It is perhaps one of my most embarrassing moments in life. I’d say it’s even in the top 5. It was a simple day, the sun was shining bright, and there wasn’t a worry in the world. I had one job — I repeat, just one job. That job was to head to the hardware store to grab some paint for some shabby chic projects that were going to be done around the house.
My companion and I hopped in the car and made our way over to the closest shop without the slightest idea of what we were about to encounter. We went directly to the paint section upon arrival and, in my opinion, spent far too long debating which size to take. There was a small container, a 5L bucket, and a 10L Costco sized mothership.
We only needed the small container, but the price was just too good to pass up on buying 4L more than actually needed. Relieved that a decision was finally made, I hastily grabbed the plastic 5L bucket off the shelf and beelined it to the cash register. There was only one customer ahead, so I threw the thing onto the conveyer belt and stared longingly at the light of freedom peering through the automatic doors ahead of me.
A moment later, a phone call comes in regarding the paint and the mission is temporarily called off. This was a demoralizing blow to someone with a shopping phobia (I’m getting better). I once again quickly grabbed the plastic bucket and made way for the customers who had followed into line behind us. As my companion chatted away on the phone, I placed the paint onto the floor and waited for the green light to proceed as planned.
The green light was lit and I bent over to quickly pick up the paint for the third time — third time is the charm, right? It is at this point that all goes blurry and the traumatic stress kicks in. I do not know how it happened or what caused it, but one moment I am swiftly lifting up the paint and the next moment there is a loud crack, pop, and splatter.
People all around me were screaming for a medic as the shockwave from the explosion wore off. I myself looked down wondering if I would ever make it out alive. The cheap plastic bucket proved its worth and exploded upon impact leaving everything within the immediate blast radius covered in thick white paint. Moments earlier there were no customers, now there were more innocent casualties than I would care to admit.
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe it.
After a very awkward cleanup, many apologies, and very, very gracious support from my poor partner-in-crime we successfully made it out to live another day. I was in shock, I was mortified, and I withdrew to within myself. I was beating myself up and acting like the worst thing had happened — until the very reminder I needed was relayed to me.
“Crap happens” the message said (perhaps in less G-rated terms). I never admitted it, but it was in that very moment that the weight lifted and the laughter started. I was reminded that really unfortunate, unexpected, mortifying, and non-sensical events occur in this crazy thing we call life. I never thanked the person who said it, but I did learn that it’s of the utmost importance to remember that sometimes we all just need to hear those words and be reminded.
My word of advice to you is this: buy the smallest amount of paint needed, but if you find yourself in a comparable situation to mine just remember…
crap happens and it's time to laugh.