My husband is a gentle, scholarly person somewhat lacking in manual dexterity and mechanical know-how. He married into a family of impatient, dexterous, mechanically inclined hot-heads. The Boomgaardens are famous for their tempers. I have a farmer cousin noted for throwing tools. I have great aunts who had hair pulling fights in ditches. I have great uncles who shot at each other with rifles. I manage to keep my temper pretty well, but last weekend was a challenge for me. I am thankful no one got hurt.
It was hot last weekend. We did a lot of outside work in the yard over a four day period. It involved planting seeds and shrubs, spreading mulch, laying out soaker hoses and sprinklers, digging holes, and maneuvering around piles of bagged topsoil, composted manure, and bales of peat moss with tools and wheel barrows. For each task I saw clearly how we had to do it, in what order, and what physical and mechanical actions had to be taken. I was pretty driven to get it done as fast as we could before the heat of the day made it unbearable to work outside. When I get like that, I forget my theory of mind, and assume that everyone around me sees the tasks and the procedures that need to be accomplished exactly the same way I see it. I get impatient when the people I am working with don’t seem to get it the way I get it, when they fumble around and look ineffectual and dithering. As Husband said “You do things and you don’t explain what you are doing until afterwards.” Why should I have to explain what I am doing if it is plain what has to be done?!! Why can’t you think like I think?!!
A very alarming ear worm took hold last Friday as I became increasingly frustrated with Husband and his inability to read my mind. I decided I had better sit down and have glass of water and reel in my temper. I have no idea from what odd recess of my brain I dredged this up:
The chorus from this went through my head all weekend. It made me laugh at myself and my irrational assumptions, and forced me to see how unreasonable I can be. Perhaps all anger management classes should include Broadway musical soundtracks.
How do you manage your temper? What is the angriest you have been? What is your favorite Broadway song at the moment?