Face Plant on Fifth Avenue

I’m just going to get right into it…

Once upon a time I was walking down Fifth Avenue. And by walking, I mean hastily snaking amongst an especially crowded sidewalk of tourists, shoppers, and Spring Breakers. You see, I was hangry – or at least I was getting to that point. My two visiting sisters were also getting hangry. Now, I think we can agree hanger presents differently in everyone. Some truly become angry and irritable; others may simply go silent. Well we – the Prices – tend to expose hanger pains through a complete and total lack of energy and impressively unyielding indecisiveness. Question: Have you ever seen a hangry woman? How about a group of? Did I mention we also desperately needed to find a restroom?  

We didn’t have time for NYC hot spots or original restaurants… this was clearly an emergency. And as we couldn’t/wouldn’t make a decision, we allowed our phones to decide for us: Friday’s – the closest gluten-free friendly eatery. We were off. Single file, we swiftly interlaced through the disarray of people. We were women with a mission and nothing was going to get in our way. And then I saw it: Friday’s. Beautiful Friday’s. It was just a little further… one or two blocks maybe.

That’s when walking traffic abruptly stopped. And well, they stopped; we didn’t. I was hangry and Friday’s was so near. So we continued – expertly zigzagging forward. As we progressed, I began noticing a number of the stationary people giving me contemptuous stares, which confused me. I hadn’t bumped them? I hadn’t said anything rude – or anything at all? “Wait your turn,” I heard. “Serious?!” another spat. Ummmm…..? “Rachel we’re in a line,” I finally heard my trailing sisters calling out. A line? I looked around. Sure enough, there were blue, velvety line dividers looping along either side. Apparently, I’d walked right into the line for Hollister. It was a long line too. Why is there even a line for Hollister? Eh, no big deal.

Without skipping a beat or slowing down at all, I went to step over the lovely blue separator. I felt my boot catch – the rope was higher than I thought. From here, everything seemed to proceed in slow motion. I felt myself lose balance and suddenly I was falling forward. Instinctually, I endeavored to catch myself with my feet. Only it was my first foot that caught, so any efforts were futile. Both feet were caught behind the line divider, yet the momentum of my body ensued. By this point, I didn’t even have the option of freeing and using my hands to decrease the impact. In one hand I held my phone – my map – and in the other, my bag so to prevent it from hitting others as I rushed by. That’s when I hit; I hit hard. Without the slightest amount of grace I crashed into the cement, pulling the entire length of line divider down with me. Without the use of my hands or feet, there was no breaking or even softening my fall. My left knee hit first – but only barely. Why I was so startled I didn't even make a noise - no yelp or grunt. Nothing. A silent face plant. It was hard, fast, ugly, and hilarious - the ultimate face plant.

There I was: face down and awkwardly sprawled across the pavement. My bag remained secured across my shoulder while my phone skidded across the walkway. Funny enough, the only thing I was thinking was, “My phone! Where’s my phone?” And I’m not even a phone-addicted person. In that moment, however, I felt it was very logical: I had dropped my phone so I needed to find my phone. Can you tell I was somewhat shocked – maybe even in shock a little? So without missing a beat – and this is what my siblings and I find to be the most comical in this tale – I jumped up, retrieved my phone, and immediately continued on my way just as though nothing had happened. It was as though I was in autopilot. I vaguely remember someone – probably more than one – asking if I was OK. I know I nodded and smiled… I could tell my knee hurt, but somehow I couldn’t quite feel the pain. I think I was just so caught off guard it didn’t even register to me yet that I had, indeed, face planted. So, like I said, I stood and rushed on. It didn’t even occur to me to pick up the line divider – though I thought I saw others setting it back up… my sisters confirmed that later.

Maybe – maybe 15 seconds later and as we made our way to Friday’s things sort of clicked and I completely lost it with gut-wrenching laughter. All three of us – Stephanie, Christina, and I – lost it. I was crying from laughing so hard. It was the funniest thing; it is the funniest thing. I, Rachel, face planted on Fifth Avenue, right in the heart of NYC. It was by far the hardest fall of my life – including falls in soccer or volleyball. So there we were doubled over laughing.

Minutes later we arrived at Friday’s – that’s how close we were when all of this happened. And well… even after we were seated we didn’t and couldn’t stop laughing. Not there, not then, not the next day, not now, and probably not ever… All it takes is, “Remember that one time you/I face planted on Fifth Avenue?” … and we’re uncontrollably laughing. Haha.

Gosh, I am proud. Really, though. How awesomely hilarious is that?! I really do hope I made someone’s day with my fabulous performance; I would hate for my fall to be of no use to anyone. Better yet, I really hope someone got it on film and will forever share that story with family and friends back home. I mean, how often do you see people really face plant when walking down the sidewalk? Especially on Fifth Avenue?

It really was a fantastic day. I laughed harder and longer than I have in a long time. I hope you’ll laugh too.

More fun on Fifth Avenue: 

Playing on FAO's big piano!

The American Girl Doll Hair Salon,

We'd like to get our hair done at the American Girl Doll Hair Salon... they all look so pretty!

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