Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Arguing Like a Grown-Up

Once, when I was wide-eyed, innocent, and life held the promise of every possibility, I threw a dining room chair at John's head.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Perhaps because it was.

No, no, just kidding: this was ages and ages ago, maybe even as far back as 2009.

John and I don't argue often. This is because - and I say this with as much humility as I can possibly muster - I am really, really bad at it. In fact, I have only two approaches to most conflict: a) self-induced coma, and b) bat-sh*t crazy.

Option A is my usual go-to strategy, and I've found it to be pretty effective over the years. It turns out most people lose interest in arguing with a slightly drooly, vacant-eyed zombie. Plus, my stamina is nothing short of legendary: I can slump motionless against a door for HOURS if need be. And never - ever- challenge me to a game of the Silent Treatment. I will win. And then I will stare at you, slack-jawed and slightly drooly, in silent victory.

Sometimes, though, on a few extremely rare occasions, going comatose doesn't work for me. These are the times when, say, a heated discussion between John and I suddenly ratchets up to "flambé" - or perhaps I'm feeling a little too feisty to slump over effectively.

These, my friends, are the times when dining room chairs may dream of flight. Albeit really short ones. (Flights, I mean. Not the chairs.)

For his part, John has learned how to argue with me quite effectively, which is to say he doesn't. Usually. He views the Silent Treatment as being up there with water boarding, and he's not fond of furniture being hurled in his direction, either, so together we've managed to keep most of our disagreements civil and conversational, as opposed to shouty and furniture-throwy.

Well, I did say "most."

On the occasion in question, when part of our dining room set briefly became airborne, I was, you must understand, deeply entrenched in Option B. And in my defense, the solid wood chair was so heavy I couldn't even get the thing over my head, much less aim accurately for John's. So don't worry; I didn't hit him. Not even close. In fact, as throws go, mine had to be the most pathetic flop in history. Imagine an enraged ferret attempting to successfully flip you the bird while balancing on a Weeble-Wobble, and you'll have some idea of the grace and poise I displayed during my failed furniture-lobbing maneuver. It's a testament to how dearly John values our marriage that he didn't burst into hysterical giggles then and there. That, or maybe he figured something a little more aerodynamic was up next on the throwing roster.

Anyway, the good news is that all of our fights always end the same way: with a hug. [awww]

Granted, this is usually more of a "restraining embrace" on John's part, since I might be otherwise occupied with my attempts to pummel him in the kidneys, but the point is we're eventually able to put our tempers and differences aside and focus on what's really important. Which is to say our mutual love and respect for each other. And also our regard for our furniture.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some chair lifts to do. That throw really was pathetic.


  1. Jen, I am so glad (selfishly, actually) that you are fully entrenched in a place where you can share your writing, your humor, and yourself. This is what you should be doing, and it is awesome that you are doing it because girl, you need to be shared. With the world. Rock on. Oh, did I mention your post was frickin hilarious?

  2. I prefer passive aggression normally. And my darling Fiance just looks at me, shrugs, and goes to bed.

    I might take up chair throwing though!

  3. I get the annoying watery stinging eyes (I'm not crying, I'm angry!) and clenched throat (ackp, flrble) which undermine any point I was trying to make. Arg!

    Love the pic choice!

  4. Is it weird that I sort of admire your feisty rage? I can be fiery anywhere else, but when my husband and I disagree I just get sad and shaky, and then he hugs me and it's over. Pathetic excuse for marital strife, really, especially for a ginger like me. My Minnesota Confrontation-Is-The-Enemy upbringing rears its head in weird places.

  5. I literally laughed until I cried with my fist jammed in my mouth because Huz and Kid are both finally asleep and if I wake him up, she'll wake up, and then I'll be the one facing a flying chair.

  6. Hilarious (in a no-I-don't-normally-find-actual-violence-funny-but-that-was-fantastically-told kind of way)!

    My strategy is usually the "relentless b*tch" approach. Basically, I continue to argue and/or yell until he admits he was wrong. When done properly, this works even when he was right.

  7. I either wind up crying and making him feel guilty, or screaming while visualizing hubby's head exploding. I view this as proof that visualization does not work, for hubby still has a head.

  8. My husband has a preference for throwing his computer. But he nerd-rages randomly. I on the other hand, keep a small arsenal of nerf guns at hand. Mostly harmless but fun and great for stress relief. A friend of mine even painted one all steampunky, I should get a picture....^_^

    And yeah. I've tried the chair thing too. Rotten chair landed on my foot! >.<

  9. In 20 years of marriage I have only hurled furniture once. It was my newborn's high chair and I managed to launch it across the kitchen into the cabinets, sans kid of course. I was seriously sleep deprived at the time and have absolutley no recollection 17 years later why I did this. Hubby learned fast not to screw with sleep deprived new mothers so there was never a repeat of the incident.

