Learning from Mistakes

I Am The Accident Waiting to Happen

Julia had gymnastics earlier today.  I'm usually the one who brings her. 

I bring her, and I bring a book, and I sit in a corner of the outer room of chairs – they are the hard plastic ones out there, and not as comfortable as the nice squishy ones in the inner room, but I can't take all the mommy-chatter that goes on in there.  I know, I'm a mom, but still – it hurts my ears.

So I sit in the outer room, in an uncomfortable plastic chair, where I can read for an hour without interruption.

The outer room is a bit on the chilly side right now.  I'm sure it'll warm up as the outside weather warms up, but today turned into a rainy one with a chill, and every time the door opened, a bit more of the relative indoor warmth escaped.  I knew beforehand that this would be the case, so I made a pot of coffee before leaving the house and brought it with me in a thermos I bought a few years ago, back when I had a M-F, 8-5 desk job.

Here it is. 


I bought this one in part because it's pink and a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.  And I also liked it because it had this cool opening.

You take the cap off,


And the next layer has these concentric plastic ring things…well, one ring and an inner disk…


The outer ring has "CLOSE" stamped on it, and the inner disk reads "OPEN."

And so all you do to get access to the coffee is press down on that inner disk, like so…


And that will push the outer ring up at the same time…


And, voila, you have a this clever little  mechanism that allows you to drink coffee without opening the entire thermos.  The coffee stays hot longer, and there's no danger of you spilling all the coffee all over your computer keyboard at work and getting yelled at by the head of the IT department for destroying outdated equipment.

(Apparently pressing on that little disk also causes spasms in your hand, and your fingers to morph into claws.  I really need to have a hand model in my pictures – my own hands are way too camera-shy.)

Anyway, carrying on…

I brought my thermos of coffee to gymnastics, saw Julia into the room with her little friends, and went back to the outer room to claim my corner seat.  There were only a couple other parents out there – two fathers who were standing closer to the inner room, catching up on events since last week, but not intending to stay.  I put Julia's raincoat and shoes on the floor, took the outer cap off my coffee, opened my book to the current page, pressed down on the "OPEN" disk, and tilted the thermos to my mouth, preparing for the possible scald that would follow.  

I had about a split second to think fondly of my home-brewed coffee, how much better it would taste than stale stuff from the nearby donut shop, and wonder if the hot liquid would hit my tongue first or my lower lip. 

And then the coffee poured down my chin, neck and the front of my LL Bean sweatshirt in a Niagara-like fall, if Niagara Falls had really hot, brown water. 

None of it went in my mouth.

I quickly and quietly (I don't make scenes if at all possible) tilted the thermos UP and surveyed the damage.  I was not injured, so that was good.  No burns, no peeling flesh.  I wiped the coffee from my chin and neck as best I could and, instead of going into the restroom (like a normal person) to maybe squeeze some of the coffee from my sweatshirt or something, I just pulled my jacket closed over the giant brown stain and pretended nothing had happened.  I could feel the coffee seep through the sweatshirt fabric and into the tank top I had on underneath.  It was very warm. 

And that was it.  I sat there, doused in Organic, Fair Trade Certified perfume, and read my book.  I also took the INNER lid off the thermos and just sipped the coffee through the wider opening.  Much safer that way, as it turned out.

See, it's been around a year and a half since I last used the thermos.  I'd forgotten that the inner spout thing wasn't for drinking.  It was just for pouring.

Like this:


I know it's blurry, but you can still see where the coffee is coming from.  And it's NOT that white part, is it.  No, it's not.

Not at all.

Anyway, here's a picture of my sweatshirt, too, just to round out the story.  The stain doesn't show up all that well against the purply-blue fabric, but you can see it if you squint.  And I also helpfully drew a line around the basic shape of the stain.  If you look closely within the outline, you can see parts of the stain.


Looks a bit like Africa, sort of.  Okay, maybe not. 

Anyway, that's what happened to me a few hours ago today.  Thought I'd share. 

I know my sister will enjoy this story.  Hi Mere!

13 thoughts on “I Am The Accident Waiting to Happen

  1. Oh Jayne! I’m laughing – but it’s with sympathy as well. This is *so* the kind of thing I do all the time. Many years ago when I was still working in an office that required me to dress up I managed to pour an entire pot of coffee down the back (yes, the BACK) of my brand new white silk blouse. While I was wearing it. It’s a long story. Luckily it wasn’t hot coffee .. but still.

    At least you handled it with grace and dignity. *grin*

  2. Isn’t it weird when you totally forget how something really simple and really familiar works? I mean I can usually operate a computer with no problems, but occasionally I just cannot get to grips with my slippers.

  3. I’m sorry, but I did laugh. Really hard. Because I do stuff like this all the time. I swore off silk because it’s a magnet for everything I eat, drink or write with.

    LOVE the pink thermos!

  4. LOL… it happens. On the back Kara? I’m so clutzy, most days I think I have morphed into Lucille Ball. And I’m always the first one to laugh at what I’ve done and then I’ll tell everyone about it. I’m sure they think I’m a nut at work. But not too much of a nut because they really treated me well yesterday on Administrative Assistant’s Day.

  5. HA!! I’m glad you weren’t burned! Funny, in hindsight, right? It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has stuff like this happen!

  6. I love you so much. It makes the time I laughed unexpectedly and blew tomato soup off my spoon across the entire white linen tablecloth at a posh wedding seem less painful 🙂

    Oh, and the continent looks like India. But then you would have to pour tea down your front instead of the coffee. So that doesn’t work does it. 🙁

  7. I am so sorry that this happened, but so glad to know this as My Hubs got one like this, but not pink, for Christmas. I will pass the word along. I did this with a fresh made pot of tea once. Turned the thermos upside down and didn’t have the lid on tight. OUCH!!!!

  8. Just mentioning this because you didn’t in your post and no one has in their comments… the removable lid is supposed to be the drinking cup. I have a thermos just like that and just GUESS how I empathize with your story!

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