“A man usually ends up marrying a woman who reminds him of his mother, and the same can be said for a woman marrying a man similar to her father.”
I used to think that idea was nuts, but yesterday I realized the truth behind it. My perfect match is someone who can butt heads with me but get over it immediately. Dad and I will holler our faces off at each other and be buddies again in the blink of an eye. I don’t like fighting, but that kind of screaming match is therapeutic.
Yesterday we had new furniture delivered. Two recliners and a small sofa. One of the recliners is for me, I’ve always wanted a huge cushy armchair for reading, I’ve never had a proper “This is where I sit to read a book” chair. The other recliner and the sofa were replacements for a really old sofa and loveseat that were as old as I am and in pretty bad condition. They weren’t exactly falling apart at the seams, but there was no support anymore so if you sat down too hard, your butt would thump against the insides of the couch and you felt like you’d hit the floor because it was so low. And they were just really ugly, honestly. Mom and I found out about a great sale, so off we went, and now the old sofas are gone and replaced with brand new awesomeness. But there was a whole lot of fighting throughout the day while we took care of everything once the furniture was delivered.
My dad and I both have really short tempers, but also really short attention spans which is one aspect that helps us get over our anger pretty quick. One of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me as a child is never go to bed angry, either settle things or get over it. It’s pretty rare that either me or my father stays mad longer than a few hours at most, the worst is when someone betrays our trust. But when we get mad, we breathe fire. Especially at each other. When dad and I piss each other off, all you can really do is stay out of the line of fire and let us verbally battle each other to the death. The death of our anger, anyway. Something will be said that rubs the other person the wrong way and we’ll spit tacks, and a few minutes later we apologize and continue what we were doing.
“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Our biggest fault regarding our anger is getting so riled up that we can’t properly listen. For instance, when mom and I were talking to him about the furniture sale and how we’d found pieces we liked, mom mentioned she’d asked the salesman if they’d haul away the old couches and was told that’s not part of their services. Dad immediately became angry and ranted breathlessly about how for a $50 fee the guys can’t even take the old stuff out of the house, and where do they expect to put the new stuff. Mom was just trying to calm him down and get him to stop yelling, I yelled over him to get him to hush — something that can make us more angry, but it has to be done sometimes — long enough for me to say “We didn’t ask about them moving the couches to the driveway or the curb, all we’d asked was if they take the old furniture away.” Just like that, dad calms down and says “Oh! I thought you meant they said they won’t even help us move the old stuff out of the house to make room for the new stuff. Of course I don’t expect them to take it away, they’re not a dumping business!”
At one point, while I was helping mom frantically clean the room because the delivery men had shown up two hours before we’d expected them, dad sat in my recliner. He was convinced that that recliner should stay in the living room with the new sofa and I take the one we’d bought for him, because my recliner matches the new sofa better. See, the new sofa is a dark brown. My recliner is a couple shades lighter, and dad’s recliner is a light tan. On one hand, my recliner does match the couch a bit better, but the light color looks good next to it as well. Besides, on a more selfish note, they’re two different chairs and I like mine better. I took one look at my dad sitting in my chair and like a disgruntled Baby Bear, told my father in a demanding tone to “Get out of my recliner.” He looked at me with an expression of “Excuse you?” and didn’t budge. So I repeated myself. I can’t remember what was said next or even who spoke, but it turned into a five second screaming match. The yelling stopped and we were staring daggers at each other, poor mom was trying to be the peacemaker but we weren’t hearing it. I left the room, and not two seconds passed when dad followed me and started calmly talking about how were were going to get my recliner where I wanted it as if he hadn’t just threatened to punch my face to the back of my head.
I don’t enjoy yelling or being mad at my father, but the adrenaline rush during a fight and then the almost audible whoosh of relief after the anger’s gone helps me realize what a great bond we share. I obviously want a great bond with a partner, and being able to have the same kind of quick fights would be a part of that bond. I feel that the occasional fight is important to a relationship, it helps keep things interesting. I’ve dated guys I didn’t fight with at all and the relationships barely lasted, we were just so bored with each other. I need a guy who I can look up to but also feel equal to, just like my father. Someone who can deal with my quirks, including the fact that sometimes I’ll get raging mad at something that’s not that big a deal because I misunderstood something about it. I’ve also dated a couple guys who couldn’t handle my anger issues, one actually claimed I may need to be on medication for it. I don’t even know how we became a couple, I figure he’s the type of idiot who sees a flaw in a girl and assumes he can change that.
Never assume you can change a person simply by becoming a bigger part of their life. My anger is part of who I am, and if you can’t handle that, just stay away from me. Becoming my friend or partner isn’t going to delete the part of my brain that gets unnecessarily worked up over little things. I’ve come to terms with it and I’ve realized I’d like something similar in a person I’d spend the rest of my life with. I’ve learned to just give the person space, do my best not to take it personal, and at least wait till the eye of the storm before I let them know I’m here for them if they need to get something off their chest. I’d appreciate the same thing, not someone who takes it personally and ends up hating me over something really stupid.
So for me, that saying is true. I’m drawn to the type of guy whose personality is similar to my father’s. I like a challenge in a relationship, I don’t date doormats. As funny as it sounds, the passion involved in being that angry is something I consider a challenge. I don’t mean physical anger, I don’t have any tolerance for domestic abuse. But yelling can sometimes be as therapeutic as a good cry, and I can do without crying.
If you can handle somebody’s anger, even if it’s to the point of them seeing red, I feel you can handle just about anything about them.