You know that series of books “If You Give a [Animal] a [Food Item]”???
Of course you do! Mice and cookies… moose and muffins… cats and cupcakes… pigs and pancakes… there’s a bunch. Apparently, Laura Numeroff has been busy since I was little! Good for her!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was the original, it was pretty new when I was pretty little and given that both my mom and Grandma are and were (respectively) elementary school teachers, I’m sure you’re not surprised that I heard it once or twice. And then I read it once or twice more to myself. Perhaps I even forced it on my littles.
Long story short, I knew it pretty well and I thought about it often. Especially after giving a mouse a cookie…
Metaphorically of course. Because a lot of people are like that mouse. You give them a cookie… they need a glass of milk… a napkin… a hair cut… a dust pan… and on and on and on and on… it never ends!
Eventually, that mouse is so exhausted from bleeding you dry that they end up hungry again… in a need of a snack… maybe a cookie.
You know the story.
In contrast, do you know what happens when you give a mouse gonorrhea?
(And you can trust me on this one because I have given a lot of mice gonorrhea.)
They don’t ask for milk or a napkin or a hair cut or whatevs.
They just keep on keepin’ on until you decide otherwise.
Kind of nice.
Sidebar: It’s not actually nothing that happens. Just nothing that you can see. Please see Exhibit A.
AND THEN I LOST THE REST! You guys, it was awful… it was the evening of February 3rd and I had been writing and writing and writing and all my creative juices were just a-flowing and another 900 words later, it was all gone. Not sure how exactly it happened. No doubt some sort of user error. Regardless, it was all gone and I was all kinds of discouraged. So this intro sat and sat and sat as I stewed and stewed and stewed. Until today. Today I’m ready to go again. So… let’s extend that metaphor!
Because extending metaphors is one of the very best things that I do.
The moral of the mouse and the cookie business is that sometimes you give a little and get taken for all the rest. That doesn’t happen when you give a mouse gonorrhea. It just doesn’t.
I’ve been feeling a lot like that lately. Like I’ve been giving too many mice too many cookies and the expectations afterward are getting out — of — control. I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired. I’m beat. I’m frustrated and exhausted and afraid that I just can’t do it…
Agh! Drama! Especially considering that I am a writer and I legitimately do NOT deal with emergencies!
And — AH HA! I think that’s exactly the perspective I need to keep.
It’s really NOT that big of a deal. None of it is. And if something drops? That’s ok.
Gonorrhea… cookies… whatevs… it’s how you handle the mouse after the fact that’s key.
Before it was all tragically lost (tragically!)… this was 700 words longer of rant rant rant about people who want too much and how it’s best to stop handing out cookies and better to give gonorrhea and bleedidy bloddidy blue.
You didn’t want to read that. I didn’t really want to believe that. Talk about silver linings?! This is a much better ending.
And so was this:
True, February 3rd to February 16th isn’t quite the same as August 2005 to April 2011. But either way, waiting it out and thinking it through was totally worth it… when it was literal gonorrhea… when it was metaphorical cookies.
And I feel like I’m back!
Back for Lent. With plans! See you again soon!
PS: I was just watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Jake started a sentence with, and I quote, “For reals…” Guys! I’m pretty sure I started that. It’s catching on! This is like the DANG phenomenon all over again.