Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Emotion Salad

I was giving my friend Meena the play-by-play of the breakup conversation that I had with Matt. Since it was of the unilateral declaration variety and so only took 3 minutes, I can pretty much remember it verbatim. When I was finished, she said she admired my ability not to lose my temper. I called my brother in and made her say it again since he is the person in the world who has always borne the brunt of my fairly vicious temper. Instead of praising me for having grown so much emotionally, he just looked at Meena and said, "Well, it's not like the two of you can form a club or anything." Meena is also Daniel's girlfriend. He's such a charmer.

I realized that I can stay calm in a situation like that because I only had anger and hurt to choose from. I could have gone either way. I could have gotten totally pissed and ripped him a new one. I'm good at that. And that would have been honest. But it was equally honest to be wounded while trying to retain my dignity.

Because hurt and anger are the same thing, just at different stages. I was trying to explain what I meant to Meena and found this pretty organic metaphor: the relationship between hurt and anger is like the relationship between green peppers and red peppers. They come from the same plant.

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