  10. No! No! Not the chairs! You have to find something easier to lift, Jen! (By the way, first time commenting and I adore both blogs). May I suggest plastic bowls and heavy books? Nothing breaks and they both hurt. I, like Nightfall above, launch into, "I'm so mad, I'm crying". It sucks.

  11. I may just have to adopt your method of arguing.

  12. My ex was such an evil manipulative whackjob that I vowed to be a *good* arguer after I punted him to the curb.

    So although I occasionally have screaming fits at my husband, they generally don't last long. I apologize immediately afterward for my lack of decorum and then proceed to rationally explain my excessive display of grumpiness.

    Or, if the reason I'm unhappy has nothing to do with him, I usually go straight to explaining my grumpiness and telling him what he can do to help (anything from "stay the hell away from me right now" to "feed me ice cream and massage my shoulders").

    And then I end with telling him some of the things I love about him.

    He almost never gets angry with me but if he's being irrational, I'll knock him out of it by sitting at his feet and asking, "why are you being so nasty?" The accompanying puppy-dog eyes usually get him talking instead of emoting.

  13. When all else fails, go Bat S*hit Crazy. ;)

  14. I, for one, highly recommend flinging a toilet brush into your shower with all the force you can muster. Mine shattered. The sheer surprise and delight this caused me was entirely worth the price of a new one. I then began to laugh at myself hysterically. No one got hurt, other than the toilet brush, although my arm was a little sore the next day. Those rotator cuff injuries plague more than just athletes it seems.
    Good luck with your chair lifts lol. Sad as it may seem, your husband isn't mind melded with you, despite the occasional assumption that he inherently knows every thought that passes through your brain.

    I have pretty much found this statement of my hubby's to be true and it does seem to help when I remember it. "If it hurts your feelings, I didn't mean it that way. I meant it the other way."

    On the other hand toilet brushes are cheap...

    ~Yet another Jenn

  15. I'm just relieved that I'm not the only one who tries for the kidney punch!

  16. I'm glad you're comfortable sharing things like this here. Else the world would be deprived of such hilarity.

    That said, I tend to throw anything within reach -- the more fragile, the better. Fortunately, I broke the laptop flinging habit before my warranty expired. The phone flinging habit is alive and well, however. And I'm not allowed to get flip phones anymore. I snapped the last one in half.

  17. Cabinet doors all cringe when I'm doing my passive aggressive slamming. ...Hm, actually it's been years since I've done that, what did I do, grow up when I wasn't looking? Must ponder on that. o_0

  18. I've never thrown anything and it's been 12 years ... maybe I should try it. I break light switch plates. A nice slam of the fist and they crumble, they're also easy and cheap to replace.

  19. I would imagine that that particular dining set was chosen for its lack of aeronautics on the part of the chairs...or at least, perhaps John subconsciously used his husband magic to steer you toward that particular dining set so you couldn't use a chair to throw at him.

    Thanks for reminding us that we're all still normal, Jen, even professional blogger and blog readers. And that love conquers anything...even snoring.

    Okay, maybe not snoring. But you get the idea.

  20. As always, I love your posts and stories. A new post from you is generally a guarantee of a brighter day.

    I am also lucky enough to be in a very-little-arguing relationship, because I, too, am very bad at it. I get stressed out, my brain over-heats and I loose any ability to form coherent sentences, arguments, or insults...and usually end up crying.

    I used to be a big fan of the passive-aggression, but I had to go and get a smart boyfriend who sees through it instantly and then attempts to 'talk about it'...which really ruins the 'passive' part of it. He has this crazy theory that if people talk about their issues, they don't need to do crazy things like shave each other's eyebrows while they sleep. Or say, 'If you don't know, I'm NOT going to tell you! Also, nothing's wrong!'

  21. Tell John I feel his pain. Not really, my husband hasn't thrown a chair at me. ;)

    I am married to a man who has the same arguing style as yours. I, on the other hand, am a get-it-all-out style which consists of yelling, stomping, and slamming in that order.

    Hubby just sits through the fight and takes it all in until the meter reaches FULL (sometimes days or weeks later) and he explodes sending shrapnel from old fights (mind you, fights where he said NOTHING) flying everywhere and I stand frozen in disbelief that he's actually speaking, let alone fighting with me.

    I don't know how, but we've managed to stay married for almost 20 years, first marriage for both of us. I guess opposites attract and decide to stay together.

