mary Alice. Mary Alice is one of my favorite people in the world, which makes the memory inherently perfect. Anyways, Mary Alice and I decided to bake cookies to deliver to our old Bishop's house. He's an old family friend, and one of the biggest influences on my young adult life. Not important. So we baked the cookies and went to deliver them to his family's house. We'd done this a million times before so we'd got this thing down to a science. We drive down his driveway, which he shares with three other houses so it's rather long, she gets out of the car, runs to the door, drops the cookies on the porch, knocks on the door, runs back to the car, and I drive in reverse out of the driveway.
On this particular day, though, everything was covered in ice, the way Virginia always is in early January. The roads were alright, but the sidewalks were covered in a half-inch of ice. Mary Alice got out of our car and walked up to the door with the cookies. On her way back, she went from walking to a slight jog. She was 10 feet away from the car when she slipped and fell on her back. From where I was sitting in the driver's seat, all I saw was her running...and then nothing. I let out the loudest, most unabashed laugh I've ever heard leave my mouth, and didn't stop laughing until probably an hour later. The image of her slipping and falling is one of the greatest things taking up residence in my head. It's the perfect marriage of heart-warming, slap-stick, irreverent, and nostalgic.
A close second is this one time a girl in the Hart locker room tried to jump sideways from the left side of a bench to the right. Her right foot went up, almost over the bench, when it got caught and she fell on her face. On. her face. My reaction was something like, "HA HaaaaOh my gosh are you okay?!"
There's something about people falling over in general. It's so rudimentary. It's man against gravity, and man loses. There's nothing that man will ever be able to do or invent to conquer the inevitability of falling once or twice. It's gonna happen. The have no control over their facial expression of what their limbs do. It's all reflex. It's beautiful.