I Can Do the Twist

I stayed up late into the night editing photos (I even dream about Photoshop now), and I had a hard time getting started this morning. Some potentially confrontational emails arrived, and I put off reading them because I just could not face the day.

It’s weird: I’m basically a confrontational person, and while slow to anger, I’ve got irritability down to a science. For much of my life, I had no trouble telling people what I thought about them or their actions, but I’ve also been very good at withdrawing when I just can’t be bothered. Both of these skills served me in good stead growing up as one of five boys in a raucous Italian family, but I can’t seem to master their practical application in the adult world. My last relationship probably could have been saved by more constant honesty and the careful application of some knock-down drag-out explosions, but my ex-boyfriend avoided these things at all costs and had such a phobia of confrontation that he was afraid to call up and question a credit card bill. At one point, I resorted to saying with phony casualness but utter sincerity, “Let’s play a game. You say one thing you don’t like about me, and then I’ll say one thing I don’t like about you,” but he said that it would upset him too much to hear anything negative about himself, so I dropped the entire project. Rob isn’t confrontational, either, and while I have for the sake of harmony largely mirrored this approach in our relationship, I have also terrified him by unleashing a couple of furious hurricanes. (My other ex, Erich, used to say I was “stormy,” which explains that particular image.)

Since I started my business and noticed that even a casual, but honest, comment from me can cause months of consternation in people I don’t mean to offend, I realize I have more often kept things to myself in that arena, too. There have been times I’ve secretly relished the occasion to go nuclear on someone’s ass, but that has usually occurred behind closed doors or in the stark white land of email. I thought perhaps that I was losing my edge, a feeling that was confirmed this morning when I saw two potential nastygrams waiting in my box and completely avoided them.

But then I did some other work, took Goblin for a walk, and most importantly, moisturized . . . and started feeling my old self. I read the emails, classified only one as nasty, and summoned in response, from the depths of my soul, a powerfully icy indignation that has stopped traffic, demolished buildings, and inspired legions of professionals to commit ritual suicide.

Heh heh heh heh.

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