  22. I'm a crier, too. It's annoying to discover you're blowing snot bubbles when you really want to make a good point!

  23. Ghehe, very funny! I never throw things at my husband. Mostly because I don't want to break anything, lol. Closest I've come to hurling things at people was throwing a glass of milk over my brother - with most of the milk ending up on me, grrr.

    When husband and I argue I usually go all moody and give him my death stare. At which he will start to laugh and we're all good again :) Unless I am in a rrreally bad mood, then I'll start crying! I'm so bad at fights.

  24. re: weasel, bird, weeble-wobble

    Could you please stop using descriptions that make me want to illustrate them... I am beginning to feel guilty about it! LOL

    I get shouty and I cry (from anger/frustration) and then ask questions and explain calmly until male counterpart gives in and tells me he loves me to shut me up.

    Though in 12 years together, we've only had a handful of fights.
    Only one in which he actually yelled at me and I couldn't help but laugh and ask "Really? You're yelling at me?" which stopped him immediately.

  25. Jen, is it wrong if me that I was so glad to see this post, and that you and John don't have that perpetually perfect marriage that I was starting to suspect from all your loving words about him? Hey, it is AWESOME that you love your husband and post such great things about him--when blog wives get snippy about their spouses, it gets a little uncomfortable (note to self--stop it). But one of the best things about Epbot is feeling like we, your readers, are getting to know a real person, you know? Someone cool and funny and geeky, with amazing creative talent and a gorgeous house. . . for you to have the perfect marriage would have actually weakened the realness, and make me like you just a teensy bit less. And I really like your blog/you, so thank you for the reassurance that you are normal!

    (well, not normal. but definitely creative, and I have got to try that zombie strategy, maybe next time I visit my in-laws.)

    I wish the two of you a lifetime of maritial happiness, and lots of after-fight hugs. : ) Well, I didn't mean I hope you have lots of fights, just lots of, um, hugs.

    Think I'll go back to just being a lurker now.

  26. I adore this post. I'm of the "watch out when she gets very, very quiet" branch.

  27. I love this post! You option b is the same as mine. Tonight I hurled a baby gate at the wall. Sleep deprived and hubby gave the leftovers from dinner to the dog. Don't mess with an exhausted womans food. Never ends well.

    You made me feel less horrible about my momentary crazy.

  28. While I don't recall ever throwing furniture at my husband, I can sympathize with the whole "going batsh*t crazy" while mad. I usually punch things - walls, furniture, not people. While screaming. And crying. I have never quite gotten the passive part of "passive aggressive". :) But like you, I am blessed with a husband who loves me enough to put up with the crazy. Which shows just how crazy some guys really are! ;)

  29. I have to say I'm not much of an arguer, and I'm bad with conflict. I've not done throwing of things that I remember, but I do have memories of bopping people who annoyed me on the head with my (hard, plastic) recorder when I was younger (I'm talking under 10 or so younger here). Thankfully for anyone I argue with now I've grown out of that one.

    Also, you tell an excellent story.

    One more thing, I have a link to share of something that combines geeky and pretty. Not sure you've seen it, but pretty chainmail jewellery. It's someone I vaguely know who runs it and she did say there's quite a bit of stuff to go up too.

  30. My fiance and I rarely argue because you need a butcher's knife of an insult to get under his skin and he has the longest fuse on record. Me, I overthink things. I think about what I'm mad at him about, then I realize something that he'd retaliate with about me that he doesn't agree with, I realize he's right (before any words have been exchanged, mind you!) and I'm defeated and I never bring it up at all. The only thing we actively disagree on is what sports teams to cheer for and neither of us watches sports anyway, so it's rather a mute point.

  31. Not ONLY can I not effectively argue any point I ever make (even though I'm an actress, a teacher, and theatrical director so you'd think I'd be amazing with words) with my man, I laugh. Yes, LAUGH, when I'm mad....as a ginger Irishwoman anyways, my temper rears its ugly head many a day....and it only kicks my Bee-Otch factor sky high when my man laughs cause I'm laughing! *facepalm*

  32. I'm a 'i'm so mad I'm crying' person too... but I have option B as well...
    Actually, I have 3 levels -
    1 -I'm angry 'growling under my breath' mode
    2 - I'm furious 'angry tears' mode

    and 3 - 'I'm p!ssed and throwing anything and everything within reach if you don;t get out of my face' mode.

    mode number three is rare but the act of throwing something ( especially if it breaks) can be REALLY good :) I think every one needs to gather every pillow and rolled up sock in the house once a month and take them all into a room with nothing breakable... and then just start whipping the things around. It you have someone to join you for a massive pillow/sock war... go for it :D

  33. I am the type of person that takes months to truly get angry about something. I'm usually very easy going and don't really care much but when I do get mad watch out! I have thrown a very large mag light flashlight and a telephone at my husbands head. Luckily he has awesome reflexes and the only thing hurt was my window and bedroom wall! I love knowing I'm not the only person who gets this mad at their spouse!

