I did not get a good start on the day.
I woke up to a very insistently hungry cat. (We’re trying to keep her food out only for short periods of time, to avoid attracting more roaches, especially after all the work I did.)
As I made my way to the kitchen to get her container of food, I killed a big, fat roach. I also saw that Tim hadn’t taken out the trash. I asked him to do it right as I went to bed. I hadn’t wanted it to stay so full, lest it attract more bugs.
I was stewing about that — and wiping up the remains of the roach — when I caught another, much smaller one. That’s when I noticed that Tim had left two peanut-butter laden knives in the sink.
Now, chances are, those roaches would have been there anyway — even without the trash or the knives. While Tim was gone, I would still catch a bug or two a day. And that was when I kept the trash level low and the sinks clear of dishes.
But my rational brain hadn’t turned on. (Yes, we’re operating on the assumption that it ever does.) I was tired and mad. I didn’t have room to consider Tim’s ADD or basic exhaustion. (The bed at his parents’ house is not remotely conducive to rest.) I was just thinking about all the work that had gone into getting ready for the exterminators: how far it had set me back to stage the apartment and then put everything back.
So I threw on some scrubs, snarled something at a half-conscious Tim, and took out the trash, slamming the front door for good measure.
I came back slightly mollified, if still irritated. Then I heard some crackle loudly as I stepped in the apartment. There, face-down on the floor, was one of the 8″x10″ prints Tim had picked up on our honeymoon. It had fallen when I slammed the door shut. The glass was demolished.
Talk about a reality check! Over two cockroaches, some peanut butter and an overly full trash, I almost destroyed something of great sentimental value to Tim. I realized I had once again overreacted to a situation.
Luckily, it was a cheap frame. It will be easy to replace, and he might even get a nicer setting out of it. But the whole incident reminded me about the high cost of my temper.
I’m not saying that I was wrong to be frustrated; and this probably won’t cure me of overreacting in the future. It is, however, a wonderful example of just how un-frugal it is to have a short fuse.
A bad temper can lead to car accidents and fights (with corresponding medical bills). It can lead to strained inter-employee relations, which cost you raises and other professional advancement. It can lead to physical ailments, which cost money to treat. Or it can just lead you to break things — purposefully or otherwise — that you then have to replace.
What has your temper cost you recently?