I’m not angry, I’m annoyed. (Alternate Title: I will break what you love!!!!)

I promise I’ll tell you my big news at the end of this post. PROMISE.

But I’m gonna make you work for it, meaning that you must read this entire blog post without skimming. If you skim or skip over any part of it to get to the good news….or just to get it over with, I will murder a perfectly good pumpkin pie. That’s right, kittens. I make really good pumpkin pie. And if you skip, I will make one, take a picture of it and email it to you. I will then take a picture of myself throwing it in the trash can and email that to you, too.

Ok. No. I will take a picture of myself devouring the entire pie while making taunt-y faces and saying “neener-neener” with my mouth full. Then, I will email that to you. Much better. After all, a pie is a terrible thing to waste.

Men are simple. (Whoa, there, lady. No Segway? You’re not even going to introduce that? No I’m not. Because I don’t have to. Because it’s my blog. Now quit whining or I’ll go waste another pie.)


Ok, stick with me. The average human experiences the following emotions. (There are more, of course, but I’ll spare you the ridiculously long list and stick to the headliners.)

          Anger

          Annoyance

          Happiness

          Excitement

          Boredom

          Frustration

          Dread
          Anxiousness

          Sadness

          Longing
Men are simple in that, while their emotions are powerful and no less real than our own, the color spectrum with which they paint is, well, less psychotic than ours. Which brings me to my main point for today, which is the difference to women between being angry and being annoyed.

For example:

CARTER: Ok, so I know we said we’d talk about it. But I invited a bunch of people over for dinner tonight.

ME: [SILENCE]

CARTER: Babe? Is that ok?

ME: Oh, sure. It’s fine. (Note: To all of you men out there, it is never fine. I repeat: it is NEVER fine.)

CARTER: Ok. I feel like you’re mad at me.

ME: No. I’m not mad.

CARTER: Are you sure? You’re white-knuckling the steering wheel right now and the little vein in your temple is throbbing.

ME: I’m not mad.

CARTER: Oh, good-

ME: I’m just annoyed. (DANGER! DANGER! DANGER, Junior Birdman! )

CARTER: O….K….. I just feel like there’s not much of a difference.

ME: There’s a huge difference, Carter. If I were angry, would I be able to control the volume of my voice like I’m doing now?

CARTER: Um… well… you’re not really controlling it right now as it is.

ME: Yes I am! I am perfectly controlled! I’m not angry. I’m annoyed! I’m annoyed that I work all day and that all I want to do is come home and put on my pajamas and make dinner and watch a movie with you! I’m annoyed that you go ahead and invite 8 people over for dinner without telling me! What are we going to feed them, babe? Hmm? What are we going to feed them? I only bought enough food this week for meals for the two of us! So now we have to turn around and go to the grocery story so that I can buy food to cook for all of these people that I hadn’t planned on coming! So what do you propose we feed them? Hmmm?

CARTER: I don’t know. Maybe you could do that lemon-roasted chicken you make.

ME: Fine.

CARTER: That doesn’t take too long, does it?

ME: About two hours, if you count the prep and baking time together.

CARTER: Oh. Well they’re gonna be at the apartment in like 45 minutes.

ME: [Reall stabby silence]

CARTER: Babe?

ME: [face beginning to twitch uncontrollably]

CARTER: It’s fine. We’ll just order a pizza. We have 2 free pizzas from Papa John’s. Problem solved!

ME: But it’s not solved!

CARTER: Yes it is. I literally just solved it.

ME: No! [wailing now] I can’t have people over for dinner and feed them Papa John’s after you told them I was cooking! They’ll think I’m a failure! You never think of my feelings! You never consider what I want in life! You’re horrible and you don’t love me!

CARTER: Is this really about the people coming over? Because it’s fine.

ME: No, you’re wrong!

CARTER: Ok, I’ll call them and tell them not to come, then.

ME:  NO!!!! You can’t! That’s even worse! Then they’ll think, not only that I’m a horrible wife/terrible human being, but that you’re a rude piece of crap! Which reflects badly on me!

FOR THE WIN.

It’s not his fault, really. Carter’s mother is an incredibly articulate woman, meaning that whenever she was feeling something, she probably articulated it very clearly to the boys so that they could scurry to make amends before Defcon 1 happened. Not so much in my family. We are not a terribly articulate lot of women when we are “feeling” things or on our “lady-time” or when “Oprah’s on.” This means that my poor, saint of a father has had to learn the warning signs by trial by fire. Because let’s face it – we all know that when we say  we’re “annoyed,” we really mean that we are 8 seconds away from clawing at you violently, breaking everything you love, and letting the dog use your open maw as a water dish.

