black friday shopping

November 24, 2008

Some of my most clumsy days have been on Black Friday, the shopping holiday of the year. Anyone who shops on the day after Thanksgiving is asking for it.

That doesn’t stop truly devoted shoppers from going.

For the past four years, I have bought a paper on Thanksgiving, sorted through every ad twice with my cousin, Sarah, only to wake up the next morning at 2 a.m. and race to our first store of choice.

I always check out the Black Friday site to get excited about the day — it has some deals that you can get from the comfort of your own home, rather than toughing it out at 2 a.m. in front of Target to get that free hand mixer. It allows you to search through ads and create a personalized shopping list.

After multiple injuries over the past few years due to car doors, freezing temperatures and seriously crazy shoppers (just like in the movies), I decided to search for common safety tips that might make the morning to smoother. I found this really simple, common sense list of tips I would never have thought of.



October 30, 2008

Halloween is a nightmare for most clumsy people — costumes can be a death trap for many of us.

I spoke to a local police officer to find some general safety tips for everyone:

  1. When driving on Halloween night watch out for children walking along the road in neighborhoods. If you are walking with your children, make sure children stay off the road, especially when a car is coming.
  2. Wear something reflective on your costume and your child’s costume to help cars see you.
  3. Do not wear masks that limit your field of vision. Such masks could impair your ability to properly watch for children or cars.
  4. Do not eat opened or unusual looking candy — it could be tampered with.
  5. Do a FDLE Sex offender online search of your neighborhood to know where the offenders are in your neighborhood. Go to for more information.

Personally, I’ve sprayed hair dye on my face instead of my hair too many times to count. And what child has never worn a costume that was too long for them and ended up scraping their knees by the end of the night?

So, here’s my list of safety tips that every klutz should follow closely, especially around Halloween:

  1. Make sure that the nozzle is pointed in the direction you want it BEFORE you start spraying (ie. hair spray and fake blood).
  2. Don’t wear shoes that make an injury more likely (ie. heels and shoes that are too big)
  3. Read warnings on any products before you use them in your mouth (glow sticks are toxic if you bite them and the liquid escapes into your mouth and some fake blood is not meant to be put in your mouth).
  4. Don’t wear costumes that drag on the ground because they increase your chances of tripping (either because you step on the ends or someone else does).
  5. Don’t wear costumes that make “wardrobe malfunctions” more likely.

Here are some good suggestions for parents of clumsy kids.

And as far as pumpkin carving goes — you better have all possible clean-up/medical supplies at hand and a guaranteed ride to the ER, just in case. This a great alternative to carving pumpkins, especially if you have young children!

need-to-know basis

October 24, 2008

Getting my face painted at a parade

Getting my face painted at a parade

Being a klutz is more than just being clumsy, it’s a way of life.

For example, whenever I go places or to special events, there’s always one thing (or more than one thing) that I forget.

And it always happens to be the most important thing, like sunscreen or directions.

So, since it’s homecoming at the University of Florida, where I am a student, this weekend, this list of safety tips and reminders about parades is something every klutz needs to know.

Things to know when planning for a parade:

  • Find out where lost children are taken at the parade location.
  • Figure out where the parade route begins and ends. (I find that the end is usually the best place to be because the people on the floats are trying to get rid of everything they’ve been holding out on during the rest of the parade.)
  • DO NOT cross the barricades to go grab candy or prizes on the street. Want to know why this is such a bad idea? This article about a boy who died while doing just that is enough to scare any parent.
  • Check to see if animals are allowed before you bring the family dog.
  • Check the weather. If it is going to be warm, don’t forget the sunscreen. If it’s going to be cold, bring a jacket that you can take off because you may get hot while screaming for beads. If it’s going to rain, bring a poncho (I find these are better suited for parades than umbrellas because they don’t block the view of those behind you).
  • Bring snacks or toys for kids in case they get hungry or bored.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to be standing for a long time while waiting for the parade to begin.
  • Lawn chairs are always a good idea, especially at bigger parades, because the gutters on the side of the road can get pretty dirty which makes sitting on the curb not so tempting.
  • BRING WATER. Even if it is going to be cold, raining or nighttime, water at events like this is always over priced.

Leave a comment if you can think of anything really important that I forgot!

Parade Beads

Parade Beads