Spilled Milk, Martin!

"Hello! Hello!," I screamed into the phone, like a shrill madwoman on the verge of homicide.

"Um...yes, hello," a disembodied male voice said into my ear. He cleared his throat and continued: "As I said, this is Martin. How can I help you?"

"Oh," I said, "you have such a smooth and professional voice, Martin. I thought you were a recording."

Quiet laughter from Martin.

"How can I help you?," Martin asked again.

"MARTIN," I yelled, "my four-year-old just dropped--like a bomb, Martin, A BOMB--an entire gallon of milk on my carpet! I have milk everywhere!"

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear tha..."

"I swear she's trying to kill me," I said, interrupting. "She's been doing stuff like this all week! ALL WEEK, MARTIN! I don't think I can take much more! Do you have kids, Martin? Do you? Because if not, I will give you mine. Seriously. You can have her!"

"Um...well...I do have a two-year-old already."

"Well then, see? There you go! You already have one, why not just add another one to your family?! No big deal. I'm sure you could handle her better than I am handling her right now."

At this point I heard my new buddy, Martin, laugh nervously into the phone before asking, "So...um, ma'am? How can I help you?"


I kid you not, friends, for a brief and frazzled moment--while standing in my kitchen, in dairy hell--I had totally forgotten why I had called Martin...At Stanley Steemer...A carpet cleaning company.

I took a deep breath, and said, "I need someone to come and clean my living room carpet. Before I cry."

Martin laughed and said, "No use crying over spilled milk."

In my mind I called bull on that age-old adage Martin had just uttered. Whomever came up with that phrase, "no use crying over spilled milk," was clearly never around children. Or had a brain.

When we use that phrase, what we are saying is, "Hey, don't get upset about something that has already occurred or something that cannot be changed. Getting upset isn't going to fix it, so don't worry about it."

While I absolutely agree with that--worrying about things we cannot control is not worth the worry--I also believe we need to allow ourselves to feel what we feel. INITIALLY.

If life is kicking you in the teeth and driving you crazy and making you angry, get angry. If the incessant cold and the gloomy-gray skies are bumming you out, let them. And if your children (or friends or coworkers) are dropping milk bombs (proverbial or otherwise) on your already maxed out and emotional day, then by all means, CRY IT OUT! (Because crying over that milk might actually help you feel a little better.)

Get mad and pout and yell and cuss (sorry, Mom) and cry and feel what you feel...

And then stop.

Say a little prayer. Pull yourself up. Brush yourself off. Lift up your chin. Hold your head high. And then call Martin!

Because you have bigger and better things to do than to stay in bed, or in a black pit, or in dairy hell, or in darkness forever. You emit too much light and are far too radiant for that. You are made of the stuff of gods and stars and goodness unmeasured. You have important tasks at hand, my friends, just by being you, by being here; now.

(Like finding a new home for a four-year-old!)

You. Can. Do. It.

Eventually I hung up with Martin, feeling a bit better--after shedding many tears, then formulating an action plan--about my milky carpet.

I waited happily for the cleaners to come.



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