Rage is something I know well. My father used to fly off the handle into uncontrollable rages. The night he had his first heart attack, he was raging at my mother about the duplicate bridge game they’d just played in.
Of course, if anyone has ever played competitive duplicate bridge, they’d know that that game goes hand in hand with rage. My mother was a lethal card shark, but she had her own way of bidding. Teamwork didn’t matter to her. She could make 99% of everything she bid by herself. I imagine that was the cause of Dad’s heart attack-inducing rage. They were both very competitive, but Dad was a by-the-books type A, and Mom did not like rules. They were never a good match.
Did I ever tell you that I met Hubby playing at a competitive bridge club? We were a good team, but competitive ACBL bridge is not my idea of fun. If you hesitate, scratch your head, blink, fiddle with your cards, accidentally play the wrong card, or cross your legs your opponent will call the Director on you and you’ll be penalized. Calling the Director is the grown-up’s version of telling Mommy, and competitive bridge players will do ANYTHING to win, even if it means calling the Director enough times to rattle the hell out of their opponent.
The last time I played bridge at a bridge club, I cried. Now, I’m not a soft person, and I don’t cry easily. But competitive bridge players are mean, nasty, cutthroat people, and I’m not. I refused to ever go back. Actually, that’s not exactly correct. I have gone back to some ACBL “friendly” games, but they’re not really friendly at all, even when they’re trying to be.
I’m a sit-around-the-kitchen-table-and-play-all-night type of bridge player. I miss not having people I’m comfortable playing with.
Anyway, yes, rage was common in my house. My father taught it to us. He even raged when I was investigating Christianity when I was in high school. The base minister made a house call and Dad slammed the door in his face.
So rage has been an issue for me for most of my life. My rage attacks are much more infrequent now, but every once in a blue moon rage rears its ugly head.
I once had a boyfriend who was, surprisingly, a misogynist. Actually, the reason I met Hubby at a bridge club was because Mr. Misogynist refused to teach me bridge. He had friends that he played regularly with (not just guys, but guys and gals), and I wasn’t a part of it. He also went ballroom dancing with his friends, and I wasn’t welcome to join him there as well. He just couldn’t be bothered introducing me to either ballroom dancing or his friends. So I took an adult ed class to learn ballroom dancing, and Hubby, my bridge partner, agreed to be my swing dancing partner for the class.
I took a trip to Paris with Mr. Misogynist, and he left 3 days before me. He was so self-centered, it never occurred to him that I didn’t want to be abandoned in a city I knew nothing about, even though I begged him not to leave me alone.
Why do we pick such asshole partners sometimes? I have no idea what was going on in my head. Mr. Misogynist and I would have screaming fights, and I mean out-of-control screaming. I laughed when he finally moved to New Jersey and he told me how much he loved me. I thought, “You are shittin’ me, right?”.
By that time, Hubby had become my best friend. Hubby moved in with me, and our relationship turned romantic the day Mr. Misogynist left town. It felt good to hear Mr. Misogynist say, “You were just waiting for me to leave, weren’t you?”
“Yup, Mr. Misogynist, that’s exactly what I was doing. If you thought I was going leave a good man to follow you to New Jersey, you are truly out of your mind.”
Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?
Mad as a Hatter