Rants in My Pants: The Art of Being Constructively Cross

Sara Bran Angry EyesI’m so grateful for blogging; how else could I give voice to my acidic internal monologues? Is there any point to having a rant in private? My years of diary entries just don’t compare to the validation I get from blog ranting (branting as I call it). All it takes is one kind person to confer a typographic nod or virtual lemon-taster face in the comments section of my online dribblings to satisfy my vented spleen.

The thing is, I’m only any good at ranting on paper. I can’t do it in person. In reality, my brain goes fuzzy and I spit out inconsequential rubbish when moments in my life become heated. I’ll come out with things like, “Yeah… and your car is the same colour as my grandfather’s teeth!” in a flash of road rage or, “I’m packing my suitcase… the only one we have that still has a really good zip… where did we put that again?” in a moment of domestic pique. I’m a non-sensical, semi-hysterical arguer, as articulate as a kumquat in a fruit bowl.

Whenever my youngest daughter throws one of her hissy fits of star-exploding, galaxy-forming intensity, my husband will just glance at me for a second, left eyebrow ever-so-slightly raised in a way that it says it all. She. Gets. It. From. You.

If it’s any excuse, I have never been taught how to argue articulately; it just wasn’t my childhood experience of conflict. Things in our household were always either in first gear (sulky, silent, behind-closed-doors, simmering) or fifth gear (violent). I was incubated in a walk-upon-eggshells, glass hot- house type situation, and I’ve never learned how to do the in-between. It’s one of the many reasons I could never be a politician. I would definitely end up calling the opposition ‘toss pieces’  or some other spittle producing insult that would leave the House of Commons microphone so drenched in fury that no one else could use it for days.

It’s a real skill, being able to not lose it, and yet still convey one’s wrath. My husband is brilliant at perfectly articulate, constructive and appropriate crossness. For me not to do the ranting harpie routine would require an actual personality transplant. Am I too late to learn? I’m just not sure I can get the angry woman out of me unless there is some kind of extraction thing that can be done, like liposuction but for vitriol.

Maybe if I reframe my ‘rants’ as ‘passion’ things will work better for me. Perhaps I am passionate about the environment rather than foaming at the mouth like a myxomatosis-riddled bunny about wanton littering and waste. Maybe I am passionate about women’s rights rather than being a bubbling cauldron of fury about everyday sexism. Is it working? Not sure if I’ve convinced myself yet.

I fear that if I don’t at least write, my rants will stay in my pants, and we all know how irritating cystitis is. Wish me luck, I’m trying to get good at fighting.