Posted by: ritagone | May 6, 2015

After the Fall




I just returned from a wonderful five-day trip to New York City with my dear friend Monique. We do this several times a year if we can, see a few Broadway musicals, shop, eat delicious food, and try out hotels in various parts of the island of Manhattan.

So there we were, in Sephora (the extensively stocked make-up store, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it), and I wanted to see a row of lipsticks which were rather low to the ground, maybe eight inches from the tile floor. So I thought I’d squat down to see better.

It all happened in a flash: as I began my squat (and yes, I should have known better), my legs went out forward from under me, and I landed rather hard on my butt, my legs flying, my purse rapping noisily on the floor. Weird thoughts went through my mind in the split second this was going on: “I’m going to have to go to the hospital,” “This really hurts!” and “Can I get up?”

Two or three employees came running over to me to see if I was okay. I kind of rolled over onto my hands and knees and managed to get up with the help of the Sephora workers, and one of them asked if I wanted to sit down. I did. So they put me in one of the makeup seats, where normally someone would be applying some form of foundation or eye makeup, and they brought me water. A store manager came over quickly to see if I wanted to fill out paperwork, which I imagine was his way of asking if I planned to sue. I refused to fill out paperwork. Although it probably would have been smarter to elevate that row of lipsticks to a more manageable height, I’m sure they haven’t had a myriad of women landing on their rear ends while trying to squat down to see the colors. The culpability was all mine, for sure.

All I wanted to do at that point was to make sure I could walk out of there on my own power. Monique was nowhere to be seen, blithely ignorant of what had happened to me and probably sampling blush to her heart’s content. (I had tried to text her, but it hadn’t gone through. No service for texting in Sephora, apparently.)

So I said good-bye to the hovering employees and intrepidly stepped down on my feet, discovering that I could indeed walk. I was hurting, but I could walk. I found Monique and told her what had happened, and she became alarmed. Did I need a doctor? A hospital? A Starbucks?

Now here’s what went through my head: I can whine and complain and grouse and refuse to enjoy the rest of this trip (it was Friday morning and we were there until Monday evening), or I could suck it up and actually live out my favorite verse of Scripture: Jeremiah 12:5, which says, in part: “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses?” All of a sudden the challenge of this question — Can you do something that isn’t going to kill you but which takes a bit of gumption? – was really pressing in on me.

And then I knew that it was time to have Jer. 12:5 as a tattoo!

Whoa! How did we get from a fall in a Sephora to a favorite verse coming to mind to making a commitment to being tattooed, you may be asking?

I’ve joked and threatened for years about getting a tattoo. Obviously I have no objection to them, but for all those years I couldn’t think of something that was meaningful to me. Oh, I could have the names of my children (Dana and Matt, nice and short – the number of letters, not a description of my children themselves) embellished somewhere on my body, but it seemed to me that I had missed that boat. Then my grandchildren? All four of them? No, too obvious, too blatantly uncreative that a woman of my age would choose her grandkids. How about “Michael” with an arrow going through his name? A little late for that, don’t you think? What was I, 18 years old and in the Navy on shore leave?

A Bible verse is always appropriate for a Christian who wants to get a tattoo, lending the fact of tattooing itself a bit more credibility because it has the weight of Scripture behind it. But I didn’t want to use a verse – any verse – unless it had special meaning for me.

I love Jeremiah 12:5 because of its rich imagery. When asked what my life verse is, I always say this one. A few years ago, when I was with my wonderful friend Deb Loyd in Portland over lunch, I mentioned to her (a beautifully tatted lady) that I was thinking of getting a tattoo myself. When I told her my favorite verse, she envisioned a tattoo of running horses across my chest! Needless to say, I changed the lunch subject pretty quickly.

But now that verse (the first half of it) came alive for me: the challenge to continue with our well-planned and long waited for trip to New York City, the walking, the theater (sitting), the shopping, whatever we decided to do, could I push through the discomfort or pain, live on Advil, and still enjoy myself? More importantly, could I not ruin the trip for Monique? This mishap, which could have been so much worse, was in my mind a run with the footmen. It wasn’t cancer, I didn’t break anything, and there would certainly be far more horrible calamities awaiting me down the road in my life.

How would I deal with this, then? I made it into a challenge, and part of seeing it through was the feeling that finally – FINALLY – I was ready for the tattoo!

Finding a tattoo parlor when you’re staying at a very hip hotel in the East Village was easy: just ask the 14-year-old guy behind the desk in the lobby. He directed me to NYAdorned, told me to ask for Kevin, and off we went, because it happened to be “walk in” Saturday.   Dan did my tattoo, Monique videoed and photographed the “event,” and within about half an hour it was over. (See photograph below.)

So not only do I have a memento of a great trip to NYC, but my favorite verse is always there for me to check to see how I’m doing in the “running with footmen vs. running with horses” department.

Home now, still limping and sore from the splat on the Sephora floor, but constantly looking at Jeremiah 12:5 (just the reference, mind you, not the verse written out. Baby steps.) for comfort and reassurance: I did it! I at least ran with the footmen this trip!!



  1. This is my FAVORITE Blog of yours Rita. So glad that you are ok. I found myself laughing and having concern through the whole thing as I was reading it. I too have been wanting another tattoo for over 2 years. Just not sure what. I’m sure it will come to me like it did you. Having your life verse is such a great daily reminder. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

  2. Way to go, Rita! For a long time I threatened to get one on my butt where very few people would ever see it, but I kept thinking about how it would look when I’m (God willing) 95 years old. It was going to be a flower or the face of my doggie at that time, I chickened out. But I am glad that you did it and will substitute for my desire to be wild and willing! Cheers to you, Cathy

  3. AWESOME, Rita!

  4. And thankfully not mistakenly done as Jer. 21:5 …

    • I am laughing so hard reading Jeremiah 21:5. Yes, it’s a good thing we got it right! Only you, my friend, would think of this!!

  5. Rita just caught up with this now!! I can’t believe you finally did it!!! I love it! What on earth did Michael say??

    • Deb, Michael was fine with it; he was more worried about my injury from the fall. I am surprised, but everyone has taken it in their stride.

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