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Day 400: The Finger and the Velvet Hammer

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Flipping someone the bird outside of my car is a waste of a perfectly good finger.

But that’s what happened last November [when the sugar hit the fan]…

I was standing in front of the elevator, someone walked up behind me [for the 15 millionth time], and said “Take the stairs.”

I had just come from the gym – tons of anger bubbled to the surface and my middle finger sprang up like a geyser [I know. Right? Can you say – anger issues?]

Full-on finger has never really been my thing – even in my car –

Because I am desperately trying not to end up on the nightly news by getting my asparagus kicked by some trucker and I am too busy driving as slow as humanly possible [so I don’t kill any squirrels.]

Once a suicidal squirrel dodged under my tire and I think I needed therapy.

But enough about dead squirrels…

The other day in response to the Food Critic blog, my friend called me the Velvet Hammer. [Cool, huh? Like way cool.]

As a Home Depot groupie – I think all tools are good tools – and hammers are the best. [Seriously, if Home Depot merged with a coffee chain I might consider moving in…]

But I am definitely a non-apologetic hammer kind of gal. Velvet-y? Not so much.

When my neighbor came over to inform me that it would be better for him if I raked my leaves the day before leaf pick-up so “my” leaves didn’t have time to blow near “his” grass, I told him, “It would be better for him to get off my land and mind his business. That if I wanted someone telling me what to do when I got home, I’d get married.”

And just like in the fairy tales - the leaf fairy spent hours piling leaves 7 feet high next to his front curb.

Oddly enough, he has never spoken to me again. [Such a sad loss…]

I know. Right? Anger issues, which boil down to

Don’t touch my stuff or tell me what to do with my stuff or I will tell you to suck it

Or argue to have the last word

Or fight to be heard even if you don’t care about my feelings. [Yes, these people exist. The phone company. My bank. My family, etc.]

That’s it in a nutshell – my anger issues are very specific and well-hidden [like my original hair color], unless the right button is pushed. Otherwise, color me happy [to be left alone.]

And the fact that I can be aloof [read: mind my business] and my gift for seeing humor in things made these issues hard to find.

But they were there…

Extending myself beyond my comfort zone in the spring and summer of last year dredged them up like buried caskets.

I mean dating random people from the internet [‘cause they might be serial killers and I wanna live and I hate dating]

Or inviting people into my home, pretending I am a social butterfly [‘cause it requires me to do far too many things at once – like talk and breath and feign interest]

Or revealing details about my personal struggle – perhaps for the first time [which can be daunting.]

By the time the sugar hit the fan in November, I was giving people the finger and arguing with the Food Critic and other tools [that I never even thought were tools before.]

It was like I woke up and I was angry and I could suddenly see things I never saw before.

And it was hard to process the onslaught of emotions.

It was even harder to admit that

I let words that my mother said to me like “I hate you” or “I will kill you while you are sleeping” or you are “useless” inform all of my anger and self-loathing and my relationships thusfar.

But here is the thing.

The thing that is crucial.

Now, that I have exposed all of my secrets [at least the ones I know of], they no longer rule me.

I have the power and they do not.

And that is the point.

The whole point.

So when my friend called me the Velvet Hammer it made me giggle inside because that was indicative of some serious progress over anger-induced responses - and a hard-won title for sure.

But I’m not gonna lie – I argued with the Food Critic for the first 8 months of last year. It was just so important to me to be acknowledged by someone who did not care.

Because I thought having the last word meant something.

Now, peace means everything.

Peace and good skin and walking around naked when I remember to close the curtains, and gardening but not naked – that would be tricky.

I am just not emotionally-entangled with every brain fart that other people have anymore

Which opens up the door to a ton of choices that don’t involve my finger.

I always have the power to choose. Always.

But I’m not gonna lie – there was a brief moment last week that I wanted to metaphorically put my foot dangerously close to the Critic's asparagus. Instead I just stated my case, and walked away [like who knew that walking away was even a thing?!]

Progress. Good old-fashioned, velvet-y progress.

But I’m not gonna lie – I might have a finger reserved for my neighbor if he ever dares to tell me what to do on my property.

Who knows?

I reserve the right to finger or not to finger

I’m just sayin’.
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  • no profile photo KOKOMOROCK
    ALways great !
    3172 days ago
  • no profile photo AVERYSILLYGIRL
    I love your blog! You're such a great writer! :)
    3173 days ago
    Congratulations on finishing your thesis.
    Oh, my! You are wonderful and don't let
    anyone tell you otherwise.
    emoticon emoticon
    3175 days ago
    Hahhahaa! For 10 years I have put up with my older-than-me, drunken, know-it-all buffoon of a next door neighbor. He happened to wander over last Fall and say some obnoxious things when I happened to have a bad case of PMS...and I lost it on him. I let him have both barrels of 10 years worth of frustration in biting my tongue. He also does not speak to me anymore, either. I'm invisible to him, as he is to me. And it feels SO GOOD. What a blessing! I don't have to stuff my anger!The a-holes cannot always win in life. I now can work peacefully in my front garden, knowing he won't stumble on over with some blathering tirade. You rock! I love your writing style and succinct use of words. Thanks for posting this!
    3211 days ago
    Awesome as always. To have your strength and character. Look at the awesome woman you are. Wow! (Why does what doesn't kill you makes you stronger come to mind?)

