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Got milk?

   I was staying at my daughter’s apartment on a recent visit and guess what she said?
   “Who left an empty milk carton in the refrigerator?”
   It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Do you know how many years I’ve lived going to the refrigerator, opening the door bleary-eyed at 6 a.m., picking up the milk carton and then watching as the milk dribbles out into my coffee mug? Decades people, not years.
   I have actually gone to sleep at night resting assured that there was more than enough milk for me to use in the morning only to wake up to a splash left in the carton. A splash. Not enough for cereal, not enough for my coffee, not enough for an ant to swallow.
   Do kids think that by leaving the empty carton in the refrigerator overnight some kind of milk fairy will come and put enough in so their mothers won’t shriek at them first thing in the morning? What are they thinking? And it’s no use yelling at them because you know they didn’t do it. Clearly some stranger came in the middle of the night and drank it.
   An empty milk carton can lead me to do things that might warrant a thorough evaluation by a caseworker.  I can take a lot, but that empty carton pushes me over the edge every time.  They all know I’m not pretty in the morning, nor am I happy so unless you enjoy having your head bitten off at 6 in the morning, you really ought to make sure there’s a little milk left for my coffee.
   And an empty milk carton means I have to make the morning milk run, which only makes matters worse.
   I’ve thrown my coat on over my pajamas and driven to the store in my slippers hundreds of times. The corner store sales clerk has seen me in my pajama pants more than my current husband. I’ve slammed the carton of milk on the counter so hard you’d think it would rupture. I grunt at his “Good morning,” and grab the milk and go. Who wants to start their day like this? Nobody my friends, nobody. And all because they couldn’t bring themselves to tell me the milk was gone. I ask you, is it better to tell me the night before when I’m still in my jeans and relatively sane, or would you rather wait until I’m a monster in the morning? It doesn’t make sense.
   And now here was my baby girl, my flesh and blood, going through the same thing. She had expected to pour some milk in her coffee and all she had in her carton was sour air. If she would have flared her nostrils a little when she said, “Who left the empty milk carton in the refrigerator?” she would have looked just like me 30 years ago. It did my heart some good to see her that way.  What comes around, goes around. 

  People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him.
Robert Kennedy


Anonymous said…
It's like when they come of age and you go to bed with six LaBatt Blue's in the frig and wake up with none.
Go drink her beer, I say!

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