Post by Katherine Ellis for the Laughter Lover series.

image courtesy of Lisa Brewster on Flickr

I have a figurine of a little boy that sits on a bamboo shelf in my dining room. It was a prize won at fairs back in the forties. I got it at a flea market with my mom. Don’t try to pick it up. His head isn’t attached to the rest of his body. You can call me a psycho figurine killer, or you can just call me a klutz.

My klutziness was born out of two things: anxiety and haste. Winning comb!

Every night, I would hear this from my mom:

“A meal isn’t over until Katie spills her milk.”

Far beyond my days of childhood and into lactose-free adulthood, I’ve been Katie the Milk Spiller, and I haven’t disappointed.

With that affirmation firmly in place from my mom, I added the characteristic of tardiness from my dad. We were late almost everyday at school. We would race down the curvy hill, the distance which he had timed down to the seconds. It took seven minutes if we caught the red light, six if we didn’t. We would undoubtedly leave three minutes before the hour, or even right on it. I’d be standing there, egg sandwich in hand, anxiety building inside.

The rhyme that followed my dad around was this:

“Tick tock, tick tock, my daddy is a clock.”

I think my sister made it up. He knew how long things would take, but that didn’t get him on time. He must have felt pretty anxious too.

Outside elementary school, I would hold a piece of scrap paper in my hand Dad had hastily signed in the car, jot into the office, pushing the door open with my body and drop something out of my open backpack. Or my bag would fall off my shoulder, and I would go to grab it, dropping the note I needed. Irony indeed.

When I drop things now (like the poor little fairgrounds dude), it is because I am believing my past. Nothing less. The anxiety of not having enough time causes me to move fast and not pay attention to what I’m doing because I’m somewhere else. But if I slow down and give myself plenty of time to stay in the moment, there’s a good chance I will rewrite history.

I will give myself plenty of time when I glue the head back on that figurine.

Until then, I’ll try laughing at myself.

Katherine Ellis is a writer, actress and entrepreneur. She is a native of Los Angeles, where she spent her childhood accumulating numerous acting jobs under her (vintage) belt. When she is not playing dress-up or writing about it on her vintage fashion blog Breakfast at Gemini’s, she is writing her memoir Going on Nine. Needing snacks to munch on while writing is essential, and thus her unique natural toffee company was born. McFaddy Candy Co, as featured in In Style magazine, currently caters large scale special events in Los Angeles and is sold in boutique stores across Southern California. 

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