The Anger Management Experiment

In general, I’m a pretty quite person.   One of my best friend’s uncle nicknamed me “Mousy” because I’m too little and too quite.

I can spend an entire day not speaking to another living soul and be completely happy and content.  (Truthfully, I could do this for days and get a lot of reading, writing, knitting and work done.  It makes me feel accomplished and whole when I get to do all those things and bonus if I get to do it without interruption!)

Unfortunately, I can also be loud.  VERY LOUD!

My entire family is LOUD.  Which is something I never really noticed until I married my husband.  His entire family, including cousins, can fit into one room comfortably.

Mine can barely fit into one house.

And when we do, it’s sounds a bit like we could all use hearing aids.  We’re all trying to have conversations and be heard.  The volume goes up and up and up until children are covering their ears and neighbors are wondering if they should call the police.

We are not yelling at each other.

We are, however, speaking in upraised voices that force attention to the conversation and has been known, on occasion, to make babies cry.

This is normal.

It’s what we do.

How else are we going to be heard?

It’s a problem.

When I’m not heard in my little mousy tone, I get a little louder.  When I’m still not heard, I get even louder.  I continue to increase my volume until I feel I’m finally getting through and that’s the volume I stay at until I’m done saying what I need to say.

It scares my husband.

So I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to stop yelling and screaming to get his attention.

Great plan… no idea how to put it into motion.

We’re really caught in a cycle here.  It goes like this…

Me:  [Insert random thing] really hurts my feelings.

Husband:  [blank stare]

Me:  Seriously, I’m upset because [Insert random thing] really hurts my feelings.

Husband:  That’s stupid.

Me:  It’s not stupid, you’re not listening to me.  [Insert random thing] really hurts my feelings.

Husband.  Yeah, and that’s stupid.  Just stop feeling that way.

Me:  How can you say that to me?

Husband:  I love you.

Me:  I don’t feel loved because [Insert random thing] really hurts my feelings and you think it’s stupid.

Husband:  Well, that’s dumb.

Me:  You’re being a jerk.  I know it’s dumb to you, but it’s not to me.  I can’t just stop feeling that way and I need you to quit doing it.

Husband:  Okay.  I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.

Me:  Thank you.

Husband:  Can you not yell at me anymore?

Me:  You don’t listen until I start yelling.

That’s the basic format of our arguments.  The last one we had got really bad and my throat is still raw.

This is not healthy.  I know that.

And I don’t feel like an angry person, but after talking with another couple, I’ve realized that I definitely am.  I mean seriously, who isn’t automatically on the defensive when someone is raising their voice to them?  And even though I don’t feel angry when I first start raising my voice, I am by the time I’m done.

I have got to find another way to express myself.

I stayed up until 2 a.m. last night trying to figure out how I’m going to handle the next time I need him to hear me.  I still didn’t have it figured out when I woke up at 6.

I talked to my husband about it.  He had no idea and then he had to go to work.

This was me on the inside:

xt1xgci4pkll2dzeqe

Kinda the exact opposite of what I was going for…

So I got proactive and did what every normal person does these days…

I asked the Google fairies…

Apparently no one else on the planet has a problem with yelling at their spouse.  However, people yell at their kids A LOT!

Google has lots of suggestions for not yelling at your children.

While my husband and I can be pretty immature and act more like our kids ages than our own, I’m not so sure I want to approach my issue the same way Google tells me to deal with a child.

Or do I???

I found a site called the Orange Rhino challenge.  It’s a 365 day challenge to help mom’s stop yelling at their kids.

On it, there is a list of “Orange Rhino” Alternatives to Yelling.  It’s a list of 100 things you can do instead of yelling at your children.  I’ve decided to steal this list (or at least part of it since I don’t actually own any of the 50 Shades books and have no desire to) and try it on my husband the next time I feel like raising my voice.

If you don’t have time to take a look at the list, here are just a few of the things my husband has to look forward to:

  • The Hokey Pokey
  • Somersaults
  • Me banging my arms on my chest like a gorilla
  • Him being tickled
  • Me flushing my screams down the toilet

I figure I’ll either get his attention or he’ll put me in a psychiatric hospital.  Either way, it should be interesting… and fun… and much better for my throat!

Wish me luck and I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

 

Dear Benedict Cumberbatch

This So You Don’t Know Me But… brought to you by Lane Brown. You can visit him at his blog.

