Warning: This post is rated NC-17 for language and violence.
My husband is a very even keeled man. It's one of the things I love most about him. He rarely gets stressed out except in dire situations, like when the car breaks down, or there is no money left in the checking account. Or when the car breaks down and there is no money in the checking account. And even then, it is a kind of muted grumbling, not ranting and raving, not the screaming banshee that you might get from other members of our household. So on the rare occasion when he does completely lose it it is spectacular, and admittedly, kind of entertaining.
I imagine when I get heated about something it is kind of like background noise to him, he is so used to it. At this point in our relationship it probably is more of an annoyance, like the dog yapping at another dog walking by on the sidewalk outside our window. Mildly annoying, but certainly not out of the ordinary. That is the price you pay for being someone who has multiple tirades every day. But when your tirades are like Halley's comet they can't be missed.
The most recent one in memory is the night of the Ikea bookcase. I had purchased this wonderful bookcase for a room upstairs. It was somewhat large, rather heavy and composed of a grid of squares. I was exhausted and needed to go to bed, but my husband was staying up to watch some *important political event* on television so I asked if he would mind multi-tasking and put together the bookcase. He cheerfully agreed. Unfortunately I forgot two vital facts: my husband can't multi-task, and the *important political event* on television has been known to agitate him. Oblivious to the impending disaster I went to bed and quickly fell asleep.
An hour later I was awoken by very loud banging, proceeded by yelling. As I lay there listening it happened again. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. YELL. And again, and continued at ten minute intervals until finally I got up and went downstairs to see what was going on.
As I entered the family room I saw my husband and a half finished bookcase laying on its side. The next thing I know my husband is smacking my bookcase repeatedly with a rubber mallet, then let out a stream of cursing. He was beyond frustrated, he was enraged.
In between cycles of clobbering the bookcase and swearing I managed to ask him what happened, why he was so upset. My inquiry only served to antagonize him and as he replied he started kicking it, emphasizing his words with kicks so it sounded something like this: I put the (string of unrepeatable curse words) pegs (kick kick) in the wrong (kick kick KICK) holes so it wouldn't go together correctly (kick kick) and now I can't get the (string of curse words) out (really big kick). And now it is broken (more kicking and a few whacks from the rubber mallet).And then I made the mistake of asking him if he read the directions. You don't even want to know the reaction I got from that.
Now I am totally awake. My reaction has gone through many phases. First, stunned silence. Next I became a bit apprehensive at my husband's Incredible Hulk type transformation. Then came inquisition about how he got to this point and then I did the unforgivable. I laughed. And once I started I couldn't stop. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I first pointed out how over the top he was. And then I couldn't help myself - I had to reenact the whole episode. More than once. Complete with cursing, kicking and the rubber mallet. Slowly he began to sheepishly smile. And by the next day it had become a running joke whenever we were out of earshot of the kids. Take that (expletive expletive kick kick kick) book case.
The thing that is so remarkable about this scene is I don't think anyone I have told actually believes me that it happened. I suspect that they think it was me who was melting down over the bookcase, but decided I would make him the scape goat. After all, a man who only has been known to yell when watching a sporting event could not possibly have this level of animosity toward a bookcase. But they could totally see his wife doing it. She's a total drama queen. Wackadoodle. But don't tell her I said that....