Monday, April 29, 2013

'Gunpowder and Lead' and Other Anger Management Tips from Miranda Lambert

Kelly blew her bangs out of her eyes and threw the Allen wrench down in frustration.  “Are you freaking KIDDING me?”  she cried, gesturing to the pile of wood and screws before her, “How did you ever convince me to help you with this shit?”

“Umm, have you forgotten how much of YOUR living room I single-handedly assembled?”  I replied, pointing a screwdriver at her for emphasis.  “You owe me.”

“I hate your face,” Kelly pouted, plunking herself onto the floor. “and IKEA can eat a giant bowl of lingonberry-flavored dicks.”

I chuckled and tossed her a package of bedding.  “Here, Bob Vila. Make yourself useful and put the sheets on the bunkbed.”

Kelly sighed sadly and hugged the bedding to her chest.  “I will. . .in a minute.”

Knitting my brow, I slid down the wall to sit beside her.  “Why the sad panda face?  Todd?”*

*Todd is Kelly’s ex-husband.  Words cannot fully describe the myriad things I would like to do to his genitals.  So.  Much.  Hate.

Kelly nodded and made that weird Ross Perot face she makes when she’s trying not to cry.  “I knew he was cheating on me. . .I mean, I couldn’t prove it, but I just. . .knew.  But still, when Sophie told me her dad and Tits McGee were getting MARRIED it was like a horse kicked me in the chest.  Todd swears they weren’t seeing each other while we were still together, but. . .”

“Ha!”  I interjected with a laugh.  “Of COURSE they were seeing each other when you were together.  Women get divorced for a million reasons; men only get divorced for one.”

Kelly drew a ragged breath and brushed her hair behind her ears.  “I’m just so. . .mad.  And I don’t know why!  I don’t want him, but at the same time, I want to rip that bitch’s hair out for fucking my husband.”

“Totally understandable.”  I shrugged, handing Kelly a rag to dry her eyes.  “When Gil started shacking up with his girlfriend while we were still married I flipped my shit.”

Kelly chuckled wryly.  “Jesus, I wish I knew you then.  It would have been magical to watch you go all Lifetime Movie of the Week on that chick.”

“Lifetime?  Oh, Bitch, please.  More like ‘Snapped’. I was just two drinks and a handgun away from going all Betty Broderick on both their asses.” Kelly smiled weakly and I nudged her with my shoulder.  “You’re allowed to go a little postal, Kell.  It’s a totally reasonable reaction to an unreasonable situation. Just don’t get arrested; I’ve seen you in orange, you totally couldn’t rock the prison jumpsuit.”

“How did you get over it?”  Kelly asked tearfully.  “How did you stop being angry and get so goddamned zen about the whole thing?”

I shrugged and picked at a flake of paint on the carpet.  “I don’t know.  Time, I guess. When we were together I was just so profoundly sad all the time.  I was starving myself all day and getting drunk every night just to be able to tolerate the sight of him, but at the same time I was terrified of being without him.  It was like Stockholm Syndrome, except with more bulimia and less Patty Hearst.”

“Sounds magical.” Kelly drawled.  “How did you survive that level of crazy for ten years?”

“Vodka.”  I nodded sagely. “Copious amounts of vodka.”

She smirked at me.  “As your best friend this is the part where I should be telling you to feel your feelings and reflect on how you could have made better choices, but as your psycho/sober friend I understand you’d stab me with an Allen wrench if I 12-step your ass, so I’ll refrain from commenting.”

“Good call, Bill W.” I said, standing and extending my hand. “C’mon, let’s ditch the furniture for now and go get pedicures.”

Kelly grinned and grabbed my hand, pulling herself up.  Twenty minutes later, we were seated side-by-side in massage chairs, our softly pumiced feet soaking in lavender-scented water.

“Much better than constructing obscurely named Swedish end tables.”  Kelly sighed blissfully.  “I’m still angsty, but at least I’ll be angsty with ‘Lincoln Park After Dark’ on my toes.”

“That’s mah girl!” I cried, whacking her arm with a copy of InStyle magazine.  “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, it’s bad for your complexion.”*

*Once again, my encyclopedic knowledge of all things ‘Sixteen Candles’ proves fortuitous.  R.I.P. Mr. Hughes; you defined my generation.

“So, you never really told me.” Kelly countered, rubbing her arm where I smacked her. “How did you stop being angry at Gil and Bachelorette #3?”*

*My friend Jess was the one who suggested we simply start numbering Gil’s wives.  It seemed more expedient than trying to remember their names.

I thought for a moment. “I got sober.”  Kelly squinted at me cynically.  “I know, that sounds simplistic, but it really did make all the difference.  Once I had some clarity I was able to see how horrible we really were together.  It wasn’t that I hated Gil, I just hated who I was when I was WITH him.  And as for her, she was just one in a long line of ‘other women’.  If he hadn’t moved in with her it would have been someone else eventually; Gil and I were like bleach and ammonia: separately, pretty useful and effective, but together we were just one toxic hot mess.”

Kelly widened her eyes and gave me a high-five.  “Look at you being all mature and shit!” she laughed.  “I’m embarrassed that I’m still Facebook-stalking Todd’s skank.”

