No One Can MAKE Me Angry….Right?

8 12 2007

Even though I work as a counselor, I have to admit that there are some things you will hear from some social workers or counselors (I’ll call them SW/C from here on out) that are complete crap. Their techniques are generally based on research, but let’s be honest people…we are still talking about human beings who make mistakes and say stupid things just like the rest of us. If you come across an SW/C in your life, you do not have to accept everything they say as though it is gospel. One such statement would be, “No one can MAKE you angry; only you can ALLOW yourself to be angry.” Oh really? Yes, we are robots who can completely control our human emotions. Let’s talk about a couple of examples. Your making a quick trip to a grocery store. You park, grab your items (corn on the cob and margarine? Nah, this is hypothetical, so let’s go with whipped cream and strawberries.) You come outside and see an ex-girlfriend keying your car after having spray-painted, “You Suck” on it. Now, remember that expensive counseling you’ve had. “She can’t MAKE you angry.” Yeah, right…I beg to differ. Let’s go with another example any parent can relate to: You’ve just made it back home after your four-year-old has been on your last nerve all day (he threw a fit about his shoes, kicked the dog, and screamed and hit at you while you tried to get him to leave the library in a peaceful and quiet manner). The moment you walk in your house, he makes a move for the kitchen, yanks open the fridge door, and grabs orange juice. You tell him to stop as your carrying in an armload of goodies from the library. Does he stop? No, he unscrews the lid and, while trying to run from you, spills the majority of the sticky stuff all over the kitchen floor. Are you going to get mad? You bet your sweet butt you will.

I tell people I work with that we all have to deal with mean people, obnoxious people, rude people (the list goes on). We will all (beyond our control) get angry from time to time; it’s natural. It’s what we do when we are angry that is either right or wrong. Bottom line, a good counselor or social worker (in my opinion) is one that can provide some common sense guidance and help you to see for yourself what you might want to change about your life. There’s my two cents. Take it for what it’s worth (probably about two cents).

(I will add that if you are the type who gets angry every day or regularly blows up at something small like your cell phone being moved one end table over, you might want to consider talking to an SW/C because you’ve got an issue that is going to negatively affect your life).

You Did What in Her Dream??

8 12 2007

Another of my nephews just tied the knot. The occasion set my mind to musing about marriage and relationships between men and women. Despite spending many years trying to figure these out, I can’t say I’ve reached full understanding at this stage. However, there are a few things that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man MUST do:
1. The man must always apologize for any bad dream a woman has that in any way involves the man doing something unsavory (saying something mean, flirting with another woman, leaving his girlfriend/wife, not saving the woman from a monster, etc). Do us guys have any control over the subconscious mind of a woman? (Are you kidding, we have no control over the conscious mind, so forget the subconscious.) No, but we must apologize anyway when the woman wakes us suddenly to tell us what we just had the nerve to do in her dream. If we do not, we are likely to get an arms-crossed stare until we say I’m sorry. Just get it over with and tell her you’ll never do that in her dream again.
2. Always be ready to act when the woman is feeling uncomfortable in any eating situation, even in obscure, unexpected moments. For example, you find yourself on a date at a Mexican restaurant, and your wife/girlfriend, who was famished after having only an instant breakfast for lunch, just happens to finish her plate quickly and, for once, beats you in doing so. When the waiter (not the one who brought the food or subsequently cleared the woman’s plate from the table) sees you still working on your plate and sees an empty spot in front of the lovely young lady, and that waiter mistakenly believes the lovely lady perhaps never got her meal to begin with (because she could not have finished it already), step in and quickly assure the waiter that everything is copasetic so that he will not continue this line of questioning. Then, quickly assure the lady that she looks beautiful, that you are just eating uncharacteristically slowly (perhaps because you are mesmerized by what she is wearing…more on that below), and that she had every reason to be hungry since she had been practically starving herself all day, slaving away on the stepmill at the gym, etc.
3. When your wife/girlfriend tries on a new outfit for you, it will take a minimum three times repeating that you like it (possibly four if the woman is feeling “fat” that day). Phrases such as, “Yes, I mean it; it looks great” and, “No, I am not just saying that” and, “Yes that color is awesome on you” will be necessary on your part. Also, the man must look directly at the outfit for no fewer than three seconds before saying anything, or he will definitely hear, “You didn’t even look at it.” When you hear this, you have failed and must start the outfit-viewing process all over again (possibly with shoes added as a punishment for your lack of attention the first time). As you can remember from the days of Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Galaga, it stinks to have to start a phase over again when you thought you were so close to completing it.