I have been known to become irrationally angry from time to time. Odd things can trigger this. It could be something minor like my giant beast of a dog refusing to let me wipe his drooling mouth before he comes inside the house. Or I’ve misplaced an article of clothing, and after searching EVERYWHERE, start yelling at my children because they keep hiding my clothes, then after calming down, realize it was in my drawer the whole time. (Don’t worry, they just ignore me so no harm comes to the chickens. They have acclimated.)
To set the stage of a recent episode, you have to know I have a special relationship with food. I love, love, LOVE it. Over the years, I have learned to abide by the old phrase “everything in moderation” because while I love food, my metabolism hates me. So I only get a single serving of candy, I order “skinny” lattes, if I go out to eat I am pretty careful about what I order. (Note: Some days I am better than others. Some days I eat a disgusting amount of Peeps.)
So when I find a new treat that is somewhat healthy, I am ecstatic. I recently discovered just such a treat and we shall call it the Diet Cherry Slush (cue heavenly music). Oh happy day! I looked it up on My Fitness Pal and confirmed it’s only 10 calories. Perfect! And it tastes really good. Not diet at all. So good in fact, on multiple occasions I accused my husband of getting me a regular slush and not the diet one and he has assured me it’s diet (please remember this point when we get to the end of this story).
So tonight, after a long day, I took my oldest daughter with me to Sonic and we pulled into one of their drive- up parking stalls. (My daughter, the tween, commented to me “Why did you park so far away from the screen? My response was “shut up, I am not that far away”. And then I proceeded to unbuckle my seat belt and have to open my door to reach the red button that indicates you are ready to order. She may have had a point.)
I pushed the magic red button and this is the conversation that followed:
“Welcome to Sonic, may I take your order?” (Girl, probably 16, not a lot of oomph in her greeting. Let’s call her Grumpy Gus.)
“Yes, thank you. I would like a medium Diet Cherry Slush”. (Me, not phased by Grumpy Gus. Proud of myself for ordering it right this time by calling it a “slush” and not a “slushee”.)
“What?” (Grumpy Gus must not have heard me order correctly.)
“A medium Diet Cherry Slush.” I said with a little less confidence, but still friendly.
“It’s not diet.” (Oh, Grumpy Gus, I did not ask you if it was diet, so what the hell?)
“It says right here, Diet Cherry.” I say the two words really slow and emphasize the word diet because clearly she is not understanding me. I admit my Hulk rage was starting to creep towards the front of my brain, like a zit that is still just under the surface. But I wasn’t full on Hulk yet.
“Yes, it says that. But it’s not diet. It’s all sugar water.” (Oh, Grumpy Gus, sweet, sweet Grumpy Gus. You have no idea what you are doing.)
“But it says Diet Cherry flavored with Splenda.” My strategy to win this argument is to keep repeating the words on the menu.
“It says that but it’s not diet.” (Seriously, Grumpy Gus?! You had to go and pop the zit, didn’t you?)
“FINE. I guess I don’t want anything then.” Boom. I showed her. She wasn’t getting my $2.
As I peeled out of the stall (in my head I was on two wheels), I sort of accidentally dropped an f-bomb in front of my daughter. Keenly sensing my irritation at Grumpy Gus, she then turned the radio down because the song “Middle Fingers” was on. She very calmly told me I didn’t need to listen to this song right now. In response, I cranked it up and said this is exactly the kind of song I need to hear right now (for those worried about my parenting, the children sing “index fingers in the air” when this song comes on, so no need to worry).
We get home and I storm into the house and tell my husband this story.
He calmly says (without making eye contact), “yeah, it’s not diet.”
My middle child then says, “Yeah it’s not diet, even though it says it’s diet.”
I ask my husband why wouldn’t he have told me that it wasn’t diet. His response, “well, you don’t get them often so I didn’t think it was hurting anything. It’s not that many calories.” (For the record, husband, the large has 440 calories in it. And you always get me the biggest size because you said it was DIET.)
The funny part is I came home, cooked a frozen pizza and ate half of it. Sort of defeated the purpose, but at least Sonic didn’t get my money. So why was I so angry? Because I base all my decisions on facts. The menu said “diet”. All my research said it was 10 calories. And then Grumpy Gus turned my little world upside down sending me into a tirade. When everything points to making sense, and then it doesn’t make sense, ay, there is the rub, dear friends. And lately a lot of things don’t make sense. And I’m angry a lot. I’m handling it, like all of us are trying to do on a regular basis, but wouldn’t it be nice to have things make sense again? Until then, I will do as they did in the movie Bad Boys II and “woosah” my way through it, and I will sing a song like Middle Fingers by MISSIO loudly and with oomph. How do you get back to your happy place after something triggers the Hulk inside you?
Disclaimer: At times, exaggeration may have been used in this blog post. If you plan on staging an intervention due to my rage issues, understand this may cause me rage, and could ultimately result in a vicious cycle of hulking out. On the topic of the Hulk, does anyone remember how he would calm himself down by petting a stray dog? See, even the Hulk at his scariest can be calmed down.