I have a bad temper *sigh*

I know I have a bad temper. I got mad at somebody today. It was the plumber. He is a nice guy, but it seemed like he had been giving us the run around. He’s been our plumber for nearly 5 years. We found him through a cheeky add in the phone book and we discovered that we are both Greek. Today, like a true Greek, I yelled into his voicemail. His honor was offended by what I said.

He called our house while I was still on the way home and talked to my husband, in a shaky, pained voice. He really did kind of leave us in the lurch with something, and my grandmother’s tenants have had no shower head for two days and he didn’t tell us he was going to go that route and now they’re pissed and sending me nasty, kind of uppity emails and phone calls, flaying their rights around. I was right to be upset with our plumber for not showing up today when he had promised, but now I feel bad about screaming at him via voicemail and saying “This is unacceptable” in a really bitchy tone into speaker phone while in gridlock traffic on the Bay Bridge. I also accused him of keeping us on the back burner because we weren’t one of his richer clients.

I have to stay here tomorrow when he comes and say sorry. At the moment, I am not sorry, but I want to be. I should really let it go, but, here it is 1:23 in the morning, and I still can’t sleep. I know it’s because I let my temper get the better of me…again.  Sometimes my bad temper scares people when they have seen only my good side.

Our plumber is an ex-fighter, a huge, muscular, former boxing champion and I was able to insult him to the point of humiliation. He also has confided in me that he has anger management issues. But because he is a big strong guy, he kicks people’s asses, I just yell at them and say just the right mean thing to break them.

I feel like a total douche.

It wasn’t just that I was mad at him. I was mad that this plumbing problem keeps happening, I was mad at the entitled messages that my grandmother’s tenants, two twenty-something bankers and one type-A chemistry teacher who expect perfection sent me, I was mad that I have to manage their apartment, I was mad that I have to grade papers all day tomorrow, I was mad that these writers I know were  dismissive of me, I was mad that I have all these responsibilities when all I want to do is write, I was mad that I didn’t eat anything until 5pm tonight, when I pulled over before getting on the freeway and scarfed a tuna sandwich, I was mad that it took me 30 minutes to exit the parking structure at work because of an accident right outside and rush hour, I was mad that I let a student guilt-trip me into making free photocopies for her when I wanted to go home, I was mad that the 50-year-old work-study student who works for the English department refuses to get out of my chair when I need to meet with students, then was rude to me in front of all the other colleagues, I was mad that the secretaries at my college turned their noses up at my student when she tried to make conversation in the elevator, I was mad that the administrators turn their frowning gazes to the corner of the wall  to avoid making eye-contact with me in the same elevator because they think I am a student. I was mad overall. I’m a bitch with a bad temper, and look out. I am now 30.

The only person I was not mad at today was my husband, who understands about my temper and who tried to explain my temper to the plumber, who was like get your woman in order, man. Ted and I laughed over that idea together over tacos. Ted was nice to me anyway even though he had to listen to our plumber talk for fifteen minutes about how much my voicemail had hurt his feelings and diplomatically console him on the phone. Everybody else in the world is on my shit-list except for Ted. He made me dinner and then watched my favorite show with me.

I keep struggling with my bad temper. Maybe one day, I’ll learn to be more like Ted and let it all go.

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