Have you ever overreacted to a neutral stimulus because you believed that something terrible was about to happen? Like when someone playfully swings an object close to your head and you automatically flinch? It’s as if your mind suddenly takes a threatening flight of fancy to vividly imagine the undesirable circumstance: a.k.a you getting painfully whacked in the head.
If in fact you cannot relate, and this has never happened to you, perhaps I’m just an odd ball with a desire to express her daily struggles. Nonetheless, I ask that you continue to follow my slightly paranoid musings as we flashback to this morning!
Like all other mornings, I had prepared a steaming pot of ginger chai for my parents. As I poured the lovely concoction into individual cups, I admired the aromatic, honey colored liquid and praised myself for my success.
Oh yes, they shall enjoy this! I’ve put just the right amount of ginger and milk! It must be a sort of ambrosia! Yes, the drink of the gods!
Still cackling victoriously, I placed both steaming cups on small saucers and began carrying them upstairs.
I walked with slow and painstaking caution. After all I had done in the kitchen that morning (which really wasn’t very much) I refused to waste a drop of my efforts because of some act of foolishness.
Finally making it to the top, I saw my mother browsing the web on her desktop. My chest bursting with pride, I held out the warm cup of tea that was sitting on a saucer.
What happened next was unthinkable. Just as she reached for the cup in my hands, I saw a shining white vessel tumble to floor.
OH NO, I thought. That was the teacup, wasn’t it? NOOOOOOOOO! Horrific images of my lovely tea seeping into the cream colored carpet flashed before my eyes. The floor would be wet for hours having cruelly absorbed the essence of my chai! And while my mum and I would do our best to scrub out the infernal stains, they would never truly be gone! WHAT HAD I DONE?!
I crumpled to the floor, practically writhing in agony and shock. My heart was racing.
I then suddenly noticed that my mother was standing over me with a steaming teacup in her hand. And she looked very concerned. Wait. She had the teacup, which meant…
I looked over to mysterious white vessel that had fallen to the floor, and allowed my eyes to fixate on it. Still white, gleaming, and intact, the saucer was just a couple of feet from my reach.
Apparently, my mother had firmly grasped the full cup of tea, and allowed the saucer to fall onto the carpet. I’d just interpreted the incident in a completely different way.
Once I’d fully explained the situation to my mother, she had a difficult time keeping herself from smiling.
“Way to cry over spilled milk before it even happens.”