Saturday, March 8, 2008

Keep on Smiling

Ever since my dad got back from his trip to Florida, he’s been in a bit of a pissy mood, slamming doors, and screaming at telemarketers. (Okay, that telemarketer thing only happened once today, but it freaked me out. I mean, I hate them too, but his decibel levels were freakishly high.) When I came back here in December after a short trip to Vancouver, I wasn’t very happy either. Coming back to this much snow is quite off-putting.

While typing up my daily film review, my dad stopped by to pick up the monthly rent check, and as asked for it, he smiled at me, bearing his teeth. I know he wasn’t really smiling. It’s this fake smile he gives when he’s stress out, and it frankly gives me the creeps. You know it’s just a matter of time before he snaps, and suddenly the smiling man becomes the shouting man.

My mother stopped by my room too, to tell me that she wants to talk to me later. When I asked her about what, she said “a number of things.” I can’t imagine what would be out of the ordinary, so, at some point I’m expecting another lecture on how my life isn’t going anywhere. It’s a conversation I’m sure we’re all tired of, but until I’ve found whatever it is I need to make me complete, we’ll keep coming back to it. Who knows, maybe it has something to do with my father’s mood. Maybe it’s all connected, but I digress.

What I want to talk about today, the “keep on smiling” mentality. I find there are essentially two kids. The first kind forgets his sorrow or anger. He just lets it roll off his shoulders. He chooses to be happy, despite unhappy events surrounding him, knowing that things will work themselves, or at least, they’ll work out better if he stays cool about them. This is what I like to think I am able to do most of the time, though I suppose no one is always able to shake away the shit that gets dealt to us in life.

The second type suppresses his anger. He grumbles about it under his breath, and keeps it to himself, smiling through their flustered demeanor. This method of dealing with anger isn’t very good, and I expect most of these people wind up having heart attacks.

I don’t believe you necessarily need a way to “release” the anger, like hitting a punching bag, or running, but that’s certainly one way to blow off steam. Just try to take a moment to remember the things in life that you live for.

When my mother comes home and she’s on edge, we all know it, and nothing seems to calm her down. In fact, when you try, she just gets madder. This invariably gets worse until my dad is doing the fake smiling thing. Then she’s not mad anymore and he is. And simply holds it in, releasing it in short spurts at whatever is in front of him to be mad at.

I used to get so stressed out about it when I was in school. I had a lot of problems, particularly with dodging irritating pointless assignments, and then I’d get blasts from them, whenever they were annoyed, and their words were very harsh. They’d always have ammunition for me when they felt like taking a shit on someone small. As long as I was living on their dime, what could I do.

Now because I pay rent, I treat this as a tenancy, and as such it’s doesn’t bother me anymore. Now I know I can leave whenever I want to. Now in stead of being scaring, I just think less of them. They’re just embarrassing themselves, because it’s obvious that letter other stresses cascade onto us, (my sister and I, as well as the cats), and it’s both tedious and pathetic.

My sister and I have so many more problems than they do. We have our whole lives to plan and work towards. All they have to do is keep doing what they’re doing. They’re lawyers, and well paid ones too. And their kids aren’t junkies or inmates. They have a good marriage. They have lots to smile about. And they do often enough, but I find they forget perhaps a little too often. And when they do, and they blast at me, I just think about how easily I can leave, and that makes me smile. When my sister and I live, who are they going to blame for their pissy moods?

1 comment:

spookygreentea said...

Probably the cats, or the neighbours. Oh, and there's always Depressia...