One frosty winter day–back when I was in college–I went to the store to pick up some groceries. I came out of the store with a couple bags and a gallon of milk. When I got to my car I set my milk on the roof and proceeded to put my bags in the back seat.
Approximately a moment too late I noticed my gallon of milk. Sliding. Sliding off the frosty roof in the general direction of the ground. I didn’t quite have time to react. My milk hit the ground before I could do anything to stop it. And then it exploded. I closed the car door to survey the situation–it had inadvertently shielded me from most of the milk explosion.
There was some milk on my shoes and jeans. There was milk on the exterior of my car, which had already frozen to the frosty car. But mostly there was a big splat of white milk on the dark asphalt of the parking lot.
Had I done the right thing, I would have plucked the mostly empty container up from its puddle, found a garbage can to put it in, and then I would have gone back in the store to purchase another gallon of milk.
But I didn’t do the right thing. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was embarrassment. Maybe it was stubbornness. I don’t know. All I know is I stepped over the puddle, got in my car, then drove away. In a strange episode of stubborn rebellion against the gods of frosty cars and exploded milk, I refused to buy another gallon of milk for an entire week.