  34. I bang spatulas on the kitchen counter. I makes a lot of noise, and in order to stop the noise, the hubby gives up on the argument! (Ok, I've only done that twice!)

    Side notes: Newlywed, and marriage is not all cuddling, etc. Don't even remember WHY we fought, but I ended up on his office floor in the fetal position begging for an annulment so we could "live in sin because sin is easy" Oops!

  35. I throw board game pieces, when I lose and decided that he is being overly mean in winning.
    However as I often reiterate afterwards I never throw them that hard.

    But mainly when we have actual disagreements outside of board games I tend to start by bringing up whatever is upsetting me, unfortunately at this point he gets so upset that he has upset he turns so pathetic that I feel bad for ever bringing it up, and that effectively puts an end to that.

    I swear he has totally stolen what should be my role in any argument, sigh.

  36. I also cry. But in a scary way. I glare, clench my fists, growl...all the while drooling and snotting in my tearful anger. Maybe punch a mattress or two. While screaming to myself...because I've walked away.
    Thanks for being so honest with us Jen, I love reading your posts that tell us about the real you. That are also burst-out-in-fits-of-laughter hilarious. You rock.


  37. You're all a bunch of abusers who need lots and lots of anger management therapy.

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    Note: Therapeutic advice may be harmful to your mental health, RO is unlicensed, untrained, and pretty much gets his advice from the late eighties sit-com pop-psychology he was exposed to as a child. It was good enough for Alex P. Keaton, it's probably good enough for you!

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  38. I'm beginning to think that I'm the only guy that reads this blog.

  39. I also have a husband that I absolutely adore, but sometimes we argue. He's not very good at it. He doesn't participate. The only time I ever really wanted to throw something at him was at the dinner table with all the kids present. Obviously this was a bad idea, but I had to do something before I exploded. So, I smiled, got ready to flee, and threw my cup of water over his head. This ended up in a massive water fight in the kitchen with the kids in shock and both of us drenched and laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. The tension in the house magically disappeared and we ended up having a great (wet) night.

  40. This is awesome. Most people would not confess to going BSC in a fight. I, too, have 2 modes. The first is irritatingly calm and smug which makes Hubby even more irritated. The second is BSC.

  41. Jen,

    Thank you for the laugh! My hubby and I rarely, and I truly do mean rarely ever argue, but the two most memorable (and hilarious ones)involved him throwing a 5 gallon bucket of water which he was attempting to pour into one of our fish tanks, we now debate how many times it bounced and how many towels it took to clean up all the water. And the other happened while we were eating in a public outdoor restaurant and I couldn't loose it too badly, but I did fling my sunglasses across the table in an attempt to look intimidating....yeah, he laughed at me.

    Glad to hear things always end in hugs! Keep the laughs coming. Love both your blogs, and read them everyday.

  42. Ah! I'm really glad about this post, like someone else said, because we're all human at the end of the day. Glad to know you are, too, Jen! ;)
    What about getting mad a siblings? My best angry-throw ever was throwing the cat at my brother. The cat caught his legs (which I think were bare), and held on tightly with her claws while gravity pulled her down to the ground. Great cat! I think my brother had scars from it.
    I'm also very lucky to have a boyfriend, too, who doesn't laugh at my stupidity when angry. And I often think about this when I am angry.... "Man, I sound like a fool, thank goodness he's not laughing at me..."
    Thanks for sharing this story!

  43. It's nice to know that you're very human, Jen!
    Probably the funniest fight I remember was one when I was about 12 years old. My mother was pissed, and I mean PISSED at me. She was usually a crazy yeller, but this time, she was just DONE, and she said "Krista, you are a PAIN in my ASS. P-A-N."
    Yep, she spelled PAN. We were sitting at the dinner table, and me, being me, said, of course, "Pan? I'm a pan in your ass?"
    Thankfully she didn't kill me in that instant, but rather laughed, and so did my dad, who had been holding his breath the entire time...

  44. Okay, my turn. After we got married we had some ridiculous fights, mostly due to "escalation." (What our Preparing for Marriage mentors called it. We got very familiar with this.)

