The Consequences of Feelings

I thought I was just having bad luck with refrigerators this year. The upside to experiencing a freezer thaw is that you recognize it a lot faster when it happens to you a second time (in three months). I manifested my frustration with having to haul everything from the freezer down to the deep freeze and think about what to do with the fridge stuff by having a pretty short temper with the girls tonight. Granted, they were driving me that direction anyway, but I went there a lot faster because the freezer melt-down put me in one of my own.

When we finally sat down to a dinner of salvaged hot dogs and lukewarm milk, I began regaining my own cool. I casually asked the girls if any of them had touched any of the knobs inside the fridge. I got three loud exclamations of “No! We’d never do that!” and one silent look of wide-eyed, “Whoops!” I looked at Millie and said, “Millie, did you turn the knob in the fridge?” She looked at me and shook her head. She’s been known to confess to crimes she never committed, so I pressed a little further. “Show me exactly what you did.” We walked in the kitchen together and I opened the door. She pointed to the knob and said, “I turned that.” I asked her why she did it and she said, “Well, when I opened the door, the air was blowing on me and it made me cold. So I turned it down to 1.”

Mystery solved. Millie felt cold when she opened the fridge. That made her turn up the temperature inside, which had consequences for the rest of us (warm milk – ewwwww). Likewise, having to empty/relocate things from the freezer while I figured it out turned up my internal thermostat, which produced consequences for everyone else. It’s pretty easy to see how we can screw things up for everyone, ourselves included, when we depend too highly on our feelings.

Millie’s was a preschooler’s mistake. I, on the other hand, should have known better.