It's nearly midnight yet I've got some espresso percolating through the french press sitting on my counter while a glob of condensed milk and an entrapped spoon sits at the base of my mug waiting for its warm coffee bath to come, melt away the saccharine stickiness and turn the concoction into a fragrant cup of coffee... Except, I can't quite enjoy the coffee anymore because it reminds me too much of a tiff I had recently with my friend:
He was voicing his annoyance at how the condensed milk was dripping and smearing all over the counter. My flat response was "That's why I leave the spoon in the cup."
And with that he shoved the mugs at me and stormed off.
What I meant to say was "I usually grab a large scoop and then leave the spoon in the cup so that I don't end up trailing milk back and forth from the tub to the container..." but the truncated version was what came out of my mouth. I have a tendency to say things half way when I'm tired or lost in thought or whatever. It sounded condescending to him. It hurt his feelings and thus in return, he decided to act childish and disrespectful.
My tolerance level for this kind of shit is so incredibly low. Tis true, I did not semantically answer in a way that made any sense, but the claim that I didn't understand the situation or observe his complaint correctly (as he continually insists) is just plain wrong. Had he answered "Dude, you really didn't address my problem..." or something along those lines, I wouldn't be as pissed.
I think I'm angry because his reaction is so similar to how I would have behaved when I was in high school or maybe even the beginning of college. I still am to a degree, but when I was younger I was highly sensitive. A condescending look from a cashier or someone who would not give me the right of way on the sidewalk would upset me for hours maybe days. I'd brood over that. If someone hurt my feelings, I'd lash out, throw negativity into the atmosphere so the whole damn world would know how shitty I felt. I'd throw down a mini tantrum that did nothing but make the opposing party as miserable as I...exactly as how my friend responded.
Well, I grew out of that. Years ago. It is true that I initially came into this world more incendiary than serene. I've mellowed out so much with age and through being a wife that my ability to empathize with that sort of hurt has grown distant. At one point I would have merely felt sorry for the opposing party, let it be "their problem" and ride out the storm letting things go. However recently, I've discovered I'm actually annoyed by those spurts of irate expression.
The real conflict for me though in the above scenario is that I immediately
reacted the way my x-husband used to. Chase after him, try to appease the situation, make peace, apologize...I used to hold that trait in high regard. Would emulate it often. I'd to swallow my hurt from being disrespected and appease the opposing party in order to dispel any pain. Stoic. Solid. Even keeled.
I'd normally sit back and make excuses, ascertain the cause through reflection, understand that his negative reciprocation was not unwarranted-- a culmination of past hurts, pent up frustration from me and world, his upbringing, a bad day, whatever...
Right now though, that's not me and yet that was exactly how I defaulted. And then I became immediately resentful. In fact, I am resentful which is why I'm writing this.
I don't like feeling like a door mat. I don't like being aloof and indifferent, one flavor that consists of nothing but "sweet" and "kind." There's a part of me that wishes that I didn't choose to stand on my higher ground. I wanted to smack him, hurl the french press his way and stoop to his level make him
pay for the negativity he threw my way...just to be self righteous and prove some stupid little point: coddling a brat only creates more brattiness
How is that any better? Is the fact that I didn't act on how I wanted react make me any better of a person than him? Sadly, probably not.
Shrug. I give up.
Labels: aging, coffee, relationships