    One fight escaladed to the point where I rolled my eyes and hubsters was yelling at me for rolling my eyes. I yelled back that I *didn't* roll my eyes, I looked up! And then we just glared at each other and after a moment we both started laughing. I told him that if the worst thing he wife does is roll my eyes at him, then he really shouldn't complain.

    So now we have this inside joke where we roll our eyes at each other and say "I didn't roll my eyes, I looked up!"

  45. I am defintely the throwing type. Years ago when my husband and I were only 20, we got into a fight that resulted in him ripping my Jr. prom dress (I was saving that forever and ever) and I threw a plate of spaghetti and meatballs frisbee style right at him. We laughed the next day as we both cleaned spaghetti off the walls ceiling and floors of our apartment. Months later a meatball was found behind the couch. Good times.

  46. @ anony at 10:14 - I promise, you're *not* the only guy who reads this blog. You guys just aren't as talkative in the comments as us girls. So hey, represent with pride! ;)

  47. I remember the one time I got so angry I threw something at hubby. I grabbed our toaster and flung it across our kitchen at him (it was an apartment, so not very impressive) and when that missed it made me even MORE mad so I threw a bunch of bananas at him, then proceeded to stomp on them. LOL to this day whenever I get angry he asks me if I'm going to banana dance. I guess he's a keeper, hehe.

  48. When I get mad I whine a lot.

    Imagine a sound that combines nails on a chalkboard and a yowling cat.

  49. I probably shouldn't show you this but...... I spotted this via Regretsy and thought of you:

    Steampunk watch

  50. I also have 2 basic argument settings; there is the passive aggressive, and then there is the emotional off switch.

    The emotional off switch tends to be my go to move because no one expects to be arguing with someone who just sits there with a straight face and gives yes or no answers. Then says are you done? and walks away.

  51. In my family of origin the goal is to needle the opponent until they break down into a raving lunatic. Then you get to say that they belong in a nuthouse and that means you won! My X-husband also favored this type of argument.

    Now I have enough self esteem to stand toe to toe with my husband (figuratively as he is over six feet tall to my 4'11) eyes blazing as I passionately expound on why I am right. And then we go fulfill our spousal duties because we get really excited when arguing. I like this way better.

  52. *giggles* The weasle wibble wobble

    Hubb and I argue from time to time, though usually it's over something we can't describe. I've got a very visual geared mind and he's got a very math driven one. I don't really call our normal,"you just aren't getting it" drama's fights though.

    There have only been one or two in our marriage. {7 years next month}
    And both ended with him needing to take a drive. That's how we go from in each other's faces mad to calm again. When he comes back, things are good. Well not good, but better. Were past the throwing things level for sure.

    I do have lots of nice aerodynamic things in my house I could throw......but I'd rather not. I couldn't throw my chairs if I tried. Silly heavy things they are.

    As for the zombie reflex, I used to be able to do that, quite well actually. I used it when being talked to by my parents. Lectures are harder to give when your child is looking at you like that. *chuckles*

    Thank you for the laughs, your posts always make my day brighter.
    EkioArt {ekioart.etsy.com}

  53. Ahh, nothing says love like flying objects. I have a few phases of arguments.
    1) Silent treatment where I just go to bed and sleep off the mad. If disturbed I state simply I have no desire to speak to him at this time and I put a pillow over my head.
    2) Do you really want to go there? I calmly say, Think really hard about if you want to start this, I'm ready to roll.
    3) Madly scrub and clean the entire house. Which is cause for concern and an instant conference between hubby and kids to try and figure out who screwed up.
    4) That's right, I said it and I'll say it again! It all comes out, usually with loads of sarcasm and voice raised on certain words to stress my point. Like, Yeah, that garbage can is just going to grow legs and walk itself right out the front door. It's been doing that for years!

  54. First off, this post was hilarious, and I loved all the stories shared in the comments. Nice to know we're all human here. :)

    I'm generally not the yelling type, and I tend to avoid confrontation like the plague. I'm a very patient person (ask anyone in my family) but there are times when someone manages to get on my very last nerve and I just lose it. Loudly. According to my generally fearless younger sister, the sight of tiny me (5'2" and just barely not skinny) getting up in somebody's face is terrifying. I never throw things or attempt to hit people (at least, it's been a loooong time since I've done anything like that) but I do tend to bang my head against something and/or find some inanimate (and preferably inexpensive) object to mangle. The so-mad-I'm-yelling part usually doesn't last long, mostly because two minutes in I'm also crying, which makes even talking difficult. Generally takes a while for the tears to stop, though, but once I've got all that out of my system I'm fine.

  55. I got ticked off at my husband while I was putting together a hutch in our bathroom. Elbowed the wall in anger, and now there's a huge dent. Oops!

