Dismantling clichés: Volume I

A friend of mine introduced me to a website that is geared towards overcoming writer’s block. This whole week I’ve been using prompts from its random subject generator to write posts. It’s been very helpful, but there’s more to the site than just the random subject generator.

There are also other exercises that encourage free thought and writing. One such exercise is choosing a cliché and writing about how it isn’t true or applicable to you. I’m considering incorporating this writing exercise into my life, but I’m not positive it’ll work out.

Cliché: Don’t cry over spilled milk

I’ve always loved cereal. It was a staple in my diet up until college, then my metabolism caught up with me. I still eat it semi-frequently, but I no longer have it on a daily basis. In college I often had it for lunch, breakfast, and dinner because my school’s cafeteria’s food was deplorable.


All through elementary, middle school, and high school, I had cereal every morning before school.

Aside: I’m not sure how I did it, but I’d eat a huge bowl of Special K in the mornings in high school even though athletics was the first period of the day, and we often started practice at 5:30 am. I never threw up.

I typically read the comics and sports pages during the partaking of fruity pebbles or cocoa puffs.

One fateful morning in 8thgrade was no different.

I opened the fridge, and there was an unopened gallon of milk. I got it out, but somehow missed the counter when I went to put it down. In truth, I was probably nervous about having to pour from a full gallon; I still struggle with that task.

Whoops, doesn’t begin to cover it.

Ugh. It was bad. The bottom busted open, and milk went everywhere. We have an island in our kitchen, and it surrounded three sides of the island. By this time, I wascrying over spilled milk. I was in shock and upset, so I didn’t even think to grab the milk container off the ground to keep all of it from ending up on the floor.

I just watched in horror as our kitchen was flooded with 2% milk.

How do you even begin to clean that up? Obviously paper towels were not sufficient. We had to use towels. My parents always preached not using washcloths to clean up milk because it makes everything smell, so I was mortified when we had to use two or three towels to soak all that liquid dairy off the tile. I’m pretty sure we just threw a couple of them away. Thankfully, we sort of horde old beach towels, so it wasn’t the biggest deal.

I now have a complex about spilled milk. Even when I spill a few drops making myself a milkshake, I fall into hysterics. I have horrific flashbacks of that dairy flood.

When I open the fridge and see the milk is unopened, I ask my mom or dad for help. If I’m home alone and it happens, I can barely function for the rest of the day.

I’m about to turn twenty-seven.

I’m so ashamed of it, I haven’t even brought it up to my therapist. I’ve talked about many traumatizing stories with her, but never this.



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