She works hard for her money so you better treat her right.

I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately about my house. In one, I dreamt that I discovered that I owned the house next door – who knew? And in another, I dreamt that my house had a finished basement. Evidently, you can live in a house for two years and not discover all of the living space. Stranger things have happened.

My therapist (shrink? counselor? that lady who has to listen to me run my mouth?) suggested that it’s all a metaphor for discovering the new places within me and beginning to own my emotions.

Today while we were visiting, I went off on a random tangent and really surprised myself.

I am MAD.

Like, seriously pissed off.

Now, I come from a long line of women who Don’t Make a Fuss. Don’t ask too much – don’t be greedy. You can get what you want, but you have to do the work behind the scenes, not blatantly in the open. And if you really want to talk about not making a fuss, my grandma never wore an apron but could prepare dinner for 20 and then step out of the kitchen, perfectly pressed and not a hair astray.

I was the girl who got the evil eye for using the term “slut” at grandma’s dinner table. (What? I didn’t realize it was a bad word.) And somehow, I joined Team Don’t Make a Fuss. Sadly, I didn’t quite grasp the “no hair astray” part. But I strive to be poised and kind and not make waves.

And now? Now, I’m mad as hell.

I’m mad at the way The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful treated me. I’m mad about The Ladybug in ways that I’m too much of a lady to go into here. I’m mad that I put up with all of it. I’m mad that it’s been four months and I’m still mad. I’m mad that I am still figuring it all out. I’m mad that I lost my boyfriend and then my dog died. I’m mad that I left a bottle of Patron at Ex-Wonderful’s house.

I’m not so much hurt anymore, which is refreshing. I’m just … angry. And it scares me, because Don’t Make a Fuss means not acknowledging anger. But I am. And, like an exotic ingredient on Iron Chef, I have to figure out what to do with it.

I was once so blind with rage at Ex-Ex that I actually considered ramming my car in the car of his ladyfriend. Of course, what I really did was call BFF, cry for 10 minutes, and then go to a yoga class. So, obviously, I am DANGEROUS.

But I guess the real task at hand is acknowledging the anger and then channeling it in a productive way. But the acknowledgement? It is work.

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