Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wanna Fight?

I have known some interesting characters. My mother always said, "If there is a weirdo anywhere in town I can count on at least one of my kids to bring it home." I told her that she told us to surround ourselves with interesting people and weirdos certainly are interesting.

Of course those are not the only interesting people. And we have met and enjoyed many different types of people. But I am going to introduce you to some destructive people I have known.

I have never understood how damaging property solves problems. I do understand anger but use the anger to make a change not a mess.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have not always had a smooth relationship. When they married they were much too young. He had not finished exploring his feelings about women. She was saddled with three babies. So life was in a turmoil for them.

But they stayed together and eventually gained some sort of maturity. They had two more children and began to have grandchildren. They were extremely good to my children and to me. They were especially good to my daughter.

Then my brother-in-law started to act a little strangely. He was throwing small tantrums over small or imagined things.

My daughter came home one day and told us that he had gotten mad and started to throw cookie jars at the walls and breaking them. He had been collecting the cookie jars for years and they were all gone. What a waste of money.

I feel the need to mention that dementia has been in that family and those seemed to be the beginning signs. I thought it best that my daughter not spend her time there unless I could be sure she was safe.

There are the people who become angry with other people. Maybe a man and woman were in a relationship that dissolved. Maybe a brother is mad at another brother because "Mom likes you best". Maybe neighbors are arguing about the direction the leaves fall from the tree in the fall. How to solve these disagreements?

It's easy. Destruction. One of the angry people will sneak out late at night car keys in hand and leave a large scratch along the whole side of the other person's car.

What fun it will be the next morning to see the horror on the face when the scratch is found. Such glee. That will fix them.

But the other person plots revenge. The following night that person sneaks out late with knife in hand. All four tires are slashed and ruined. Hee hee hee. That will fix them.

A lot of money will be spent to make the necessary repairs. Hurt feelings at the injustice perpetrated on a helpless vehicle are on the surface of each person.

In the meantime a child of one party is seen holding hands with a child of the other party. They are best friends. What to do now?

Mama is mad at Papa because he came home late several nights this week. Instead of talking to each other and reaching a compromise they sit and fume. So Mama slams things around the house. Papa stays out late to avoid the situation.

Papa comes home late only to find all his personal belongings strewn all over the lawn. If he is lucky Mama did not set them all on fire.

Papa collects his things and finds a place to stay. Mama realizes that she cannot live without Papa and begs him to come home. What was accomplished?

I saved the strangest for last. We knew a couple who were normally very much in love... sickeningly so at times. But when they fought... Oh my.

In the middle of an argument one of them (not always the same one) would storm out of the house and disappear for a few hours. While that person was gone the other would go to work.

A baseball bat or a steel rod was all they needed. A quick trip outside. Bang into the windshield of the car. Then knock out all the lights. The back window was demolished. Then the side windows were smashed.

When the person who left came home they would make up and be all lovey-dovey again. And the rest of us would sit and laugh as the husband would go buy the parts needed to repair the car. Then it would happen all over again.

Between the two of them they could have used the money they spent for repairs to buy a couple of new cars. This scenario played out at least once a month.

It seems funny and we all laughed. They did too. But what a waste.

Like I said I do not understand what destroying valuable property does to make anything better. I do not know what else to say.


  1. In a grip of anger, one is always looking for a steam out and breaking things might be better than hurting each other or children. However, I do not agree that destroying things is a good solution. Like you said it's wasting a lot of money. When I'm mad, I do waste money not on breaking things but in shopping. Oopps, perhaps the outcome is the same. Loss of money.

    Thank you for the kind words you left in my blog. She was very dear to me indeed.

    1. Shopping may spend money but you are receiving something of value in return. You are not really losing anything. A better way to vent anger might be to clean the closets or mow the lawn. Maybe a walk in the park at a brisk pace. Anger need not make one violent.
      My words to you were sincere. No thanks needed.

  2. Great post, Emma, My wife and I don't argue often, but when we do I go out to the pumphouse and smoke a big black ugly pipe I keep out there. I don't enjoy it but it makes me stinky. Then I go back indoors and run around all stinky and try to hug her. This technique has worked well for the past 45 years and, given another 45 years, ought to be perfected.

    1. I like your technique. I even laugh at the picture of you chasing her and her trying to get away from the stinky smell. And it costs so little.

  3. I have had a problem controlling my anger too. I remember the ugly feeling anger brings. It really takes discipline and practice to control it.

    1. I think Geo has the right idea. One must learn to turn anger into another activity. It takes some training to make it work but it is cheaper and better for the soul. I am happy to hear that you are conquering your anger and I can see it in your posts.

  4. Anger is one of the most destructive emotions. It's sometimes hard to avoid. Every time I've spoken out in anger, I've wound up regretting it soon afterwards.
    Those words can never be unspoken.

    1. My mother often told all of us (and I have passed it on to my children) that once you lose your temper you have lost the battle. A clear head always works better than one that has been taken over by anger.

  5. Sadly, Emma, many people do not know how to control their anger or disappointment except by violent actions. It's sadder when it's directed against other people vs. inanimate objects. I agree that destroying property doesn't solve anything and is a waste of money.

    1. Anger and jealousy are two mostly useless emotions. Anger may move you to act at the correct moment as long as you hold your temper about it. Jealousy in very small doses simply keeps you aware of what the other person's needs are. Anything more than that is usually a waste of energy.