I AM NOT AN ANGRY PERSON!
Seriously, I can type in all caps (see above) to give the illusion that I am an angry person, but I’m really just sitting at my computer like hey, I’m the chill-est person in the world, and usually I am wishing I had a bowl of ice cream. That’s the truth. It takes a lot to make me angry.
In other words, this story is an example of me acting completely out of character. Please don’t note this as my normal behavior.
Home improvement projects frustrate me. Work crews all up in my house (stranger danger!), loud tools, muddy footprints on the carpet, makeshift walls made of tarps, extended project timelines, non-functioning bathrooms/appliances/electricity/plumbing---it is all annoying! However, when it comes to construction, I am a trooper. When a project is getting on my nerves, I suck it up and focus on the beauty that will be revealed when the construction is complete.
2) Wasting Food
Wasting food frustrates me. Too many leftovers? If I have to eat the same food 3 meals per day for an entire week, I will finish them! Bananas turning brown? Fine, I will eat 5 bananas a day to prevent throwing them away. If I find a cup of yogurt in the back of the fridge with an expiration date that has already past, I think of the starving people in the world and with a surge of guilt I slurp down the yogurt in three bites. Throw food in the trash? You might as well throw away money. I refuse to waste food!
My husband loves potatoes. Last year he purchased a big ‘ol 10 pound bag during the same time that we were remodeling our master bathroom AND putting a new roof on our house.
Construction? CHECK! Copious amounts of food? CHECK! Can you guess where this is headed?
The Time I Got So Angry I Planted a Potato
For two weeks, the back wall of our bedroom was missing in action. The only barrier separating our room from the sounds of traffic, lawn mowers, birds, squirrels, and rain was a thin blue tarp. Did I mention that the busy road behind our house was also undergoing major construction at this time? (It was.)
For two weeks, I spent my nights tossing and turning as I tried to block out sound and get some shut eye. My pathetic attempts at sleep came to an end every morning at 4:30 am when a full road crew started hammering the road. From the sound of it, they were fixing the road by pounding it with rocks and baseball bats.
Needless to say, I was operating on a short fuse.
After starving for two hours, the work crew finally left and I ventured to the kitchen to throw together something, ANYTHING, for dinner. The house was a mess, my countertops were covered in sawdust, and I had a pounding headache caused by a lack of food and sleep. Spaghetti? Yep, quick and easy.
While I was cooking, my husband entered the kitchen to remove some of his tools from the counter, he remarked that dinner smelled nice, and then he pleasantly asked me to throw a potato in the oven for him.
I interpreted this as “why didn't you make me a baked potato, wife!?”
As he left the kitchen, I checked the bag of potatoes and discovered that the remaining spuds were all growing long sprouts. This infuriated me, but I remained silent and returned to my boiling pot of spaghetti.
I gave him a death stare, and said, “The potatoes are growing”.
He grabbed the potato bag, looked inside and said, “wow, we could grow our own potato garden!”
I interpreted this as “why did you let 10 pounds of potatoes go bad while I practically broke my back to build you a new bathroom!? You wasted our entire year supply of potato money and let every child in Africa starve in the process!”
The Moment I Snapped
“Fine! You want me to grow you a potato?! Ok, I’ll grow you a potato!” This is what flew out of my mouth as I walked towards my husband, ignored the stunned look on his face, and grabbed a potato out of his hand. I kept marching straight out the back door and as soon as I reached the grass I reached down, dug a hole with my bare hand and buried the potato.
This was not a high point in my life.
Without saying a word, I walked back into the house, washed my hands, and served up two plates of spaghetti. This whole time my husband watched me carefully with shocked eyes, but was smart enough to remain silent.
For two days my husband walked on eggshells around me, fearing that I would have another outburst.
On the third day, the roofing crew moved their scaffolding to the backyard and set one post directly on top of the newly planted potato garden.
To my husband, I mumbled something along the lines of “looks like your potato garden is ruined” or “hopefully you would prefer to have a roof over your head rather than a fresh potato”. He ignored me and finished all home improvements that day.
With the completion of our home improvement projects, my attitude adjusted, and I started to act like a normal human being. My husband was able to relax and his worry that I would have another outburst decreased. A week later, we forgot about the potatoes altogether.
Months passed. Then, one October afternoon, I noticed some sprouts where I had planted the potato. Intrigued, I grabbed a shovel and started to dig. Guess what I found?
AN ENTIRE UNDERGROUND PATCH OF MINI POTATOES!
Seriously, they were mini. The biggest potato was the size of a strawberry.
It was too good to be true.
Well, one more thing. I mailed three mini potatoes in a letter sized envelope to my brother and his roommates. In place of a return address I put my husband’s name and “Personal Potato Garden”. It had to be done.
The End For Real.
Questions: Have you ever misdirected your anger so badly that you did something crazy like explode at your husband and plant a potato? How do you avoid wasting food? How do you decide what to plant in your garden? (I was working on an answer to this question when I remembered planting potatoes last year.)