I am allowed Scotch Tape, and that is all. This is as a safety precaution, to protect me, so says my husband, my 4-year old and my 8-year old. They decided this amid howls of laughter, as my husband described what could happen if I were allowed access to Duct tape.

They would come home to find me stuffed into the middle of a giant ball of duct tape, stuck to the wall, or perhaps dangling from a ceiling fan. They would rush to help me and ask if this was the work of some villain, some home-intruder, and I would mumble no, and they would be unable to understand a word of what I was trying to convey until they finally located my mouth, covered in duct tape, of course, ripped it off, and then after much carrying-on, I would start some lame explanation like, “Well, it all started because I was trying to repair my shoelaces, and one thing led to another… and…” Then they would cry, “But you don’t even wear shoes with shoelaces!”

That, my friends, was our dinner-time entertainment last night. My family in hysterics over imagining me inflicting myself with ridiculous and grandiose injuries. Because it’s not that far from the realm of believable. Because I am a klutz, and although I mean well, and have lots of enthusiasm, I am much more nerd than cool.

It all started because I was telling them about a client who had come into my office to introduce a friend of his to me. As they were leaving, my client started to give me one of those super cool hand gesture things, which isn’t a hand-shake, but more of a bump, fists on top of one another – you know – something the cool people know how to do, and I flailed and started laughing because I’d tried to show my son how to do a cool knuckle bump once, and in doing so, showed just how far from cool I actually am. They now use my example of a bump as the ultimate way to “Mom Something Up.”

After being the object of the joke to start, I said, “Well, I’m happy I can embrace my nerdiness. I should just duct-tape my glasses and be done with it.”

And that’s when the whole “On No, You are Not Allowed to Go Near Duct-Tape” imaginary scenario started. I’m already grounded from scissors. How is a 45-year old woman, with grown children, grandchildren, and a second set of little kids at home grounded from scissors? Well, I attempted to cut my own hair early in our marriage, to save money, to be frugal, and turned out, a crooked, horrible mess. And there you have it.

The end result is that it turns out, I only wish I was cool enough to be considered a nerd. Those people get to grow up to wear lab coats and work with beakers or test tubes, charts or graphs and have lots of letters after their names. I am simply a klutz. A much loved klutz. I am the one they all delight in looking after!

Do you know the difference between a klutz, a nerd and a geek? I’m not asking in order to label others or call people names. That wouldn’t be nice. I just want to know for our own internal discussions around the dinner table. In which of these categories do I fit – and where do you fit? I’m assuming you fit into one. Because if you were one of the truly too cool for all this, you wouldn’t even be here!

Perhaps the real question is: What is your signature misstep that has become a joke to your family ? Are you okay with being the laughing stock from time to time?

darling photo from here