  56. I hit DefCon 1 once while 8 months pregnant. Me + bedrest pregnant + DH comment about messy house after playing golf = objects going airborne. As Velma Kelly would say,"he had it comin". No worries though, he survived the incident, albeit a wiser, quieter man.

  57. When I was about 4 months pregnant, I got so mad at my husband I picked up my bottle of prenatal vitamins and hurled it at his head. Lucky for him that his years in the military have made his reflexes razor-sharp, because if he wouldn't have ducked as quickly as he did, the bottle would have gotten him square between the eyes. Best part of the whole thing: since I was so so crazy preg-motional, the second the bottle hit the ground I burst into hysterical tears.

  58. I love this comment group today! It's like a free-for-all, confession group therapy session for hostile/aggressives, of which I am one too.

    I've been trying to tame the enraged, want-to-break-things mode I fall into when I get really, really angry, because I scare myself sometimes. I'm a different person when my temper flares. And my husband is such a calm, go-with-the-flow kind of dude that it drives me even more crazy when he holds it together and wants to talk it out, which I never feel like doing. But later, when I'm thinking clearly, that's one of the things I love the most about him. I mean, one of us has to stay sane, right?

    So, am I the only one who locks herself in the bathroom for a sob-fest party of one?

  59. Oh, thank the good lord. There's someone out there who fights like me AND hasn't been incarcerated, either.
    (A hint for future fights: never, NEVER throw a bowl full of oatmeal. It leaves a trail from the time it leaves your hand until the time it shatters against the far wall, and that stuff is hard to scrub out of the Christmas tree.)

  60. Luckily, I'm in a very healthy relationship with very little in the way of dispute. In the six years we've been together, I can only remember 3 serious fights. Two of which were mostly me. *Shifty eyes*

    My first stage of argument is the stalking-around-silently-like-raving-death thing. It's sort of my way of saying, "yeah, I'm pissed, ask me about it, I dare you." My boyfriend usually lets me stalk around like that for a few hours; his reaction to arguments is to completely ignore the conflict. When unavoidable, he responds in one word answers. Needless to say, that just infuriates me even more, and I progress to stage two:

    Batsh*t Crazy. On one notable occasion, I barricaded him out of the bedroom with the dresser and a four-foot cement sculpture of a giraffe. Most memorably though, there was one time he said he would buy lightbulbs, but when I got home from work he was playing video games with the next door neighbor, hadn't gotten them, and refused to go do it. I went totally out of my mind, unplugged the playstation, screamed some truly horrible obscenities, and retreated to the bedroom. There I proceeded to scream and throw things any time he set foot in the room for several hours. In between bouts of pathetic blubbering, of course, because I'm a cryer.

    I still don't know why I overreacted so badly, but "lightbulbs" has become a pretty fun code word for angry. When ever I start to get irritated, he offers to buy me some lightbulbs and suddenly we're both laughing.

  61. So glad you, Jen, and you readers shared your human moments! I tend to freeze the offender out until I've moved on; hubs is the all-or-nothing one in our house. It's mostly nothing but he's done the full on tantrum (no flying furniture though, just lots of stomping and red, scrunched-face screaming).
    Thanks for clarifying on "short", btw - definitely thought you meant short chairs. Maybe John should invest in some dollhouse furniture to keep around just in case...

  62. Won't you tell us the cause of this obviously immensely important argument? Was it which Hogwarts house each incarnation of the doctor would be in? This is one of the most common causes of discussion in my household.

  63. Whenever I'm angry, I kinda just go dead silent and start plotting what I will do to who/whatever I'm angry at in my head. I never actually do anything, but hey, it works.

  64. My parents once had a huge fight that ended with my mother throwing the potatoes she was preparing for dinner at him. It was so funny, both of my parents forgot what they were fighting about and broke down laughing.
    My father also once shut my mother in a closet to keep her from storming out of the house.
    In the end, it's the people who have these huge fights that stay together. They don't hold in the anger and are able to solve their problems.

  65. I look forward to photos of the new steam-powered chair-throwing robot in the dining room.

  66. Thanks for sharing this, Jen. You and John are awesome!
    My parents are going on 45 years of marriage. It has always been their practice to follow a Bible verse from Ephesians: "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Whatever disagreement they were "discussing" they made sure to make peace before bedtime. I love that I never went to bed knowing Mom and Dad were still mad at each other.

  67. I'm a silent angry person. Passive aggression in overtime. Clinking silverware, slamming laptops, clenching jaw. But when I do talk I do so in an explicitly sarcastic way.