    May you kick anger's butt!

    emoticon emoticon
    3222 days ago
    OMG that is too funny!! Thanks for making me take a look at my own finger issues!!!
    3237 days ago
    Nice story.
    3237 days ago
    Wow... Great blog... I myself have the habit of taking on so much "for others" that I end up drained... yet, somehow, the finger still manages to function. I need to take a page from your book... :)
    3238 days ago
    Remember: Johnny Rotten said,'Anger is an energy'. Ok he sang/screamed it. And Victor Lee Lewis said that anger lets you know when someone/something is violating your principles.

    Good for you for finding a way to your own principles, and keeping your energy for YOU!

    Oh, and my flatmate from eons ago said, 'What do you care about what so-and-so says? They're peripheral to your being!'

    The Brits really do know a thing or two. Good on yer! emoticon
    3246 days ago

    I truly believe that if you wrote a compilation of all these stories and put a querky title and cocer (so you) It will be a best seller!!!

    You may even be able to leave that job you love so!!

    Please give it some serious thought before someone else does!
    (this is on the internt after all)
    3247 days ago
    Boundaries, oh how we need them.
    Second to that is the fact that we need voice to speak, not stuff our feelings.
    How great that God has given you the brain and the insight to work through all of your anger, resentments and fears.
    God Bless you,
    Before you know it you will be at peace with your self and with others knowing that they are just as flawed, as we all are in many ways.
    YOu go Miss Velvet Hammer.
    You are an inspiration.
    3257 days ago
    you always make me smile! Love the new title.
    3258 days ago
    I love that you are able to vocalize your anger. I am embarassed by my anger. I treat it like it is something to be ashamed of. Lately, it has been rising to the surface alot. I don't know what's triggering it or how to bottle it up anymore so I just seem to be on instant explosion. If you are the velvet hammer then I am a spiky grenade. I admire your ability to put this all into words. Keep fighting the fight. It's worth it! emoticon
    3258 days ago
    Excellent progress.

    Maybe one day you will graduate to a velvet FINGER. LOLOL

    3258 days ago
    Hahahah!! Funny and insightful! "Now peace means everything." I love that...I want to live by that too. And remember the fabulous! Both phrases to live by!
    3258 days ago
    You are amazing! Another great blog! Thank you!
    3259 days ago
    Love your blog as always. emoticon
    3259 days ago
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    3259 days ago
    I'm not gonna lie. This post was hilarious--at least to me. Could you hear me cheering when I read your response to your neighbor???? Rock on, with yo' bad self, Teeny.

    But I also like that you're becoming more velvet-y as you continue to grow and mature in your journey to discovering your own authentic self. I'm so glad God created you---there's no other like you on this planet, and I'm glad I found you. Everyone needs a Velvet Hammer in their lives. Someone honest, and not afraid to speak up and speak out, and to let others words roll off. Why give them more power than they deserve, right?

    You are amazing. I love you and your spiciness and your honesty.
    3259 days ago
  • CHRYS13
    Marvelous!! I'm breathing easier just reading this! I especially identified in being tangled-up in other people's brain farts!!!
    Thanks for this empowering post!
    (Oh, and I love the little dog, too!!)
    3260 days ago
    I wish I had the guts to speak my mind a little more freely with those who antagonize me on a regular basis! You sound a lot like my bestest friend, and that quality is one I admire greatly! It is yours to use when you feel like it - and you are not powerless to your anger, in fact used correctly it can give you courage and strength. Good blog :)
    3260 days ago
  • FABAT402009
    How did I miss this blog??? Profound as usual!!!

    Have a Happy Valentine's Day :)
    3261 days ago
  • CATTI53
    Love it!
    3261 days ago
    My favorite blog so far. You are a tough cookie. Hard but sweet. emoticon Like your cute lil pup on your current page. Cute and bites when necessary! emoticon emoticon
    3261 days ago
  • NDMOM73
    This blog is just what I needed to read today. After a rew years of bliss of having my mom live in Seattle she has recently moved back to town and the initial newness of having her back is wearing off. Last night we were together at my son's play and I honestly wanted to kick her skinny butt back to Seattle. I need to remember that I control how I respond and how I feel. No more letting others in my head. And if that doesn't work... maybe next time she calls me a name I will just give her the finger! lol

    Thanks again for the entertaining read. :)
    3262 days ago
    Why doesn't Spark have a Hammer icon?

