I had just ordered my vanilla steamer at the Roasterie and stood smiling and waiting for the kind barista to finish up decorating my drink with pretty swirls of caramel. I thanked him, took my cup, and reached for a lid. Then I stopped and thought for a second about how I really didn't need a lid because I would probably drink the steamer pretty fast and I would want it to cool off anyway. Plus I heard Sean Berger's voice in my head preaching against useless trash. So I walked back to my little table where I had just set up my laptop and sat down my cup.
Then I proceeded to knock over my cup and spill hot sweet milk all over the laptop, textbooks, table, chair, power cord, and floor.
So then I'm faced with the question of how to react to this situation. My options were:
1) freak out, show my embarrassement, cry over the possibly dead computer, clean up the mess by myself, grab my stuff, and run away, or,
2) deal with it.
I chose option 2. I turned my computer on its side to let the milk run off and shut out the stares of the civilized around me. A sweet girl sitting nearby happened to be an employee off duty and grabbed me some towels. I clean up other people's messes for a living, so I made quick work of it. Then another employee rolled up with a mop bucket and I let him help me. When my helpers exclaimed over the shame of the computer and asked me if it was broken, I replied "I guess I'll find out soon enough." The manager walked up and asked if it was their fault and I actually laughed, because it could not have been more of my own clumsiness.
After righting the scene, I sat back down and worked on drying off my keyboard. There seemed to be no permanent damage and I started working. Then the friendly mopper guy walked over to my table with a new drink for me. I smiled when he pointed out that this one had a lid on it.
I stuck around for a long while doing my work and pretty soon all the people who had seen my disgrace left and new ones came who thought I was just a normal, coordinated individual. And then I ran into a friend and had a nice chat, which I would have missed if I had left.
So here's to analyzing possible emotions before feeling them. I'm going to try to do it more often, because there is really no use in crying over spilled milk.