    "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to inconvenience you. Here. Let me step aside and let you do whatever is obviously way more important that whatever petty thing that I was trying to do, is."

    I also don't suppress my farts. I do get gassy when upset.

  68. I am usually a crier. however i do get the need to throw things at times of intense frustration or anger (option B). but i throw pillows. and accourding to my hubby yes they do hurt. but they dont break anything when i miss.

  69. OK, I have to comment. Once, way back when, I had a parent come into my classroom and start berating and complaining and generally making herself a royal pain. This scenario becomes a bit more complicated when you take into account that I have known her for decades, work with her husband (a fellow teacher), and she was not a parent of a child in my class. And I was menstruating.

    Needless to say, she stepped over the line with her verbal barfing, I verbally reamed her a new orfice without actually swearing, and threw her out of my (empty, after school) classroom. Then I slammed the door, picked up a kid's chair, and flung the sucker all the way across the room (bouncing off desks and knocking stuff over, but not actually breaking anything). Picture a sobbing primal shout accompanying the flung furniture. The janitor briefly stuck his head in and I barked, "I'M FINE." at him without even a question, and he beat a hasty retreat. Needless to say my wonderful principal came in to talk me off the cliff, the husband of the woman I offended by chucking out came to berate me for treating his wife rudely, and my principal took my side and let me hide in her office until my eyes stopped bulging from my sockets. I don't throw things often but that was epic.

  70. I once got super mad and kicked a hole in the wall of military housing (and subsequently had my first lesson in drywall repair). Once I recovered from the shock, I vowed to never give in to the impulse to anything that might cause permanent damage. These days I don't usually get so steamed (I'm single now-not a result of the kicking incident, however)these days, but when I do, I break out the cleaner and scouring sponge and hit the shower. Not nearly as much fun as kicking or throwing things, but better on my environment.
    Thanks for sharing Jen!

  71. Note to self...
    don't p!ss off any of the other Epbot readers....
    or Jen for that matter.

    Worst fight DH and I have had was a few years ago. Can't really remember what the fight was about, but he stormed off to bed without eating the dinner I had just put on the table.
    So I fed it to the dogs...
    An hour or so later when we'd made up, he says "Oh babe, I'm starving. I'm sorry I stormed off and didn't eat what you cooked for me. Is it in the fridge?"
    The look on his face was priceless when I told him that I'd fed it to the dogs. Needless to say, after a vegemite sandwich for dinner, and the dogs looking at him smugly because they scored the chicken kiev, he's never stormed off and refused dinner since :)

  72. I love love love this post. I have a similar argument style. :0) (BWT...I notice the BlogHer event banner says "By now and save $100.00" Erm...)

  73. OMG you have to look at <a href="http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/unusual-computer-mice-you-probably-havent-seen-before/:>this site</a>, they have a Steampunk mouse for the computer!!

  74. I can't believe that in over 72 comments, not one person has posted a concern that, gee whiz, throwing things and resorting to violence is not okay. Really people? I mean, switch the genders and see if it's okay. Would you think it's funny if a husband hurled a chair (or at least attempted to) at his wife? Or punched her in the kidneys? And all these people saying how relieved they are that they're not the only violent spousal abuser?! Look, violence is bad m'kay. You shouldn't do it. And just 'cuz you're a girl, and you've been taught that you can't really hurt a big strong man, and it's cute and feisty when you're violent, doesn't mean it is. Violence is violence, and you should stop it. And if you can't, go see a counselor.

  75. Oh My this one has computer cases one is R2D2!!! Awesome!

  76. I find slamming wooden doors repeatedly to be very effective in getting peoples away from me when I have a serious case of THE MADS.
    Plus I can not break any important furniture of hurt the cats in my mega hissy fit.

    Try it, you might like it. And it can not stand up in court...

  77. Hey, work the bat-sh*t crazy mode! In fact, It's the only one I have! Note the nickname...... it was lovingly bestowed upon me by my dearest significant other as a testement to both my monumental black hair, and teh fact that I have the arguing styl of an eraged Azakaban escapee.
    But....Hmmm.....chairs. Now that's something I might try. Though i tend for the vases. I tend to keep a stock of cheap vases on hand for throwing when I'm going on a murdurous ranpage.Give 'em a try?

  78. Ha! I'm sure my significant other would appreciate the coma state. However, I am a volatile mess! And I box... fortunately (for him) he's a cop AND does jui jitsu. So, he can block most of my punches :-D

  79. *sob*
    That's the story of love, man. Right there.