I’ve been told by literally a billion people that the secret to a long and happy marriage is good communication. And I think they’re probably right. My parents don’t always communicate, like when my mom is “annoyed” or they are “out of coffee,” but they make up for it by over-communicating in other areas, so the balance is struck. I need to be better.

For example, the next time I’m feeling “annoyed,” I’ll should just come out and admit that, “No, Carter. I am angry. I’m angry that you ate salt and vinegar Pringles in bed last night while I was asleep and got crumbs in my hair and so now I have to shower even though I’m running late so that I don’t smell like a bag of chips.”  

Or the next time I’m feeling particularly “frustrated,” I’ll need to have the balls to say, “It’s just a little baffling to me that you never have an opinion on what you want me to make for dinner until I’ve already got it in the oven and then all of a sudden you’re bursting with contrary ideas. Maybe I’ll put myself in the oven! Would you like that, babe? Would you? And by the way, NO ONE pronounces it “Por-shuh.” Just say “Porsh” like the rest of us Americans!”

Carter, like my father, is a saint and I don’t deserve him. Because I, like the rest of the women in my family, tend to be a raging crazy-lady when I am:

a) undercaffeinated

b) under-slept (???)

c) completely wrong but in a position where I’ve had such a bad week that admitting I’m wrong would literally kill me so I’m going to argue this point until I am literally blue in the face and Carter has murdered me

d) not caught up on Game of Thrones

But he’s learning. Now, Carter will just ask, “Are you beating this dead horse and insisting you’re right just because you need to be right at this particular moment even though you know you’re wrong and that I’m actually right here? But that because of your hormones or whatever you can’t admit that I’m right and you’re wrong so you will literally argue until one of us has bludgeoned the other repeatedly with a spatula? Am I getting warmer?” And then I’ll imperceptibly nod. And he’ll give. Because he’s a saint like that.

And because he doesn’t want to have to smack me repeatedly with a flip-flop to ward me off as I come at him with the blender. (Because he’s a gentleman.)

What’s the lesson here?

I don’t know that there is one other than choose your mate wisely so that even if you are a ridiculously irrational person, they will still love you.

Also, I should not be allowed near kitchen appliances when angry.  Or annoyed.

And now for my happy news! (See? I’ve not forgotten!)

Apparently, for those who don’t read carefully (*cough* Kara *cough*), it sounded like I had a “big announcement” instead of a big announcement. (Subtle difference, I know. I got a text last night that said: “What’s your news you can’t share?!? R u pregnant?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Ahhhhhhhhhh! I’m going to be an aunt!!!!!!” Nope. Not even a little bit, Kara. Sorry!) 
Rest assured, kittens, you will not have to prepare yourselves for that for a very long time. Because you will need to prepare yourselves. (I think we’ve established that I write about EVERYTHING. And if my body is being inhabited by something that gives me heartburn, makes parts of me leak, and kicks me in the ribs so I think I’m having a heart attack, I think we all know that I will be cataloguing the whole experience in graphic detail. As a gift to my child. So that I can do a dramatic reading of those excerpts at their wedding someday.) So, as I figure it, you’ve got about 5 years to get ready for that craziness. You may want to start stockpiling the chamomile tea and Xanax now.
Ok, so for the real news:

The group of veterans that I met with at the Vietnam Memorial Wall have not only made me an honorary member of their platoon, they have asked me to serve as their historian. I am beyond humbled by their hospitality and acceptance. It is truly an honor to serve in this capacity – to write down their stories and “keep” their history – and I’m not sure what I ever did in life to deserve the opportunity. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this as soon as I’m more certain of my duties and responsibilities. But for now – Squee!!!!

Happy, Beyond-Honored-and-Excited, and Hopefully-Annoyance-Free Wednesday, y’all! 

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Comments:

  1. Amazing news, Kate! And I totally skipped down to the end. Go ahead and murder that pumpkin pie because pumpkin pie sucks. If it had been an apple pie, maybe I would have cared…

  2. This is a great post. I don’t know why anyone would want to skim, though people inevitably do. Fortunately for you, I love pumpkin pie way too much to let that happen.

    I can also be irrational and argue points until I’m blue in the face. And my husband also doesn’t offer opinions on dinner until it’s made, then he says “Oh, we’re having that?” I mean seriously, how hard is it to offer your input before I go to all that effort?

    Anyway, congrats on your good news! You’re going to hear some fascinating stories! That sounds like an amazing opportunity.

