In fourth grade my mom took me to her hometown, Moline, Illinois, for a summertime visit. While visiting Mom's big sis, Aunt Kris, we did so many fun things! The Fourth of July parade was fantastic; my cousin Sam and I husked corn for dinner; we took a riverboat ride. Unfortunately one very un-fun thing happened to me. Dinner one night included a side of green beans. I ended up "unswallowing" that meal, something I blamed on the green beans specifically. But sadly I had also consumed A LOT of orange soda. Thus, I associated the soda with the grotesque incident. I haven't had orange soda in a LONG time.
That has not stopped Jon from buying it for himself, though. Tonight he had some with dinner. Why am I talking about what we had for dinner (pizza!)? Well, Jon didn't finish his soda before we left to run some errands. Our cat, Disney, who is "ours" when he screws up, loves pizza. On his quest to get the pizza, Disney knocked the glass over and sprayed orange soda all over our carpet upstairs. Thankfully it happened just before we returned home.
Interestingly Jon and I reacted very differently to the spill. Jon calmly reached for the paper towels and began soaking it up. I freaked out. Growing up I knew better than to spill things, to make messes at all. When it happened, the perpetrator had to clean it up fast and face consequences. All of us kids heard the dreaded phrase, "That's why we can't have nice things" several times each. And that's stuck with me.
I snatched up the paper towels tonight and went at the stain angrily. We don't own stain cleaner, probably because I'm so careful about spills the rest of the time, and I knew I HAD to go get it right away to solve this problem. Jon asked me to calm down. Now, I wasn't angry at Jon. In fact, I wasn't even taking out my anger on him really. I was mad at me for not having the foresight to buy stain cleaner... or, better yet, to pour the excess orange soda down the sink before we left it alone, teetering on cat-friendly edges.
How this became a fight between Jon and me... I don't know. Not a clue. But I wanted him to be upset with me, acknowledge what a travesty the event was, rush out to get stain cleaner or let me rush out without stopping me. He didn't do any of those things. And he shouldn't have. Eventually I'll learn to take a breath before panic sets in after a cat or, far in the future, a child drops a vat of grape juice or ink on our inevitably white carpet. I wish I'd learned before today. Even if we do spill every once in a while... we can still have nice things.