Cause You Had a Bad Day

November 22, 2010

While mood swings are stereotypically attributed to pregnant women and to girls on their periods (in which case I like to call them “doom swings”) I’m not immune to having my own periods (wow a pun in the first sentence, good job me) of teenage angst.

I’m a pretty happy person; I let things slide off my back and it’s very rare that I let any irritation bother me. You’ll almost never catch me in a bad mood. However there is an exception, and its nature eludes me.

Yesterday was an average Saturday; I slept in until 12, went to lunch, did a bit of homework, listened to music, went to dinner, showered, put new clothes on and partied with my friends. It was a good day and a great night.

This morning, however, was ass. I woke up feeling gross, I had a headache and awful morning breath, and everyone had gone to breakfast without me, so I quickly fell got out of bed and had to throw on whatever clothes I could find before walking down to the dining hall, in the cold, by myself. When I finally got inside I was so out of it that I swore I was still dreaming. I walked into four different people while navigating to find our table, and instead of giving them the standard “Oh sorry!” I walked right past them silently as if they weren’t there, unable to will myself to speak. I couldn’t remember what people were supposed to eat for breakfast so I just got steak and pepperoni pizza, adding some blue Powerade to help cure my ailing “headache”. Everyone at the table was talking, but I couldn’t form words or contribute to the conversation. My dream-like feeling lingered. After lunch when I was back in my room I tried to improve my mood in the usual way, by mercilessly slaughtering the Covenant armada.

And then, when even Halo couldn’t cheer me up, I knew it was going to be one of those days.

Despite my overall record of sweet dispositions (hi Jess) once every month or so I’ll have a day where I just absolutely cannot get happy. Today was one of those days. Granted it was one of the lighter bad mood days I’ve had, like a 5 out of 10. But believe me, I’ve had 10’s.

I may have encountered some minor disappointments before breakfast, but honestly I felt like shit the moment I woke up. Those little things just piled extra weight on my already sinking attitude. On any other day they would’ve seemed like nothing to me, but on this specific day, the fact that everyone had left for breakfast without me made me feel worthless. I told myself to get over it, but of course there was no escaping the inevitable terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day that lay before me.

The hours dragged on much in the ways I thought they would, every little out-of-place thing irking me and firing the neurons in my brain that control baby-punching.

It took me a full 12 hours to get over my bad mood; a mixed prescription of music and texting finally brought me around. But this bad day was only a 5, and it made me hate everything. I’m worried that the next one will be the perfect storm and I’ll do something terrible, like call someone an asshole.

I’d feel so bad if I called someone an asshole.

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My Aggression

August 9, 2010

A friend once asked me why I don’t yell when I’m angry.

The first thing I should point out is how extremely difficult it is to make me angry. I’m pretty emotionally stable; I have more patience than a lot of people and I let things roll off my back rather than let them get to me. So if you ever do see me angry, you’re in a very small club. But I digress…

I don’t yell when I’m angry because there’s no reason to. I yell when I need my voice to be louder, like when I’m talking to a group or to someone far away. Yelling when you’re mad just makes everything scary, which is unnecessary.

My dad once tried to motivate me to hit my brother back for hitting me.

I didn’t. I was far too upset over being hit and I didn’t like the idea of hurting someone out of revenge. Also, my brother used to be bigger than me.

I always thought I was incapable of aggressive behavior, that I was 100% restrained by fact that I never wanted to see anything come to harm. This thought manifested over the years and climaxed during a visit to a wrestling club.

At this wrestling club, there was a rubber bust of a large muscular meathead-looking guy, which was clearly there to practice wrestling moves on. His face was contorted into a threatening sneer, a face so vile you would want to put all your effort into making it feel pain. I went to go punch it, jokingly, and when my fist came close to making contact it stopped, suddenly. I didn’t try to hold back my punch because I knew consciously that the rubber man wasn’t real, but my instinct would not let me attack him.

I paused, and then later was gripped by a sudden fear: “Am I incapable of violence? Can I really not hit that stupid rubber guy? What if I get attacked someday and I’m not able to fight back? What if my family’s in danger and I just sit there?” This moment occupied my thoughts for several months, and I continued to wonder what would actually happen if I was called upon to physically defend someone.

In my second semester at UMass my fears were alleviated. I was at a Ludacris concert (yep) standing in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, in between two groups of large muscular people. Drunk Bro #1 was talking to Drunk Ho #1 (behind me) about how Drunk Bro #2’s (in front of me) Red Sox hat looked like one that their friend ‘lost’. They kept talking about it, convincing themselves in their drunken stupor that this mass-produced hat that Bro#2 was wearing belonged to their friend. Bro#1 reached over me and swiped Bro#2’s hat off his head, saying nothing. Bro #2 turned around and gave a look that I can only compare to the one professional wrestlers give each other when they’re performing. He asked politely but sternly for his hat, to which Bro#1 replied “Hey man you don’t know who you’re messing with bro! Don’t fuck wit’ dis!” and to which Ho#1 replied “YEEEA.”

For the sake of you the reader I’ll skip the next minute or so where the two groups continue to call each other out and say threatening Jersey Shore-esque one-liners. My friends had already backed away, fearing the oncoming brawl. But for some reason, without thinking, I stepped directly in front of the two bros, put a hand on each of them, and told them to calm down, return the hat, and enjoy the concert. I didn’t try to hurt them, but in my gut I could feel that I was in attack mode, completely prepared to duck and charge if one of them took a swing at me. After some last second bro-ish grunts at each other they both stopped and returned to their groups. Crisis avoided!

And so I discovered that although I’m a pacifist normally, in times of danger I do rise to the occasion. It was a comforting realization, and I’m glad to know that even though violence isn’t the answer, it’s at least an option.