To All the Floors I’ve Loved Before
July 31, 2012 § 15 Comments
Every time I faint, I take a few minutes of that quality time on the ground to reminisce over past fainting episodes. We’ve had some special times, the floor and me.
I will never forget the first one. Kindergarten. Morning singalong. I started feeling spacey during the Pledge of Allegiance. By the time we wrapped up liberty and justice for all and moved on to our first song of the day, my face and hands and feet were feeling oddly cold. The sound of my classmates’ voices was muffled by the buzzing in my dizzy head. Strange things were afoot at circle time.
I fought it. I tried to stay standing.
(You see, I had a mad crush on Chris M., who had been chosen as the “farmer” for that morning’s rendition of The Farmer in the Dell and who was way cuter than Chris R. and never ate crayons like Chris T. Problem was, another girl had been eyeing my man. Her name was Missy, and she had a jean jacket and many different colors of pom-pom socks. Yes, Missy had EVERYTHING, but she never said ANYTHING interesting. She just smiled at the space in front of her. All the time. But she’d been giving away the Play-Doh for free, if you know what I’m saying [which is that she was literally giving away free Play-Doh]; and Chris M. liked Play-Doh. If I didn’t manage to stay in the game, there’d be nothing to stop him from tagging her during the “farmer takes a wife” verse. I just had… to stay… upright…)
Thud. You can’t stop it once it starts.
I took that lesson with me for next time. Some other tips I can share from experience:
- If you’re near fire or water when things start to blur, get away from it. (Lesson learned when I fainted while serving as an acolyte at church. FYI, if you don’t go to a church that uses this term: an acolyte is a person who lights candles. With fire.)
- Put down any sharp objects immediately. (When the buzz crept in during our pig dissection in senior biology, I set down my tools and stepped away from the lab desk. I still hit the ground, but at least I wasn’t holding a scalpel. Or a dead pig.)
- If you fall face-first onto a newspaper, you will get headlines on your face. (Whether or not you have headlines on your face all day depends on whether anyone tells you they’re there, which depends on whether or not your friends are dicks.)
This type of fainting – “syncope” if you like fancy medical words, “swooning” if you live in 1870 and wear a corset – is pretty common. My blood isn’t pulsing through my veins so much as it’s just sort of pooling there, relaxing. Sometimes the oxygenated blood just doesn’t make its way up to my brain, so BOOM. Down I go.
If I could control it, this fainting talent would make a great party trick. But alas, I can’t. Oh, well. The only thing it has really cost me is any hope of a career as a surgeon. Or a stripper.
Once I had children, I worried about what might happen if I fainted while alone with them at home. Would they freak out? Fear my demise? Call 911? No. They’d get out a stepstool, extract the jumbo box of Cheerios from the pantry, and gorge themselves until I woke up. Thanks for your concern, kids.
So anyway. It happened again recently. My husband and I went to see Moonrise Kingdom and I slid floorward during the previews. Luckily, after a brief moment of denial on his part (“Get up! Getupgetupgetup! Are you getting up? No? You’re really down? OK.”), he rolled with it, propping me up on a bench in the lobby and sitting next to me as though he always took a zoned-out wax doll to the movies. He delightedly pointed out afterward that everyone at the movie thought I was drunk and had just passed out.
Hey, I do what I can to keep things entertaining. Good thing I didn’t end up with Chris M. He might not have handled it so well.
(PS: Go see Moonrise Kingdom. Stay conscious for the whole thing. It is divine. Divine, I tell you.)