When I was younger, my parents gave me a beautifully designed book for Easter. I brought it to school one day and I don’t remember the exact circumstances–whether I had it out in the rain, or dropped it in a puddle, or both–but it got soaked.
My mom dried it out, but the pages were forever crinkled, the cover a bit warped. I treasured it even more after that because I felt so terrible that it had gone through such an ordeal.
Yesterday, I had finished my dinner at the bar and was finishing up my drink when a group of people came up behind me. Nobody touched me, but at the exact same time, I knocked over my glass and beer went sliding all over the bar, my phone, and the brand new book I’d been reading.
Having caused a spectacle, I shouldn’t have been surprised when the man behind me asked if he’d done it. I should have been grateful when the sweetheart of a bartender cleaned up the mess and insisted upon replacing my beer.
But the tears in my eyes weren’t out of embarrassment from creating a scene. My lovely, fresh book was soaked, and instead of being able to rush outside to start drying out the pages, I had to politely sit there to drink another beer.
Was I already in a precarious emotional position after an early start, a day of traveling, and a refusal to be sat outside because I was alone? Yes. But I was only sad about the book.
I know it will dry, and I won’t treat it any differently for having been through the incident. And deep down, I know, just like with the Easter book years ago, having scars gives the book a more interesting story.
But I still stand by my tears. Crying over spilled beer doesn’t, as far as I know, figure into an idiom saying I shouldn’t.