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Simple & Sassy: One step to ruin it all
Simple & Sassy

Simple & Sassy: One step to ruin it all


The running joke between me and my Mom is that she should have named me Grace. If there is a way to trip, tumble, stumble or flat-out fall down, I will find it. Testing gravity has been a lifelong endeavor.

I’ve recounted my klutziness in these columns over the years, but my most-recent performance is worth sharing.

This one is completely my fault. I told myself not to take the stairs. I knew I was asking for trouble. I’m not sure what possessed me to tempt fate, but I guess I was so eager to get off the plane, I was willing to take a chance.

My mom tells me she should have named me Grace since grace is a quality I lack. I was a clum…

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I was visiting family though, so there really are no salacious secrets to bury. What happened to me happened on the plane ride home from Vegas. I guess life wanted to make sure I had a good story to share about my vacation.

On my flight back to California, I found myself wedged against the wall in my window seat. A very tall man sat next to me in the middle seat and took full advantage of the armrests. I know the unspoken rule is the middle seat gets the armrests, but this man was seriously encroaching on my personal space. It was quite a scrunched 65-minute flight.

When we landed, I was looking forward to disembarking the confines of my sardine can set, but I was seated two rows from the back of the plane, so I knew I was going to have to wait a bit longer.

When the crew made an announcement that the rear exit could be used for passengers to get off the plane, it sounded like music to my ears, but I figured it would be best to stay put. Why take a chance on rickety stairs? It’s probably not the best idea for a girl like me.

However, the other passengers at the rear of the plane didn’t share my cautious considerations. The tide of passengers in the aisle turned and started to move toward the rear exit. Seeing the sea of people switch course created a sense of panic inside me, so I stood up, grabbed my bags and moved into the flow. Mistake No. 1.

When I reached the rear door, I was surprised to see the stairs weren’t rickety at all. They were wide and spacious. I took each step with confidence. Mistake No. 2.

I was so delighted in my newfound freedom that I kept my phone in my hand rather than pocket it until I reached the terminal. Mistake No. 3.

I’m sure you see where this is going. The distance between the final step and the ground was not equal to the height of the steps and I didn’t gauge the difference as I went to place my first foot on the ground. Since I wasn’t holding onto the handrail, the difference of a few centimeters sent me tipping forward. My unusually heavy backpack helped gravity knock me into my rolling suitcase which broke my fall. Thankfully, I didn’t face plant, but I looked like a crazy woman hugging onto her luggage like a flotation device.

I’m not sure how long I was hunched over my luggage. I was too busy trying to decide which was more bruised: my foot or my pride. I managed to hoist myself up and make my way to the terminal. Thankfully, I was able to do so on my own because no one so much as asked if I was alright.

Sidebar: I know it’s somehow become human nature to assume that someone else will swoop in to offer aid in a time of need, but a “Hey, you OK, lady?” would have been nice.

Before entering the terminal, I took a second to regroup. My foot was aching, but I could walk, so I was pretty sure I hadn’t done any significant damage. My record for breaking bones remained at zero.

My pause caught the attention of an airport staff member who urgently asked me to come inside. I figured I’d have a minute to catch my breath as the other people behind me entered the terminal, but as I looked behind me, I realized I was alone. No one else decided to take the stairs after all.

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at

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Online Editor/Calendar Editor

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor and social media manager. She also assembles the community calendar. Her column Simple & Sassy runs on alternating Sundays.

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