I waved my hand dismissively.  “You’ll get over that.  I don’t even think about Gil and the women in his life anymore.  It’s not anger, or annoyance, it’s just. . .not even on my radar.  You’ll get there; try to understand that Todd’s girlfriend obviously has some pretty severe self-esteem issues.  Emotionally and mentally stable people don’t destroy families by sleeping with married men; turn that anger into pity.”

Kelly gaped at me in astonishment. “You want me to feel sorry for that whore!?!?”*

*For the record, yelling the word “whore” in a crowded nail salon in downtown Portland?  Ill-advised.

“The first time I met Gil’s girlfriend I was shocked by how much she reminded me of myself when he and I were married.” I told Kelly.  “Same hairstyle, same Amish Sister Wife wardrobe, same kicked-puppy expression."

Kelly snorted with laughter.  "I would pay good money to see you dressed in the Eddie Bauer spring collection."

I rolled my eyes dramatically.  "Yeah, I'd pretty much embraced the softer side of Sears.  Suffice to say, that dog doesn't bark in this fashionista's yard anymore.  Anyway, when I saw Gil's girlfriend I suddenly saw what I’d escaped and what she was deep in the heart of.  I know how this is going to end for her and it won't be pretty.  It was bizarre, but in that moment I just stopped being angry and started feeling really sorry for her.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get there.” Kelly said with a shake of her head. “I still want to cunt-punt Todd’s slut into next week.”

“Funny, I don’t remember ‘cunt-punt’ being one of Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief.” I mused. “But if you need to get your Miranda Lambert on and be a little psycho for a while then go for it.  Let it out, Sistah!”

Kelly scowled.  “She looks like an old racehorse: ridden hard and put away wet.”

I grinned maliciously.  “She’s been picked up and fingered more times than a bowling ball.”

Kelly snorted with laughter.  “She fell out of the whore tree and banged every guy on the way down.”

“Her cervix has been invaded more times than Poland!” I cried, earning a malevolent glare from the woman to my left.

“She’s like a vacuum cleaner: she sucks, blows, and gets laid in the closet!”

“If she was a dinosaur she’d be a ‘Tramp-a-whore-us Rex!”

“She’s rubbed more wood than Murphy’s Oil Soap!”

“I’d kick her ass but I don’t want to get slut all over my Jimmy Choos!”

“If her vagina had a password, it would be ‘password’!”

Kelly and I chortled like a couple of coked-up strippers and high-fived each other with glee.
"Better?"  I asked.

"Better."  she agreed with a smile.  "But I still want to cram a Molotov Cocktail in the tailpipe of her Prius."
I patted her hand comfortingly.  "Send her a thank you note instead."  I said.  "You may not know it yet, but she did you the biggest fucking favor of your life."

Be well.  Be forgiving.  Life is too damned short to waste on hating people that aren't worthy of your attention. . .you're better than that.



Kelly said...


I needed this today.

Love you.

Mothers little hleper said...

It didn't take me long to realize that my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me. You hit the nail on the head on this one.

TheChickIsRight said...

Holy scheikies, lady! You totally got me today with your spot-on post. You are so totally right it's not even funny. Something struck me as I was reading your last paragraph...

Not only are "those" people not worthy of your attention... but the only person you are hurting with your hate is you. "Those" people aren't changed or transformed by your animosity. More often than not, they don't care. They are utterly unworthy of your attention - and they are certainly not worth any more pain, especially pain that you bring upon yourself as a result of their douchiness. They are not worth it. YOU, however, are totally worth it. You owe it to yourself to forgive. Just don't confuse forgiveness with acceptance. :-)

Ok - I'll get off my soapbox now. Thank you for another awesome post! Hope all is well and that the move went as smoothly as possible!

jennielynn said...

So much wisdom here. When I finally shed my ex, I came to the conclusion I'd rather be single the rest of my life than married to him. It was incredibly freeing. While it didn't work out that way, it helped me get past the grief and anger.

Sending good single woman thoughts to Kelly. This is a shit road she's walking, but hey, good things grow from shit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, I get the whole theme of this post is to try to be all zen and forgiving and shit, but . . .

"Fell out of the whore tree and banged every guy on the way down?" Holy hell, that shit is brilliant.

I love you two crazy coked up whores!

Frances Gronlier said...

Dude! I Spent 6 years with a guy who says we are married and don't need a paper then demoted to a room mate with benefits (he said this to my face and asked me to move out). I don't think he cheated on me per se but he made sure he was friends with the female who by the way dated his son (yes she is that young). I do feel bad for her. She was a bit younger than me when I met him and now she's got two babies with him. She has no clue what's in store for her. I'm glad I moved on and learned from his punk ass.

Laura said...

Awesomesauce Jen!

Cheryl Soler said...

Emotionally and mentally stable people don’t destroy families by sleeping with married men;


Valerie said...

This sounds like the best pedi talk. Perhaps ever.



Jennifer Clark said...

Wisdom for the ages, m'dear. (If I coulda wrapped my head around these principles in my youth, my life would have been a whole hellava lot less angsty) I really want to teach tool-steel strength self-respect to all my daughters.

Wave the banner for us all, Jen!

Laura said...

BTW: after a re-read. Yes I always read it twice...

Cunt Punt.

OMG I love that!