I was recently invited to a custom made jewelry party. I slipped into the bathroom to take a look at a locket I liked in front of a mirror. I struggled to adjust the chain and in doing so, the locket fell and smacked against the porcelain sink. Moments later, I realized I had cracked the jewelry and waved good bye to $24.

As the evening continued, I worked to assemble a necklace, but realized that that everything I was intending to purchase was well over $75. Beyond my budget, I decided to adjust my plans and go with a simple owl charm on a chain. Back again in front of the bathroom mirror struggling once again to make adjustments, my owl, and 8 more dollars, fell down the drain!

At this point, I realized it was time to confess my sins and call it a day! After fishing around with a tweezers while a colleague made a call to her husband the plumber, we came to the consensus that the evening was going to end with a metal bird sitting in the drain of the hostess’ sink.

By this time, everyone at the party was in hysterics, including myself. I mean it’s unbelievable right?! How did that happen?! Their laughter was kind and many said, “I’m sorry,” but inside I began to crumble. I insisted on paying for the items that I had broken and lost, and then went home and pondered.

Sometimes living with CP is just…awkward. I could have tried to explain to everyone that I wasn’t trying to be funny, or that I’m really not a klutz. I could have laid bare the honest reality that I have a very real disability that affects both my hand-eye-coordinate and my fine motor skills. But, would that have helped? I had already fallen from “social grace,” so I was quite certain that mentioning my disability would have just made the situation worse. The graceful thing, it seemed, was to go home and “deal with it.”

So, here’s my question: When is it a good idea to explain yourself and when is it best to keep silent and laugh with the crowd?