Friday, October 30, 2009


I have many nicknames.

Some are affectionate -- Sweetheart, for example.

Some have to do with my name -- Kate, KEG, KEGgerator, Thorney (maiden name was Thorne).

Some are downright random -- Boogs, Boofer, Moose, to name a few.

And a handful are sort of teasing -- Gypsy, Bag Lady, and... Spiller.

Today I want to write about why I am known as Spiller.

I've never claimed to be graceful. I can be poised and gracious at weddings or cocktail parties, but graceful, smooth, naturally athletic, possessing a sense of balance? Those qualities, I lack.

I run into walls and door frames in my own house, frequently have to remind myself "swing your arms," and shuffle my feet when I walk, which often leads to epics tumbles. And yes, I blame it on the pavement. "Wow, that sidewalk is uneven!" I say to no one in particular, laughing nervously as I pick myself up off the ground. I bump my head about 50 percent of the time when getting in and out of cars, and I perpetually have curling iron burns on my neck, scalp, or forehead.

Basically, I'm clumsy.

Brad dubbed me "Spiller" after about the 12th or 13th time I knocked over a glass, mug, or bottle full of liquid.

I hate the nickname Spiller.

Inevitably, kitchen table flooding commences, and as I'm running to the drawer where I keep the rags, I hear "Spillllllleeerrrrrrrrrr," the end of the word rising in the same tone and tenor that Ricky Ricardo used to cry, "Lucccccyyyyyyyy."

And I shoot back with a, "Well you filled my glass up too high!" or "You shouldn't put your tea so close to the edge!"

But every now and then, I have to face the reality that this particular nickname is well-earned.

Exhibit A:

You may recognize that as a SEVERELY shattered iPhone screen. Frankly, I have never seen anything quite like it.

It's the result of a "freak" (I contend) purse-falling incident in an airport parking lot one evening. My purse "fell" from a height of about 18 inches, the phone seemed to tumble out in slow motion, and when I picked it up, it looked like it had been swathed in spider webs.

I really cannot understand how such carnage came from so little clumsiness. But there it is.

I was by myself, so I determined to conceal the damage from he-who-loves-to-call-me-Spiller. I did my research and found I could replace the phone for $250 (Apple doesn't fix screens; they just replace the phone if it's under warranty). Whew, okay, done. I made plans to go to Northpark the next day for the switcheroo.

But as I was lying (no pun intended) in bed, I started thinking about other, less expensive options.

K, sweetly: "Brad?"

B, sleepily: "Hmm."

K: "Do you remember what credit card we bought my iPhone with?" (I lost my original iPhone in May and paid Brad back in installments for a new one.)

B: "Umm, not really."

K: "Well... Can you think of it?"

B: "Why?"

K: "No reason, really... Just curious."


K: Hey Brad?

B (trying to sleep and growing frustrated): What.

K: Do you know if any of your credit cards insure purchases against loss or damage?

B: What did you do.

K: Nothing, I --

B: Katie, what did you do to your iPhone.

So I showed him. And he had the same reaction I did: "What's that on the screen?"

Yes, he called me Spiller. But he fixed my problem, too. After quite a bit of research the next morning, he found a place in Dallas that fixes iPhones in 15 minutes while you wait, for less than a third of what Apple would have charged. Their work is so good that they won't void the warranty; Apple will have no idea the parts aren't original or the phone was ever opened, supposedly.

My man delivered. I don't know why I was so hesitant to admit what happened. In fact, Brad bought me a gift.

A "Spiller-proof" iPhone case.