Saturday, February 27, 2016
I hate conflict. I avoid it like I would walk around the dog poop you can find all around my neighborhood (which is another thing that bothers me, too!). I generally bite my tongue rather than speak up, though I do speak up more than I used to. But when you stifle all that conflict and anger, it has a way of building up and creeping out and sometimes you just know you're gonna bite the head off the next idiot who treats you unfairly or kindly.
A few cases in point that had me steaming but are now (mostly) behind me:
1. The nosy but silent neighbor. Three Saturdays ago, just before my mom arrived, I had put an empty cardboard box by my dumpster. No, I didn't break it down and stuff it obediently in the dumpster for recycling, though often I do. Upon returning with my mom, her suitcases and my groceries, I found a type-written note in my mailbox. It said something to the extent of:
Madame, In order to keep our residence clean, please break down the box that you placed at the foot of the bins this morning.
It was unsigned but printed in red ink from a computer and dated.
The nerve! Someone had spied on me while I put my box out and didn't have the courage to even sign their name. I was hopping mad and wanted to go investigating but instead dutifully went out to break down the box, which, lo and behold, was no longer there. Maybe someone had use for it and took it? Maybe the sneaky OCD sender couldn't bear seeing that box one more minute and broke it down herself...
The problem: This is just so small that it doesn't require a computer-printed letter. I don't know who it is and can't talk to them about their silly actions. Result: too many conversations in my head telling mystery neighbor off.
2. Holier than thou therapist. I recently took J to a sort of speech pathologist upon the recommendation of her teacher since J confues her b's and d's while writing and some numbers are backwards. Said therapist jumped off the handle at my husband for accidentally taking her pen the first time. Then made a disappointed face when I said we wouldn't be coming while my mom was here. And basically said I should stop J every time she made a mistake while writing even if it made her "contrary."
The problem: I should have told her right away this wasn't going to work out. I thought about just trying one more session, but my mom suggested I just tell her we would be doing the therapy at home. Which I did. I have a problem with so-called "authority figures" who think they know best. But I know a thing or two, too. It is hard to tell people their method just doesn't fit yours, but if no one does, will they ever realize their mistakes? Result: yet more practice conversations in my mind to tell her we wouldn't be coming back. Luckily I got her voicemail so just left her a message. At the end of which I told her to have a nice day.
3. My husband thinks dishes magically put themselves up. And that wet balled up socks magically clean themselves in the hamper. To be honest, he has made loads of progress in cleaning up stuff. Mostly because I have explained how I hate having crap all over the place. Correction: I can deal with some mess, but there is a limit. And when he walks out the door half of the time having left his breakfast dishes and crumbs and milk stains on the table, I get a little frustrated. Or when he makes no move to prepare dinner or even think of something, I get a bit fed up.
The problem: I work, too and need a hand at home. I'm not his mom and shouldn't have to always ask for help or be the de facto person who cleans up. Result: sometimes, like last night, I get fed up and leave him and Juliette to fend for themselves while I go to stretching class. At least I felt relaxed for 45 minutes. But mostly I just fume and explain for the umpteenth time that I need his help. And talk to myself in the car on the way to work.
Well, thanks for listening while I got some things off my chest. I'd love to hear what gets your goat, what bugs you to bits, what makes you hotter than a hornet. And how do you deal with it? Because people might start thinking I'm crazy if I keep talking to myself around town.