I stood there with Dr. Pepper streaming off my face, dripping from my hair, and decorating my ceiling. I had dropped a can on the floor and it exploded all over me and my brand new kitchen.
At first I started to laugh, because it was funny. I mean, really funny. Then I realized I was going to have to clean it all up, and that it was ruining my new, clean house, and I moved quickly to anger. I stomped forward and slipped in a puddle of Dr. Pepper, catching myself temporarily on the paper towel holder which then came down with me.
And I laughed again. . .
I stripped down in the middle of my kitchen because my pants and shirt were soaked. As I pulled off my top, I realized that my blinds were open and the neighbor next door was getting his yard resodded. I ducked down and ran into my bedroom, worrying that I had somehow traumatized a young man who might have been innocently gazing into my dining room window.
Once I dried off, I went back to the war zone and began scrubbing my cabinets. With every swipe, my annoyance grew. I told myself that I’d never get the kitchen totally clean. I worried about ants and other bugs that would hear about the Dr. Pepper-coated house in the neighborhood. I was sure that I would become the crack house for all insect addicts.
I found Dr. Pepper all over and inside my brand new purse. And, just as new was the jacket I had on when the explosion happened. This, too, was surely ruined.
I scrubbed the floors like Cinderella on a bad day, now furious about the mess. . .
After about 30 minutes, I thought I’d gotten it all. I decided to have fun with the moment, and tested the floor out with a “Risky Business” slide. My socks initially glides perfectly across the floor, until I hit the Dr. Pepper spill area. It stopped me dead and threw me forward into the hallway. I fussed at myself for such a dumb move.
By the time my husband got home, I had been scrubbing the floor for almost an hour.
He looked surprised to see me cleaning the kitchen, and opened the refrigerator to put up some groceries. That’s when he noticed Dr. Pepper dripping off of the shelves on the inside of the refrigerator door. I have no idea how my nemesis sprayed the INSIDE of my refrigerator, but it did. So, I told him exactly what happened . . . and he laughed. I swung my Dr. Pepper hair around and gave him the full, physical reenactment, and we got hysterical.
My son came over later and I told him the story again (abbreviated, because he does not like his mother’s long stories), and he laughed even more.
And I realized that my first reaction to the spill had been to laugh. . .
To realize how ridiculous the situation was. To simply enjoy the absurdity of the moment.
Only when I started telling myself irritating stories about cleaning and ants and purses and jackets did I decide that this was actually a bad thing.
So often bad moods come from fear – the “what-ifs” that come in like scrubbing bubbles to disintegrate perfectly good laughter.
Next time, and with me there will be a next time, I hope I laugh.
And whatever happens to you?
I hope you laugh, too.