Even science says I should not go to bed angry. It’s because my reaction in the morning will be that much less visceral if I prolong sleep, and instead work to resolve whatever it was that got said in a fit of gratuitous emotion. If I fall asleep on an angry brain, it’s said that I’m going to collect and protect my feelings, fight off the good fairy, and clutch them like a newborn not quite ready for its first snowstorm.
I’ve become very accustomed to hearing the age-old “Don’t go to bed angry” one-liner. My parents have said it, my grandparents have said it, other people’s grandparents have said it, even Mr. Max has adopted it. I find it kind of a riot. First of all, I am a morning person through and through. I can’t argue with anyone at night. I am zonked, crabby, and probably hungry so whatever gets said, I am most likely only thinking about that piece of cheese over there. Let me go to bed; I need to recharge. I need a clear head, and a cup of coffee. Because who ever heard of fighting over a cup of a coffee? That’s like fighting while holding a bunch of helium balloons. Although, my next example was going to be while holding a baby, but I guess plenty of people fight while holding a baby. Parents. How come the age-old saying isn’t “Don’t fight while holding the baby”? The next time I go to a baby shower, that’s getting written on the card.
I will say this embarrassing piece of what feels like too much information. Michael and I argued the other night while holding hands. This was another bit of advice that got blurted out at my bridal shower on Sunday. And as soon as I heard it, I laughed out loud. “Oh, come on,” I said. “How can we hold hands when mine are flailing above my head like bad dance moves?” That’s when an entire room of married women looked at me like a girl who’d only been in a relationship for 4 ½ years. Try and do it, they encouraged.
That night, back at home, while Michael and I took extra-large steps over boxes of stem-less wine glasses and Le Crueset dishes, he spoke up to tell me that he was “feeling disrespected” with all of the extraneous items I’d brought into our 600 square-foot apartment now. (Ex: We have cups so why do we need new cups?) He was feeling disrespected? Was he serious? Am I supposed to feel guilty about registering for new cups the same day people came to celebrate us getting married? Quick. The advice cards. Think about the advice cards.
I didn’t think about the advice cards. It was too soon for the advice cards. I may or may not have told him to “get out of my face.” Michael, on the other hand, with no advice cards to call his own, took my hands and told me “it’s just how I’m feeling.” It was just how he was feeling! He held my hands and said this easily, as if there were a sunset behind us. Ugh, why is he holding my hands? I want to use them. But ok, he’s feeling things, he’s allowed to feel things. This is probably something worth remembering. Just because his feelings, in turn, made me feel stirred a negative reaction in me, this doesn’t mean he was out to hurt me, out to shit on my parade. But it can be so hard to shake certain things, especially in light of certain moments.
The handholding helped, I will admit this. It reminded me that we were friends.
Friends that, in all probability, don’t even need advice cards in the first place.