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I'm So Mad I Can't See Straight

Plinky Prompt: When's the last time you lost your temper in public?

This is a very common problem in my family (siblings not spouse). In fact, I grew up with the threat of a public displays of aggression (PDA) looming over my head. When your family is prone to yelling at complete strangers you learn to work in a certain way. You avoid long lines, large groups, traffic, persons of authority... the list could go on and on.

I hate PDA's and am proud to say that I can't remember the last time I actually had one.

Unless of course you count those times I've lost it on my children at Wal-Mart. Like when Vicbowin went to look for a toy she wanted to buy and the Mischievite took off after her without even pausing for my "No." I don't consider those PDA's though. They're more like PDP's (public display of parenting).

I'll tell you a story of an odd PDA that happened some years back when I was living with my brother.

Star Wars #1 had just come out and my brother, his wife and I were standing in line for an opening day Matinee. We had to get there extra early to make sure we were at the front of the line. I was conciously aware of the situation I had put myself into by standing in a long line with one of my siblings when some guy tried to shimmy his way in front of us.

It was one of those 'I'll save you a place in line' scenario's where one person goes first and ten more show up later. Annoying but definitely not worth spoiling your movie for.

My brother thought otherwise and loud voices ensued. My sister-in-law and I were tense with anticipation and my stomach did flips inside my body. We tried the laughing technique--you laugh off the tension--but that didn't seem to work. We tried the coxing tecnique, only to have our arms shoved away. We were about to give in to the inevitable throwing of punches when the lady behind us piped up.

"It's amazing how the moon can make people so angry." She offered.

Everyone paused, including my brother and the large bald man he was gesticulating with.

The lady went on as if we all knew exactly what she was talking about. "Whenever the moon gets aligned with Venus and Pluto like this the air becomes tense. A lot of fights are reported during spacial phases like this one."

Crickets chirped. Pins dropped.

"Oh." I said.

"It's really fascinating don't you think?" She asked me--her fellow astrologer.

"Yes. Very fascinating." I said, not sure whether I wasn't willing to head to the back of the line.

Bald, angry man rolled his eyes and turned to face the front of the line. My sister-in-law stepped between my brother and him. The lady behind us smiled in satisfaction.

I stood there dumbfounded and reeling from the sudden change of emotions.

I don't even really remember the movie we went on to watch, but I have a clear image in my mind of what that lady looked like.

Yet, whatever her motivation I'm grateful for her ability to save the situation before it deteriorated any further.

I'm also grateful that I didn't marry an angry man. In fact my man rarely displays any emotion... he's like a rock buried in the road of emotions. It's very nice going to see a movie with him, or having him deal with people who are prone to PDA's. Maybe that's one of the reasons I married him.

Note: This is in no way a blog post slamming my brother. I adore my brother. I hope he realizes that I meant no offense to him... or any of my siblings.

Comments

That lady reminds me of Luna from the Harry Potter books. How funny she was talking about the moon... (Luna-moon)
Ivy said…
That's soooo funny!!
Gr8Life said…
That is really hilarious
The old "divert attention strategy" how clever to use it on adults I have only ever done that to my children and had some mixed results.
Lisa said…
What an awesome technique! I would have loved to see what was going through her head when she spoke up! :) How kind of a stranger to help diffuse the tension! :)
Saimi said…
At least she was tactful with her approach. I might have not been pleasant. I don't get mad or angry, but I do have a slight tendency to be sarcastic in not such a tactful manner.
nightowlang said…
My boys act CARRAAAAZZZY when there is a full moon out. Like tonight, for example, bed time was a nightmare. It's like their PMS time or something. Anyone who says their is no correlation with the moon and behavior has never been to my house. :)

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