Dear Honeycutt Candycrush,

I’m a huge fan. I think you’re a fabulous Sherlock Holmes. You portrayed one of my heroes, Alan Turing, stupendously. And frankly, everything I know about you as a human being indicates that you’re a fun, easygoing and genuinely nice human being, which is not something you can always say about celebrities.

As a result, I feel slightly guilty about the name game. You know, the one where I say Crackerjack Applesauce and people immediately know I mean Bandicoot Cucumber. Or, maybe guilty isn’t totally accurate. It’s more that I spend an odd amount of time wondering how you feel about the whole thing. You do seem to have a good sense of humor about such things, and my best efforts haven’t turned up any examples of you saying anything against it. Then again, I don’t pay much attention to celebrity stuff, so maybe you said it long ago and I just couldn’t find it. My searches were all pretty flooded with yet more examples of the name game.

Overall, I feel like it’s safe to assume you don’t take any offense. It’s pretty clear that nobody is doing this to say “Dragnet Butterscotch has such a weird, dumb name. We will mock it.” Everybody who does this likes you as much as I do. It’s really just mocking ourselves and, for the language geeks, playing with an odd phenomenon (have you seen any of the articles on how this phenomenon works? Or how to create a Banana Curious name generator? They’re fascinating). We love your name. We love you.

But I just thought I’d go on record as saying that if I ever hear that you don’t like the name game, that you don’t think it’s funny and you can’t wait for it to stop, I will stop. No matter how much I’ll miss it, nevermore will Benefit Handyman or Buttery Cardigan or Backstroke Penguin pass my lips.

Sincerely,

P.S. That’s a brown lane. Because my name is Lane Brown. I dunno, it was funny in my head.

Well yeah, it’s illegal, but… how illegal is it, really?

How illegal is itOk, so about a year ago my sister was over at my house for bible study.  She had some tickets that she wasn’t going to use and could use some extra cash.  Her plan was to go early to the event and sell them to someone who needed tickets.

Being the wise and caring older sister that I am, I let her know that it was illegal to scalp tickets so she needed to make sure she didn’t get caught.  (Yes, I realize this is an odd conversation to have at a bible study…  I’m sure Jesus would have advised her not to get caught too to break the law.  But she’s my little sister, it’s kinda my job to keep her out of jail whenever possible.  Therefore, my standing advice will always be… If you’re gonna do it, don’t get caught!)

She wasn’t sure whether I was telling her the truth about the legality of ticket scalping (turns out I wasn’t), so we asked my husband, who also wasn’t sure.  I don’t remember the whole conversation, but it went something like this: Continue reading

“Please Don’t, I’m afraid it will cause actual brain damage.”

Ok, so this is an actual conversation I just had with my 15 year old.

Me:  I’m going to hit you with my book.**

Her:  Please don’t.  It’s really thick.  I’m afraid it will cause actual brain damage — Wait!  Who’s book is thicker?  *grabs her book and holds it up against mine*  Yours is thicker.  Just by a little bit though.

Not sure if she’s afraid or disappointed she can’t take me in a book fight…

** No teenagers were actually hit with a book.

CONTEXT:  After posting this yesterday it was pointed out that, without context, this may not come across as funny.  So, I give you — context!  We are huge fans of Doctor Who in our house.  We are even bigger fans of books.  A friend sent me the below image.  It’s from the Doctor Who episode that started a running joke in our house.  We have never actually hit each other with books (at least not on purpose.  Weeelll…. at least not hard enough to hurt.  Only in fun and only while giggling).

books best weapons

So you don’t know me, but…

Hello internet people who live inside my computer 

Had an idea today that I thought would be really fun…  hopefully you all will too.  Or you’ll think it’s a little creepy and/or crazy.  Either way, it should be entertaining!  🙂

I sometimes do silly things to get my brain “writing ready.”  Since starting jesscombs.com, it’s been getting on here in the morning and writing a post.  By the time my post is done for the day, I’ve come up with pretty much everything I want to add to my book.  Other times, I imagine conversations or letters I would write to people who have no idea that I exist in the world.

This morning, I was completely blank.  Writer’s block – BIG time.  Couldn’t think of a single thing to post here (or for my poor novel)!  So, I decided to do one of my imaginary letters.  Then I thought, “hey, I bet my blogging friends have imaginary peeps too!”  Dear Person

Continue reading