The Light of Day

When I get angry, I get angry fast. It’s immediate and it’s intense. I leave rooms, I take long walks, I drive around and sing really loud, I do anything but say things I will regret to the person who has provoked this reaction. A product of emotion that strong is that it burns itself out very quickly. I get over things (or at least get sensible about them) in record time. Water off a duck’s back, or under a bridge.

Last night, someone’s tasteless sarcasm hurt me far more than it should have. On any other day, I think the comment would’ve annoyed me at worst, stung a little, and then fluttered out of my mind. However, due to Extenuating Circumstances, the same words instead left me by turns fiercely angry and deeply wounded. I spent hours last night curled in my bed trying to sleep, saved from tears only by a text message from a friend who didn’t even know I was upset, and River’s Dance on an endless loop over my headphones. (I defy that anyone can listen to that song and not smile.)

I’m not mad anymore at all. Unless someone was acting way out of character for no reason (in which case, explanations are warranted), the comment was not intended to wound. It’s easily the sort of thing that might be said without thinking. I’d be lying, though, if I said I wasn’t still a little hurt by it. I won’t ask for an apology, I don’t think it’s even necessary, but I don’t think I’m going to take my usual tack of just letting things go. This time I want, if not an “I’m sorry,” then at least an “I understand.”

In other news, I think I might be a little too competitive in the tech writing class. We were given a basic assignment today: a page of ten sentences with definite grammatical errors of varying degrees of subtlety. Locate the problem, articulate it completely, and revise. We were to do the exercise individually, then compare with a friend to see if we’d come up with the same thing. I objected to that. Even if two people find the same errors, it is entirely possibly that they will fix the sentence in completely different ways, making it a little more difficult to compare. And why should I have to share my technical knowledge – and good grade – with someone else, anyway?

Why? Because it is a classroom! A learning environment, not a competitive workplace. When it comes to this particular subject matter (I’m not the Grammar Goddess for nothing, yes?), my brain has a little trouble processing the difference.