I’m eating two stalks of celery as I write this, which is admittedly not the most inspiring food. Our refrigerator is undergoing a massive clean out because of Passover. The good news? A clean house. The bad news? Celery.
The reality of staying inside all day was starting to hit. People who know me in real life would never believe this, but I’ve started going to bed at 12:30 am. I’m trying to re-establish my 10:30 bedtime tonight. Today was a day of GYSTing (Getting Your Sh*t Together). First, I called the company I work for to see whether checks were still coming in the mail. They were, but everything was delayed because of Coronavirus. I stayed on hold for 30 minutes to figure out where the check was. It was en route. Cool.
I came to my room and absolutely freaked out. There it was. The check I was waiting for, torn into shreds. “WHO,” I yelled, “OPENED A LETTER THAT WAS LABELED WITH MY NAME AND TORE UP THE CHECK?” You have to understand that I’m not a screamer. My coping mechanisms up until now have involved running on the treadmill (the faster I run, the angrier I am) and being a crisis counselor (giving advice to people makes me feel better). Today was different. Today, I screamed. My brother was looking at me with a sheepish grin, which disappeared when he saw how livid I was.
“You tore up $200!” I yelled. “Are you out of your mind? And you left it shredded on my dresser, like a present?”
“I didn’t realize?” he said, which only enraged me further. The envelope was labeled with my name. You aren’t supposed to open mail with other people’s names on it.
So I yelled at my mom. “He’s your child? Do something!”
My mom, who is a psychologist, tried to talk some sense into me. “If you keep yelling at him, he’s going to think that your yelling is the punishment.”
“$200, MOM!” I yelled. “That’s supposed to go toward graduate school.” She told me to stop projecting my anger at her, which was fair. So I projected my anger at the actual cause of it. Hurricane Vera was large and in charge. Because I didn’t eat anything up until then, I went downstairs and slammed together some food. I proceeded to bang some knives onto the table and throw the chunks of my ripped check at my brother, fighting tears. “Clean up your trash!” I shouted. I told him that he better call the company himself to see if I could get a replacement check. So he got the phone.
My stepdad and my brother taped the check back together and slid it under my door. I deposited it online. The company called back to say that they could send another check, in case Chase bank was not as understanding. Once I realized that the situation was fixable, my anger evaporated. I felt like I had failed some kind of test. I wasn’t able to keep my cool. My brother is not much for apologies, but he offered to cook me something. He’s a great chef. I said he could mop the kitchen for me in reparation.
When I came downstairs again, my mom told me how it happened. She said they got into an argument, and he ended up tearing the first paper that he saw, which was my check. I completely misjudged him. I couldn’t help thinking of the many people I knew in my life who would’ve reacted better. But my first instinct was to take it out on my family, and then on the cutlery. After finishing this blog post, I’m going to apologize (and not just to the forks).
The rest of the day went better. I worked on 3 psychological assessments. I went downstairs and mopped the living room with my sister. Our two stepsisters emerged from their rooms, and we danced while cleaning. My sister twerked on a broom. All things considered, I’d say our quarantine is going pretty well.