Tuesday, February 23

Temper, temper

I did not get a good start on the day.

I woke up to a very insistently hungry cat. (We're trying to keep her food out only for short periods of time, to avoid attracting more roaches, especially after all the work I did.)

As I made my way to the kitchen to get her container of food, I killed a big, fat roach. I also saw that Tim hadn't taken out the trash. I asked him to do it right as I went to bed. I hadn't wanted it to stay so full, lest it attract more bugs.

I was stewing about that -- and wiping up the remains of the roach -- when I caught another, much smaller one. That's when I noticed that Tim had left two peanut-butter laden knives in the sink.

Now, chances are, those roaches would have been there anyway -- even without the trash or the knives. While Tim was gone, I would still catch a bug or two a day. And that was when I kept the trash level low and the sinks clear of dishes.

But my rational brain hadn't turned on. (Yes, we're operating on the assumption that it ever does.) I was tired and mad. I didn't have room to consider Tim's ADD or basic exhaustion. (The bed at his parents' house is not remotely conducive to rest.) I was just thinking about all the work that had gone into getting ready for the exterminators: how far it had set me back to stage the apartment and then put everything back.

So I threw on some scrubs, snarled something at a half-conscious Tim, and took out the trash, slamming the front door for good measure.

I came back slightly mollified, if still irritated. Then I heard some crackle loudly as I stepped in the apartment. There, face-down on the floor, was one of the 8"x10" prints Tim had picked up on our honeymoon. It had fallen when I slammed the door shut. The glass was demolished.

Talk about a reality check! Over two cockroaches, some peanut butter and an overly full trash, I almost destroyed something of great sentimental value to Tim. I realized I had once again overreacted to a situation.

Luckily, it was a cheap frame. It will be easy to replace, and he might even get a nicer setting out of it. But the whole incident reminded me about the high cost of my temper.

I'm not saying that I was wrong to be frustrated; and this probably won't cure me of overreacting in the future. It is, however, a wonderful example of just how un-frugal it is to have a short fuse.

A bad temper can lead to car accidents and fights (with corresponding medical bills). It can lead to strained inter-employee relations, which cost you raises and other professional advancement. It can lead to physical ailments, which cost money to treat. Or it can just lead you to break things -- purposefully or otherwise -- that you then have to replace.

What has your temper cost you recently?

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Blogger paranoidasteroid said...

I think this post illustrates sort of what my temper costs me - I have been known to throw things if I get mad enough. So far I haven't broken anything too bad.

I think really what my temper does is cause stress. I'll overreact, but once that's over I have to feel like an ass while I apologize, and then carry that guilt with me for weeks afterwards.

February 23, 2010 at 3:27 PM


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