I hope that I'm not the only one that this happens to. The scene can be set anywhere: college campus, busy street, office building. The players are the boy and the pretty girl.

The boy is strolling casually when he takes note of the pretty girl. Surreptitiously, he attempts to get a good look at her without her particularly noticing. This takes up quite a lot of mental capacity. Suddenly, he finds himself completely incapable of finding purchase on the ground. His feet flail about for a moment and then he finds himself in the embarassing situation of either clumsily catching himself as he falls or simply falling, flat out, and lying in a daze.

Generally, there is nothing that could have been tripped over, unless you count the cracks in the sidewalk or a stray leaf blown down by the brisk autumn breeze. It is a mystery. The boy attempts to recover by tying his shoes or glancing down at the obstacle-free ground and nodding to himself, as if he'd spotted the nefarious object that had tripped him. The more self-effacing might offer a sheepish smile to the world at large. Regardless of the cover-up, the fact remains: the boy just tripped over absolutely nothing while checking out a pretty girl and trying not to be obvious about the entire affair. The boy feels like a loser. The girl, generally, is oblivious to what happened, as the trip most often occurs just after she's walked past. The worry, of course, is that she'll turn to discover the source of the pedestrian disturbance. The beleaguered boy, at this stage, will have ample opportunity to get a look at her. For the record, she's generally quite attractive. And laughing.

For me, this is an occurrence which is common enough that, well, I wrote a node about it. Am I alone in going from graceful dude to prostrate loser when the needs for locomotion and subtle scrutiny collide?