Temper, temper



I don’t think that it’s because I have red hair, I think this is coincidental, but I possess a fiery disposition—a temper, if you will.

When I was a child, I used intimidation and aggression to get friends to play with me and when they didn’t, oh, it was not pretty. I’d chase them, yell, cry, break toys, throw the mulch from the playground, and force them into a game in which they MUST have fun. I was a delight.

As I grew older, my temper didn’t subside but matured into a demonic entity. Slightly less often, but certainly more powerful. My tantrums in my adolescent years involved banshee cries, throwing of inanimate objects, fist-to-wall-combat, and manic runs.

In these present adult years, my fiery will is somewhat extinguished. I don’t have near the quantity of freak-out sessions I used to have and when I do, they tend to be directed towards a boyfriend or my mother, both who love me unconditionally and can, thus, take it. Occasionally, objects are still thrown (and broken) and the noises I create can potentially shatter glass, but the frequency is down considerably from the time I was a kid/tween/teen and I am seemingly less possessed by Satan.

However, lately, I’ve noticed my temper flaring up more often than usual. Rather than go on a rampage of rage, I keep the frustration concealed and display my distaste for everything by becoming more moody and irksome. It’s me trying to control my super-evil-bug without being able to completely simmer the angst.

I believe that as a child and teenager, I let my stress and anger out instantaneously and unfiltered. As a mature adult, I cork the anger, but like a champagne bottle, I’m bound to pop.

I’ve come to terms with a pattern of mannerisms and emotions I go through just before I’m about to crack.

First, people just existing and living their lives that don’t truly intersect mine except for a few moments in a day start to annoy me. That girl who ran by me and could have shifted more to her left. The cyclist who rang his bell and scared a year from my life. The crying baby. The man who said “hello” to me on the way to work.

Next, my voice begins dripping with attitude and I become even more candid than usual. People say polite things to me or express an idea, and I have no patience to deal with their incompetency as human beings. My boss says something redundant and rather than reply professionally:

“Gingermermaid, these look too much like stock photos.” – boss looking at a stock photo website to get pictures for our web relaunch.

“These are stock photos.” – me, stating the obvious (in all fairness, I was right, but it wasn’t appreciated).

The attitude gives way to imagining terrible scenarios where I picture myself saying or doing something justified and right and meeting with resistance, sabotage, and violence. All of a sudden the world is against me and I am fighting back, losing, but trying to win, and the frustration grows and boils till I almost believe it’s real.

The scenarios in my head toy with my emotional state and I feel blind fury. The only thing that quells the anger is when I awake from my cloudy thoughts and realize that the situation I day-nightmare about is not the reality, that, in fact, the situation I concocted in my noodle will have a much more civilized solution and work itself out if it happens at all.

By the time I’m hallucinating situations, I’m about ready to break and the impending straw will come shortly to shatter my back.

Last week, it was USPS and a missing package that sent me into a tailspin. It began with me calling my boyfriend in tears, hanging up on him and telling him he is a fuckface. Then calling him to apologize and then calling him a fuckface and hanging up the phone again. Then he visits me at my apartment and I tell him how nice it is to see him and then a minute later I throw a pan across the room and tell him he is a fuckface and he never should have come over. Then I cry and cry and then I say I’m sorry and then we talk and then I get grumpy for a few days and then I no longer use the word fuckface or throw kitchenwear.

After the superstorm Gingermermaid, a calm persists and logic is reinstated. Still, I find myself a bit more edgy and volatile lately, a feeling I haven’t felt since those kindergarten days. Is this the return of the redheaded terror of 1991? Everyone, put away your Polly Pockets and board up your Barbie Dreamhouses. This could get messy.


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