"I get very flustered when I'm finishing something but know someone is waiting for me. I can't focus on the first thing without worrying about the second thing. It takes my fondness for being prompt and turns it into a nightmare of being rude to all people - by being inattentive and late, respectively."
So - when I was finishing one meeting and late for another and my phone rang to alert me to a third that wanted to start ASAP but couldn't do so without me - I was walking backward while wrapping up with my first group with the phone to my ear so I could - in just a second! - assure my admin that I would be there in 15 minutes. Upon finishing my 'great to see you/thanks so much'-es, I pivoted on one foot with the intent of propelling myself into an extremely brisk walk.
Instead, my shoe - an adorable black flat - slipped off my pivoting foot as it left the ground, going behind me in a graceful arc while I stumbled forward like an inelegant elephant. After three running steps - wherein my hands almost touched the ground as the hem of my skirt likely exposed my bottom - I managed to find my balance and get upright.
In the middle of a long corridor.
Where no less than 10 strangers looked at me with expressions that varied between sympathy and amusement.
I nodded at them, smoothed my dress and tried to walk with meager dignity back to where my shoe remained - upside down - on the carpeted floor.
"You lost your shoe," one woman offered as I moved back toward the erstwhile footwear and I turned to look at her - cheeks still wearing the stain of embarrassment - and blinked in surprise that she'd say something so obvious.
"No kidding," I replied, voice edgy and sarcastic. "You know, I believe I noticed that."
A woman standing next to her choked on laughter and complimented my recovery. "I would have fallen down," she said and I smiled my thanks at the better comment.
Deciding not to speak the "I hope you did not see my underwear" comment on the tip of my tongue to the crowd of men in suits, I put on my shoe, took a deep breath and walked away.
I just hope it's not prologue for December - the month of achieving goals and finishing projects and - with some luck - staying upright.