Pasta and shouting

Sometimes it amazes me how quickly my mood can change. An hour ago, I was fine.

First I get offered some pasta, and have to go through the hassle of turning it down, reaffirming my dislike for pasta.

I don’t like pasta. Big deal. Just forget about it. I know people who like cars. I don’t feel the need to ask them if they still like cars, on every possible occasion. But what’s the big deal with pasta? Why must I go through the “How can you not like pasta?”, “it’s good for you”, etc. every time? When you meet someone who tells you they don’t eat bread, you don’t (or I don’t) go “oh but what about the one with all the seeds? Really? What never? Not even granary, or tiger bread? What do you put in the toaster? But it’s cheap – you’d save a lot of time and money if you ate it instead of <whatever else they’re eating>.”

You wouldn’t do that, because it would be really annoying, wouldn’t it. I don’t have conversations with vegetarians that start (or contain at any point), “How can you not eat meat? What never? But what do you eat? Not even sausages? What do you put in beefburgers?”

During this, something falls over. Or rather, slides out. I opened the oven door to remove something and shake it, only for something else in there to slide out, onto the floor. Instinctively, I say to the oven “you motherfucker!”, likely preceded by an obligatory “Argh! For fuck’s sake!”

The reaction at this point is a bit like when you start watching a viral video with someone else in the room, and they ask “what’s this?” or “is it good?” when you’ve only watched the first 2 seconds of it. The immediacy annoys me. If I want to share what’s going on, I’ll offer. If I want help, I’ll ask for it. I don’t do sympathy, really.

Several people run to my aid. I don’t want this. They assume from my language I’ve just lost a couple of fingers, but as far as they’re concerned, upon closer inspection, it just appears that something in a foil tray has slid out of the oven onto the floor, resulting in no damage whatsoever to myself, oven, floor, or food. Then I get the reassurance I didn’t want. “It’s OK Ben”, and “don’t worry about it”. I don’t know why, but this annoys me more. No-one died, but why can’t I call an inanimate object in my own house – a cocksucker, if I want to?

Several oven checks later, I opened the door again, to find a different tray on a different shelf, containing something of a more oily nature, also making an escape bid. It poured hot oil on the floor, and again my instinctive reaction is to shout at it. What a motherfucker my oven is being tonight. This is never normally a problem. Again, I get the “it’s alright”. It isn’t fucking alright. It’s poured hot oil on the floor. I’ve earnt the right as an adult to call it a massive arsehole if I want to. And telling me not to get stressed about it, just makes me more stressed.

And then a minute or so later, people ask what’s still wrong. I’m tired, fed up, and I’ve had two near-ruinings of my dinner in 20 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll calm down while I’m eating. But I feel like I need a better excuse, as I’ve now got an unwanted audience checking on my well-being. I can’t see anything wrong with the oven, or anything to blame especially. I’d quite like people to just fuck off and get back to whatever they were doing (in the nicest possible way) now, to be honest, so I can get on with eating my dinner, if there’s anything still edible contained on one of these racks, which hasn’t been on the floor yet.

If there’s one thing I learnt during my several years of therapy, it’s that you shouldn’t bottle up your anger. I’ve still got problems expressing or recognising my feelings in some ways, but the next time something falls over, or I knock some food on the floor, I’m going to damn well call it a wanker, and there’s not a thing you can do to stop me.

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