Earlier this week Mark and I had one of our periodic spats that led to a lot of sitting in separate rooms sulking, thinking the other deeply unfair and awful.
In hindsight, it is always amusing how we retreat into our own chosen ‘safe rooms’; he in the living room and me up on the second floor in our ‘office’. There we sit, fuming about how impossible the other person is. Then, Amy Winehouse’s “Love is a losing game” may thunder in my Grado’s.
I hate those days, because I think I don’t like conflict, but I can’t help myself because during those days I want to win. Whatever ‘win’ means in these situations. Do people formulate petty and mean victory conditions that must be fulfilled to satisfy the wounded ego? Afterwards, it seems so mean-spirited and low.
It is also amusing, afterwards, to think of how bad those days make me feel. Like there’s something liquid and something on fire in my stomach. In the midst of that want to wipe the smug off his face, it’s almost like I have to go to the loo, all the time. And that drives down my mood to the gutter.
Mark is an emotional flat-liner for the most part, and I usually joke that he’s my mood-control Mark I. But of course, my emotional roller coaster rides affect him too. So my swings aren’t as wild and as fearful, but his levelness does become a mood sine-wave.
When my flaring temper create valleys in his neutralities, I think they also create the hills sometimes. Like today. And his valleys and his highs allow my flaring feelings to ride higher and sink lower. Maybe it’s not so much that he’s my mood-control device. Maybe I’m his temper-amplifier? Or maybe we both amplify and dampen each other? I don’t know. But today was pretty good, because he came to fetch me in his car, and we had a long drive, and he was in such a good mood that it made me feel invincible and strong and happy.
So… aren’t the bad days just reflections on good days? Aren’t they bad simply because we know how good they could be? Aren’t the bad days the failures when we are more angry about what we’re missing? If we never had these good days, then those other days would not feel such a disappointment and a waste because… that’s what we would expect and prepare for?