A couple of days ago, I wrote a small stone about oysters. As part of the mindful writing challenge that I’m doing, I’m part of a group on facebook where those small pieces of writing can be shared. I posted my small stone, and while there response was mostly positive, there was that one person. His comment on my not-so-carefully-crafted little bit of writing, was “horrid”.
Now, I do not know if his response was prompted by my writing; it WAS hastily done and not my best piece, although, if I may, certainly not my worst. It could have been that he’s a vegetarian, and he objects to the eating of shellfish. Or perhaps he’s one of those that can’t stand oysters. I could sympathize with that because, as I said in my post, I was right there with him before I saw the error of my ways. Based on his name–and I know that it’s a terrible thing to judge a person based on his name or physical traits–I’d guess that he has a moral objection to the eating of living, or as the case may be, dead, beings.
Whatever his deal was his to own. He didn’t even have to comment on my post; If it upset him, he could have kept moving. He didn’t. As I say…What. Ever.
I will admit that when I read that comment, I got a little…perhaps a lot if I’m being truthful…hot. I typed out several snide responses. Erased them. Ran my fingers over the keys for a few downright bitchy responses. Erased them too. Stewed about it for a little while, and then in my writer’s notebook, actually wrote about it. In the end, I just didn’t respond at all.
Because it wasn’t worth it to lose my cool with someone who was either was hoping to provoke me or was just being a dumbass.
Whatever it was, I didn’t take the bait…either his own or mine. A few years ago, his response would have turned into an epic flame war. Because I wouldn’t have been able to let it go.
I’m not sure what’s changed in me. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t give a damn anymore. perhaps it’s more that I’ve realized that letting another person have that much control over me is a waste of my precious time and energy. I refuse to allow another person — other than perhaps my husband or my closest friends — to have that much power over me. That is not to say that I don’t react. I’m a hothead, or I suppose given what I’m saying now and that my Super Power is being Human Valium, I used to be a hothead (must be the red hair), and my feelings are hurt very easily. But whether I let another person know that they’ve gotten under my skin is a completely different thing.
All of this is not to say that I don’t let my frustration show; I most certainly do. One of the constants in my life is I will take a moment (or perhaps a few days, maybe even a week or a year or two. Time is relative, no?) to decide whether my initial reaction is in fact the *right* reaction. That’s not always a good thing, and I’m getting better at evaluating where I am, what I’m feeling, and what’s appropriate.
All of that to say that when I do lose it? Probably best to not be in the line of fire because I guarantee whatever it is is that triggers the explosion? Was a worse than bad oysters.