Tracy has a must-read post for anyone who cares about Olympic gymnastics. I am one of those people. While reading her post, I realized I have something sort of semi-relevant to share.
The years was, I dunno, 1993, maybe? I was in a small pharmacy in Tanglewood near where I lived. I don’t remember what I went in for, but I was standing sort of near the check-out. I think I was browsing magazines, when the door opens and this little dervish walks in and trips on me. Literally just walks in, walks, somehow, straight into me and pow! down we both go together on the floor of the Tanglewood Pharmacy. The owner lady hurries over and is asking are you okay? Oh my goodness, is anything broken? Maybe she was worried about lawsuits, I don’t know, but she seemed really worried about both the dervish and I. As she was getting up, she looked into my face like she was about to kiss me. “I’m sorry,” she said, and pushed herself off me. As she stood up, she promptly fell backward into a rack of greeting cards.
I pulled myself up and watched helplessly as the owner lady fluttered over the spaz and tried to pick up the greeting cards that had spilled all over the floor. The spaz looked sort of familiar. Short. Stocky. Adorable smile. Short, boyish hair. She was standing up, laughing off the fact that she’d fallen twice in the space of ten seconds, when she said to me, “Is that yours?”
A ten dollar bill had somehow fallen out of my purse in the scuffle. I said, “Oops.” And I swear to God, we both bent down to pick it up and we bumped heads. Like the Three Stooges. At that point she started laughing. Really laughing hysterically in this high, sweet giggle and I realized, oh my god, it’s Mary Lou Retton.
The woman who made me want to be an athlete, who filled my head with dreams of kicking ass on the world stage, was a complete and total klutz. I loved her. Loved her, loved her, loved her. I loved her even more after our encounter.