I have a temper problem.
And a filter problem.
Mostly a combination of the two- problem.
I don’t always know when to keep my mouth shut.
In fact. I hardly keep it shut. And when I do it doesn’t matter because I wear every single emotion on my face. I can’t lie. I am honest to the point of brutality at times.
I put my foot directly in my mouth at least once a week.
This week, it was on a friend of mine. She’d posted several e-cards and funny images on Instagram. All of which started having a running theme of sex and sexuality. Which- whatever- we’re all liberated and burnt bras and whatnot.
I got all huffy and sent her a message that said, “Hey- I know these images are hilarious but the fact of the matter is they are starting to make you look slutty. And I know you and you’re not. And I am not your mother but I wouldn’t feel right not saying anything.”
And I felt like an asshole afterwards, because I preach being judgment free, but apparently only to a point.
A few weeks ago in a meeting I asked who did the creative for one of our press releases because “It was terrible and we needed to use someone else.” And the lead on the project told me they had done it themselves.
There wasn’t a hole big enough to swallow me.
I need to learn to chew my words. To hit pause between my brain and mouth.
Because I don’t just talk when I am mad or irritated. I spew out thoughts like a volcano, not always aware of whom I might be smothering in ash.
A quick quip when my sister makes a comment, can turn a fun family evening into a death match. (I still win. She may be taller. But I have kicked her but for years.)
And I am fully aware this is a problem that I need to work on- all year round.
But the reason I am bringing this up is because: holidays. And holidays means I am not the only one who needs to learn how to insert a brain to mouth filter.
Y’all- something about the holidays either evokes the Christmas spirit in spades or turns everyone into a rage-filled Godzilla-like-asshole.
We think going to Short Pump on a Saturday or Sunday in December is not going to give us road rage and the urge to run over pedestrians.
So take a deep breath. Here’s how to survive the holiday season and keep yourself sane and quiet:
Start shopping on your lunch hour (and change your lunch hour to something ridiculous like 2 p.m.).
Be aware all the college kids will be out of school by December 9th and you will have a billion of them and their stay-at-home-moms to thwart at any given time. Plan accordingly.
Do not use your middle finger as your only form of expression while driving.
DO allow someone to cut in line or in front of you. An accident is going to cause you to become Santa’s drunken rage elf and your kids do not need to see that.
Store employees are not to blame if something is out of stock. Think about that the next time you start to berate them.
Servers are not responsible for food screwed up by the kitchen. So don’t stiff them on a tip. In fact- it’s Christmas. Be a little extra generous because we all know this time of year is stressful as hell. And so what if they took 5 minutes to refill your diet soda… suck it up.
If you can’t afford gifts- don’t go overboard and buy too many out of “friend gift giving guilt.” Sit your ass in the kitchen and start baking. Pies, cookies, (anything but freaking fruit cake), bars, muffins. Give those as gifts. Include the recipe card if you know it’s your Grandmother’s stellar recipe and it deserves to be shared. Less expensive, can be doled out into individual serving boxes or packaging, and is much more meaningful. (Things that freeze well are a bonus!)
Set a budget and stick to it. I don’t care if it’s on sale.I don’t care if it’s just “super cute.” Calm yourself. If it’s not on your budget, or pre-planned list of items to purchase for that individual. Walk away. You become more of a rage-monster when you are stressed and broke.
DO NOT HIT PEOPLE WITH CARTS. Y’all, I know there is a frick ton of individuals in every store, and Target looks like a parking lot. But if you hit someone’s ankles or side or bag with your cart- you are being a pushy asshole. Say “Excuse me” politely. A little louder if they are having issues. But NO RAMMING. Check your ID- if it’s over four than that is not acceptable.
Eat something. Seriously. Hangry is not a good look. And we all know Hangry leads to your asshole behavior being magnified.
Workout. People are happier when they have had a workout. So go to the gym. Do it first thing in the morning and get your day started right.
Smile. Because it alters your brain chemistry when you do it and forces you to be happy.
And think before you speak. Because the Holiday’s are really, really hard for a lot of people. Someone might have lost their job in this economy, or having their first baby. Someone might be struggling with depression, might have no family to share holidays with, might be in pain. Someone might be hurting too- and what you say can be damaging.
The occasional-rage filled- awkward redhead.