My parents expressed their anger-slash-disappointment in very different ways as I was growing up – Dad was the explosive one, who would shout and rage intensely for five solid minutes before blowing himself out and instantly forgetting about whatever incident it was that caused the rage in the first place, whereas Mum was much more of the silent, glowering type, who would not rage, but who would insist on referring to the incident quietly and calmly over a period of hours.
Mum definitely was the superior in terms of making you regret your actions over the long term, but I was more scared of Dad, who would make you regret everything you’d ever done throughout the five minute tirade – I guess loud things are more intimidating than self-improvement to a child. I think I will always remember one particular occasion when my mum once used the dreaded phrase ‘Just you wait until your dad gets home’ in response to one act of naughtiness, the actual details of which I have since completely forgotten.
In the several hours I had between the threat being issued and the time Dad was due home, I was convinced Mum would be building an excellent case against me, and decided the best plan of action would be to hide somewhere so I could not be found. Employing the kind of logic only a child can muster, I reasoned that Dad would then shout at the fact he couldn’t find me, before forgetting the whole incident (including the original sin), at which stage I could safely reveal my presence without fear of the rage descending upon me.
I was so sure my grand plan would be a success, I decided to put it into action immediately and proceeded to squeeze myself into a small gap between the fitted wardrobes in the spare room and a nearly adjoining wall. Note that there was no consideration as to how long it would actually be until Dad got home.
I stood, squashed in this tiny gap, for what seemed like hours until finally, I heard the front door open. I stiffened and crossed my fingers (an act which guaranteed success in everything when you were a child) that this was to be the beginning of the triumphant conclusion to my grand plan.
Fifteen minutes later, there still hadn’t been the bellow of anger I expected as Mum relayed the details of the now unknown atrocity, so heinously committed by their eldest daughter. I tensed as he headed upstairs to get changed, but there wasn’t even a glance around the room to see where I was. I was baffled, and grew more nervous. Had she told him, and he’d decided to store his rage until our paths crossed instead of using his anger rations at the distinct lack of his daughter's presence? Half an hour later, and there had still been no reaction. I had been crammed into the cubby hole for hours by this stage so the discomfort, as well as the temptation presented by the smells of dinner wafting up the stairs got the better of me. There was also a certain sense that it would be better all round if I just got it over with.
I carefully un-squeezed myself from my hiding place and tentatively headed downstairs.
I poked my head round the kitchen door to face my fate, fearing the absolute worst. There was absolutely nothing – well, there could have been a cheery ‘hello, where have you been?’ but there were no quiet and calm comments and there was definitely no shouting. The entire incident, the one that led me to hiding in an impossible gap for hours, had been forgotten. I was elated that I had dodged a bullet, but also a little disappointed that I had put all that effort into wasting an afternoon playing hide-n-seek on my own, when I could have been up to whatever stuff it was that made being a kid such fun.
I would like to think I transformed into the perfectly behaved child after this incident but I suspect this was not the case. I do know that thanks to the different techniques employed by my parents, I have grown up as a balanced individual. By which I mean that I fall back on both types of anger-slash-disappointment management – certain incidents are met with an explosive and impressive volley of loudly uttered swear words, yet others I handle with a grim sense of acceptance that manifests itself in frequent calm, yet passionate statements of general annoyance. Generally, the former is the result of someone else’s actions, the latter is in response to situations I have created entirely by myself and could have been oh so easily avoided. And Heaven forbid if I put myself in a stupid situation that someone else makes worse.
And on to the fate of Bridezilla. As the posts have become longer, I've realised that I really enjoy the freedom of writing this way and that I've had less pleasure from coming up with ideas for the comic lately - probably because of the restrictions of the current template. So, I am considering a change of format. The idea is to create a new page on this blog for the comics to be posted on - and this main page right here is going to continue the more recently adopted stories about me and my frequently silly life. And the wedding of course. I’ll still be updating here every Monday and Thursday, and the Bridezilla page will be updated whenever the inspiration grabs me. I'm not forgetting Bridezilla by any stretch of the imagination, just shifting the focus of the main page. And that note, I have some redesigning to do. Watch this page for the changes!