I was walking to school today when I saw a man angrily smash a stale portobello mushroom against the road. This was weird to me because in my short experience as an adult you learn to at least try to hide the angry parts of yourself. It’s like having a permanent acne problem, but instead of acne it’s actually repressed rage, and instead of desperately smearing foundation all over your face you quietly stifle it until you either lash out at a family dinner or die, whichever comes first. So I found this open display a little surprising, especially when he started muttering under his breath and shooting me death glares, even though I was like “hey man, I hate mushrooms too” which I didn’t say out loud but which I communicated through very meaningful eye contact.
Then I started thinking about the socially-acceptable ways that we do express anger -- usually passive aggressive, usually via some sort of electronic medium, usually kind of lame and boring. A cold text? Un-friending someone on Facebook? Using two emojis instead of three?(!!) At least this guy had the sense to do something a little bit interesting. I mean come on -- he destroyed a portobello mushroom in this economy. If that is not an expression of deep, profound angst then I don't know what is.
Maybe instead of expressing ourselves in fits of vague anger, we should just fully commit. That's the thing about being passive aggressive -- it allows you to say "oh, no, I didn't mean it that way" and excuse yourself from responsibility when you could take the more interesting, more honest route and just claim your anger. Put a flag on it and say it's yours. Smash all of the stale foods in your pantry. Burn the things that make you sad. Buy a t-shirt that says "Yes, I am very angry at you MOM!!" Life is confusing and weird, so tell all the people you love how angry you are at them now. As Marilyn Monroe once said, "if you can't handle me at my worst, that's like your problem soooo"