There. I’ve said it.

Stairs. Are. Evil.

Fresh-out-of-school interns can attest to the drudgery of drawing and detailing stairs. More than once I’ve heard students heading off to larger firms being told to enjoy drawing stair details and restrooms for a few years. I cannot imagine, nor do I want to.

But even architects with years of experience can tell you about a staircase design that contributed to a lot of hair pulling. Whether laying out a curved handrail, calculating winding tread widths, or just finding space to add a new stair in an existing home, stairs can be one of the most challenging aspects of a project.

And apparently for this architect, just trying to walk down a flight of stairs has its own set of problems.

James and I popped off to Denver last week for a much-needed break, and within the first hour I was having to contemplate a trip to the emergency room. All because of some carpeted steps and socked feet.

Evil stairs.

Coming down after depositing my shoes in our friend’s upstairs guest room, my left foot decided to slide out from under me. And my right one didn’t. Luckily, I was able to catch myself on the handrail, but not before hearing every joint in my right leg – two steps above and behind me – pop. Or at least what I was hoping were just the joints.

After some selective swearing, I hobbled down the rest of the steps and finally looked down at my leg. Massive swelling? Nope. My right foot turned in an unnatural direction? Nope. Can I put weight on it? Yep. Whew! But ouch!

Evil stairs.

Of course this led to a lot of teasing over the week from both James and our host. Particularly when I discovered side-stepping down the stairs like I was in a Broadway show was much easier than walking straight down. All I needed to make the image complete was a feathered headdress, which I’m sure would have spelled its own disaster.

Fortunately, we weren’t planning on doing much while there, so I was able to spend quality time in the recliner with my feet up, nursing both my leg and my pride. Unfortunately, I still had to get up and make my own cocktails when having someone bring me a martini would have been much simpler. Although I suppose getting up and walking on it was good for me.

And while I would say I don’t barrel down staircases as a habit, I must confess this wasn’t the first time. I found myself on my back, cascading down the lower half of the stair in my first apartment. Again – carpeted stair and socked feet. Is anyone sensing a trend?

The remainder of our time was spent with me either in shoes or san socks for every trip up and down the stairs. And with a firm grip on the handrail.

Evil stairs.