    Anyways, this is yet another perfect blog from you gorgeous gorgeous woman. So many people love to bring others down so they can feel good, and I, like you, have a short fuse and thought it was 'good' to get the last word in on someone who really po'd me. But really not getting the last word in and enjoying my own inner peace while they bask in their own idiot-ness is way more beneficial.

    Swing on velvety hammer, swing on.
    3262 days ago
    Oh, how often my finger want to fly up! Thanks for the validation. Loved your blog, as usual.
    Happy Valentine's Day (premature, I know)

    3263 days ago
    Thank you for validating my normality emoticon . I to have anger issues and I own them because they are mine! Love your BLOG! emoticon
    3264 days ago
    Velvet Hammer, loves it!
    3264 days ago
    You ALWAYS encourage me and today I really needed it! Thanks!! emoticon
    3265 days ago
    Tell your story beautiful...it is only yours to tell :) I sure enjoyed reading this
    3266 days ago
    lol you do not have anger issues, you are completely fine, and normal, in my book because its not look you give the finger, or tell someone to suck it, just because you feel like it so your good! lol

    Lets hope the neighbor learns his lesson, I cant stand when I neighbor comes and tells me something like they have the right to, like they are paying MY rent...

    3266 days ago
  • KLONG8
    There's something about your writing that pulls us in. I always want to find out what you discover. Thanks for continuing to entertain and congratulations for putting those negative voices where they belong....where they can't cause damage anymore.

    Peace to you too!
    3266 days ago
    LOL, I have to refrain from using my finger....it can lead to jail time where I live...seriously emoticon

    Loved this post emoticon
    3267 days ago
    3267 days ago
  • WENDY412
    Your blogs always make me happy to just be myself, and that is no easy feat! Thanks for the laugh!
    3267 days ago
    Love this-as I usually love all of your blogs LOL So perfect-although I still have a tendency to use my finger way too much, and am trying to curb that tendency, oh and the runaway mouth one too-as soon as my husband realizes that telling me not to curse, is the equivalent of telling me to curse even more, I'll probably have no trouble controlling it. I do love that I've become more settled with missing out on the last word for the sake of peace, and sometimes it's more satisfying to sit back and let someone else get the last foolish word in while I sit and giggle.......
    3267 days ago
    That was awesome! You are so expressive. One time I gave a guy the finger, and he followed me around town until I drove into the police department parking lot. I can laugh now, but I was shaking scared then. I am more scrupulous with my finger now. I can't remember the last time I expressed myself with it. Probably when I showed it to my ex-husband when we were still fighting in a doomed marriage. Nice, huh? That was a longggg time ago. Anyway, thanks for sharing. It was a good laugh and yet serious in a good way.
    3267 days ago
    So honest and open and wonderful.

    We are who we are. Progress, success comes when we embrace ourselves and all of our foibles.

    Luv Ya!


    3267 days ago
    OMG! Friggin hilarious, touching, real and all of that! (I totally get the neighbor thing.. for me its my HOA, they cited me for not cleaning my mailbox! REALLY!!!!!!!! my finger itched! LOL!) Girl, you are doing great! Keeping things real, down to earth and purging what doesn't belong. Good for you! and good for all of us that learn from your example!

    3268 days ago
  • TRISH2229
    Choose peace before grief always! You sound Healthy to me! emoticon
    I so enjoy reading your blogs. emoticon
    3268 days ago
    You are right to pursue your feelings and uncover the source of your pain!
    P.S. The elevator is optional! emoticon
    3268 days ago
    You are outrageously hilarious. Keep these blogs coming--you are entertaining the masses, in your own theraputic way! Congratulations--you've obviously overcome some major hurdles--but isn't that what a spark life is all about?! Live it--but live it healthy!

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    3268 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/5/2011 6:12:23 PM
    LMAO!! Awesome blog!! Smiles all around emoticon
    3268 days ago
    emoticon Love this! You are amazing!!
    3268 days ago
    This is a jewel of a blog! Just loved Sir Quips a lot nickname! A fantabulous find, just as fantabulous of getting rid of him and finding yourself.
    He was just right about one thing: you do deserve the best.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Darn! I don't know how I managed this but this is not the blog I meant to comment on. But I'm sure you're fantabulous enough to have figured that one out! emoticon
    3269 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/5/2011 5:12:29 AM
    Awww..Teeny..I totally here you girl. You are such a strong person and the only reason I have come back on here is to hear from you actually!
    3269 days ago
    You have a wonderful sense of humor, and a great attitude!!

    I love the 'Velvet Hammer'....it suits you! emoticon
    3269 days ago
    my middle finger is always loaded & on standby emoticon
    3269 days ago
    3269 days ago
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