Monday, February 27, 2012
A Minor Tragedy
Life is full of little disappointments. Every one of us have enough real problems in life to deal with, so we try not to add any unnecessary worry to life. But when I saw these M&Ms on the side of the road, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Not a deep sorrow, but a compassionate pity for their previous owner.
I’ve been there too many times. I’m anticipating the first bite of a slice of pizza or a cookie, then, in my clumsiness, I drop it or someone bumps into me and before I know it, my food is on the floor. The disappointment that one feels in this moment is visceral. The anticipation of a sugary treat replaced with solemn awareness of just how imperfect the world is.
Normally this is where you have a dilemma. You look around to see if anyone can see me, who might look down on you for eating food off the floor. I’m a frequent practitioner of the 5 second rule, given the food in appropriate. Chips, cookies, or pizza are normally fine, but one must be careful with any moist foods that collect dirt easily, such as oranges, pasta, or a scoop of ice cream. In almost every circumstance, M&Ms will be fine off the floor, due to their famous hard candy shell. But not these M&Ms. The 5 second rule is practically null and void outdoors. You just have no idea what been on that sidewalk, lawn, or road.
And it’s not bad enough that some M&Ms got spilled on the ground. But, this was likely most of the bag, if not the entire thing! At least if you spill a few, you’ve got the rest of the bag to console you. But just imagine if you will the moment when your 5 minute chocolate break is completely stolen from you by a foul trick of gravity. This is a deep personal tragedy if ever there was one.
It goes without saying that there are much greater tragedies than a simple loss of candy. We are continually reminded of them day in and day out, in the news and sometimes in our own back yard. Someone spills a their coffee or drops their cheeseburger and the world will barely notice. But that doesn’t make it stink any less when we’re robbed of our life’s little joys. All we can do is remember the old idiom about spilt milk and keep things in perspective, knowing that we still must get through the day and there are a lot more bags of M&Ms out there.