  80. I never usually post a comment, but I had to here because I know just how you feel - my hubby and I usually fight like that (me deploying silent treatment, him pretending not to notice) except for one rip roaring shouting match years ago when I decided to emphasize my point by throwing dishes. Except all my dishes were Corell, and bounced harmlessly off the tile floor. The absurdity of me hammering a plate against the counter repeatedly finally had us laughing hard enough to forget what the fight was about in the first place.

  81. My husband and I are the same way. We rarely fight, but when we do, Oh MAN it's *ON*!!

    It tends to last maybe 15 minutes tops. I've even flat-out laughed in the middle of it sometimes, saying "Why are we doing this?!" because it's so rare, and in the abstract, kinda funny.

    Never thrown anything though! I guess I'll have to work on that. ;)

  82. Absolutely hilarious, I love that I can relate to a complete stranger so well!!!! My hubby thought it was "cute" when I got mad until the day I went bat sh*t crazy and my keys went flying at his head

  83. Jen- off topic, but this woman makes beautiful things!

  84. As much as I don't want to say this, but, that post was hilarious. Mostly because I related so SO closley. However my tantrum days are mostly over since it was during pregnancy that I had the tendancy to lobb objects at my husband who would simply dodge them by moving slowly to the side or not moving at all, since I can't seem to aim well during anger and hormones. I'm so glad you can joke about it! We joke about it every time we remember my being pregnant with our son... though I almost hit him in the forehead with my ring... so close!

  85. As bad as it is that we're all united in this anger, I've got to say it's not to be alone. Single now, but when I was with my long-term boyfriend, our fights would get ridiculous. I've got two styles: the cold, painfully sarcastic insults (think Severus Snape in a normal mood) stage, and then the screaming my head off, likely crying, still brilliant insults (think Snape going apoplectic at Fudge in the third book). Both were exacerbated by the fact my ex would alternate between calm, talking-me-down mode, to suddenly screaming right back at me.

    Never thrown anything, but with my first ex, I gave him a nice shiner after he broke my nose. I was proud of that one.

  86. Oh Jen (and other commenters), how do you know when I need to hear these things the most? I really needed to read this today.

    I used to have a horrid temper, stemming from my mother's Irish side. It was mainly because my mother and I would have "Shi*t hit the ceiling fan" fights.
    I've since mellowed and now let her rant and yell, but I no longer yell back as I found it to be unproductive and never made me feel better. But when I played flute, back in middle school, I used to vent my anger by banging it on my music stand so hard that it was no longer straight. Luckily I didn't have to pay for repairs because I "dropped it". :P
    My temper has mellowed and I tend to lock myself in the bathroom or closet to stew and cry until my hubby comes in and hugs me and talks it out with me. Every once in awhile I get the urge to run away, which is to say, run around the block to put my anger into the pavement. Hubby doesn't like me doing that, as he is afraid I won't come back, and either pulls a John and holds me or goes with me.

    It's nice to know we're not all alone in our tempers and frustrations. :)

  87. On rare occasions I have been known to in a fit of rage throw things, specifically my cell phone, not at anyone but at the wall. Every time I have done this boyfriend comments on how I need to control my anger and not throw things. He always would express such disappointment for my behavior and would tell me how it felt to watch someone freak-out.

    So, during one particular fight boyfriend decided to show me what it was like to witness the rage of someone throwing something. So in his infinite wisdom he picked up a plastic tray of mini cupcakes all adorned with colorful confetti and threw it across the kitchen. There was a split second where time had frozen and I could tell as the tray left his hand he had instantly regretted it. We then both watched in amazement as tiny cupcakes flew out of the tray leaving behind their colorful confetti as they soared through the kitchen in many different directions. Since his plan had backfired so horrifically the aftermath was comical to me but not to him. I could barely contain my laughter as I tried to help him clean up the mess. There was frosting and little confetti everywhere, on the ceiling, under the couch (yes some rolled into the living room). It was so bad that when we moved out of that apartment into our current place) we were still finding stray confetti.

    We look back on that day and laugh hysterically and refer to it as the great cupcake incident.

    I have still been known to occasionally hurl my phone into the wall…but boyfriend has since embraced it and has stopped trying to teach me lessons.

  88. I laughed so freakin hard reading this, even my 2.5er asked "What funny, Mommy?? What readin??" (btw, this same child loves looking at CW with me, bc she loooooves cake, and I love your commentary.)

    Thank you for sharing your flimsy chair throwing skills with us! One time, many moons ago...when we were oh so young, my now husband, put his fist through my then rented town home's bedroom door-- he then peeped his head through the hole he made and said sheepishly, "oops. I didn't mean to do that." We both broke out into laughter...I then apologized for running his phone over with my car. lolz.



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