    • Thank you! I am not a skimmer when it comes to blogs, but I know a lot of skimmers, so I find it good to threaten them every now and then with the mutilation of baked goods. It’s thus far been fairly effective.

      I’m glad I’m not alone. I am, in general, a freakishly rational person unless I’ve had a really terrible day. Then I am an emotional mess that just want’s Carter to tell me I’m right. It doesn’t matter if I really am or not. Hell, I know I’m probably wrong! But it’s the gesture!

      Thanks for your congratulations! It is such an honor and I’m so excited for the opportunity! 🙂

  3. Wow! That is crazy-awesome big news!!! I am so proud and happy for you!! You are going to do a GREAT job, precisely because you realize how awesome it is. They are lucky to have you. We are lucky to have them. All good.

    I also want to thank you for the tip on appropriate child’s-wedding reading. I have some killer pre-birth letters! “Dear Baby, please come out soon so I can punch you back. love, Mom”

    (My secret to a long and happy marriage is a sense of humor, lots of chardonnay, and a strong belief that this too shall pass. But communication is good too.)

    • Thanks, Lady C! You are too sweet to me – thanks for being proud! 🙂

      You should do a blog post of your pre-birth letters. And I’ll do one on the same day of what I imagine my pre-birth letters would look like. (If you irreparably damage me down there on your way out, so help me, God, I will ground you til you’re thirty.)

      Thanks for the marriage tips! They seem quite sagely!

  4. ha! commenter l g kelter i read the bottom first and then went back and i did so fast that no pies were harmed.
    congrats on your great news. you will make the finest recorder of history this world has ever seen. and i have been married nearly 29 years and have never lost an argument because once provoked i will fight to the death. my husband realized this early on and gives over quite easy.

    • I’ll allow it since you read the whole post. It wasn’t really fair of me to taunt you with good news and then make you read my ranting for years. Thanks for your congratulations – you flatter me! I worry that I will be, at best, the most mediocre of recorders of history the world has ever seen. But I’m gonna try my best!

      I think Carter is slowly realizing that I am a horribly sore loser when it comes to arguments and that I, like you, will fight until I have fallen over to avoid it. He’s catching on, slowly but surely. 🙂

  5. That is so cool! You must have touched their hearts. As for your husband, he does sound rather saintly … except for the inviting 8 people over, last minute. But he would have had me at “Are you beating this dead horse and insisting you’re right just because you need to be right at this particular moment even though you know you’re wrong and that I’m actually right here? But that because of your hormones or whatever you can’t admit that I’m right and you’re wrong so you will literally argue until one of us has bludgeoned the other repeatedly with a spatula? Am I getting warmer?”

  6. Ok, being a wife and the family cook, I can picture the scene of 8 guests coming to dinner at the last minute without your knowledge. It would not be too pleasant in my car either. Your news is very sweet and such an honor. I used to be an archivist and it is such a great trust in you..

    • Thanks, Winnie! It’s big for me and I’m really excited to get started. I’m deeply honored!

      I’m the resident cook as well. It can get a little intense sometimes when I am surprised like that, but he always does the dishes. So I think I’ll keep him. 🙂

  7. OMG honorary member and historian! How amazing! Congratulations, I am so chuffed for you 🙂 (I actually squee’d when I read the good news).

    I have to say that when my ex invited his group of friends round one evening (after he’d been at home all day) telling them I was going to be cooking (when I was arriving home from work approx 20min before they were due to arrive) I did the only thing I could….I went to the pub and blamed the train 😀

    • Thank you! The fact that you squee’d is huge! I’m flattered by your excitement! I did the same! 🙂

      I wish I had a pub to go to or a train to blame. I walk to work. Oh well. The pizza was fine! And there was lots of beer anyways, haha.

  8. I think you are being perfectly rational. Hmm, maybe that’s why The Man and I go through silent phases… haha

    But seriously, depending on who he invited, you can be like “hey guys, Carter didn’t give me a heads up on the guests, so sorry my house is a disaster and you get to eat pizza.” and then laugh, because Oh all they really care about is some beer and conversation, right?

    AND CONGRATULATIONS on the historian news! I know very little about the Vietnam War, so I expect you to educate me (us) on it.

    • Thank you! And you’re absolutely right – once I got over it, we all had a great time. Beer, pizza, and great conversation made for a wonderful evening. Maybe I’m just wrapped a little too tightly and need to relax and not sweat the small stuff. I dunno.

      And thank you for your congratulations! I will be sure to educate you all! 🙂

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