Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Quiet Fury

by Lisa Hughey

So I was driving along mentally composing ideas for this topic, thinking about the physiological effects of fury (I’ll get to that later) when I noticed the SUV in front of me had a rainbow shining over the back windshield.


But I continued to drive along, moving onto thinking about another aspect of fury which is the ability of small children to induce a certain level of fury in their mothers. And yet, if you threaten their child, that same mother will turn on you with a ferocity unmatched.

And then, I saw another rainbow on the windshield of a truck coming toward me. Pretty again. Before I can even move on to the next potential slant for my fury post, another rainbow!

Beautiful rainbow picture courtesy of www.climate.met.psu.edu

By now I’m completely distracted because it hasn’t rained here in days, the sun is shining, none of the vehicles are wet. So where are these rainbows coming from? I can’t figure it out. Then I decide I really don’t need to know, I just need to appreciate them. My point being, I’m more about rainbows than fury.

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever get furious.

My kids have been the target of my fury, the red-faced, spittle spewing, so angry you feel like your brain is going to burst right through your skull and splatter all over the walls fury, when they drove me to think brink of craziness. It’s only happened a few times, but I’m here to tell you that I happened to glance in the mirror as I stalked toward my son, screaming, just in case he couldn’t hear my already off the charts decibel level (he’s usually the one inducing me to insaneness) and I looked scary.

My totally East Coast WASP-y upbringing leaves me nearly incapable of expressing fury most of the time. A quiet tightening of my chest until the effort to breathe is in peril and the thud of my pulse in my forehead as my brain struggles to hold in the rush of sheer emotion is usually accomplished with nary a word being uttered. But just because I don’t scream and shout doesn’t mean that underneath my cool, composed appearance I am not seething with fury.

I have a quiet fury. I don’t scream. I don’t throw things-even if I do feel like it. I don’t break things. I don’t cut with mean words. I just...disengage.

Overall, I’m a live and let live person. My first inclination if you do something I don’t like is to wonder why you are having a bad day. I might even ask if everything is okay. I think sometimes I get taken advantage of because I’m so easy going. And by focusing on what is really important (like rainbows), I let a lot of things go. But at some point, and the tip is never the same, I expect to be treated properly and if you’ve tipped over the edge. We’re done.

In the words of the mafia, “You’re dead to me.”

That doesn’t mean I won’t ever talk to you again. Far from it, I will be polite, smile, ask how you are, and as soon as I’ve met my social obligation, I will walk away. And you will never, never, never be my friend again.



Rachael Herron said...

PEOPLE: When Lisa thinks about fury, double rainbows appear. When I need my next kitten, I'm gonna have her think about revenge.

Rachael Herron said...

Also, that last paragraph is great -- what a way to cut: forever. Great post.

Martha Flynn said...

omg I can actually picture Lisa saying that menacingly last paragraph with a smile and a rainbow behind her which is somehow the scariest thing ever

Unknown said...

R--that totally made me laugh. It was seriously weird driving along, thinking about fury, and there were those rainbows. I really wanted someone to cut me off or something but no I got rainbows :)

M--haha :) Good thing you'll never make me that furious

Jane George said...

Mr. Darcy: "My good opinion once lost is lost forever." Manners and social graces FTW.

That's one I had to learn. It seems most direct to simply cut off an offender, but it does prolong the drama, which is a bore.

Your method of social politeness and no more takes the offender's power away while making you blameless for any continuation of hostilities.

And Martha, you crack me up!

Sophie Littlefield said...

love the rainbows, and of *course* they would strategically float themselves over to *your* car :)

Unknown said...

Jane--ha! love being compared to Mr. Darcy. It's so true. It takes a lot for me to lose the good opinion but once it's gone. Forget it. :)

L.G.C. Smith said...

What more evidence could there possibly be that you, Lisa, are the sanest person in the world. You think 'fury,' you get rainbows and go with it. Delightful. Wonderful post. :)

Mysti said...

But what about us clueless barbarians who run around accidentally hurting other people's feelings because we were raised in a barn by wolves?

I guess even at my worst, I wouldn't do something fury-worthy on accident?

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