“Why Are They So Angry?”

pots in west window“Have you noticed the anger coming out of them?  They are all mad.”  Gladys reached into her beaded bag for a cigarette.

Jon squirted oil on his bearings and gave the wheel a spin.  “Why are they so angry?  They’re alive.  Isn’t that enough to keep ’em from being mad?”

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you, Jon.  But all of them are angry.  Some of them keep the anger bottled up.  Some of them explode at the first provocation.  It’s a shame, really.  And by the way, I’ve made some fresh pie today – French Silk.  That was my husband’s favorite.  I made French Silk for every one of his birthdays.  In fact, I often made him French Silk when he was angry about something.  That’d do the trick every time.”  Margaret reached behind to re-tie her flowered apron.

Jon put down his board and walked to Margaret’s side, “My mom made a chocolate pie.  Is that what that is?  I’d love some.”  He takes a slice and leans against a grave marker.  “So, Gladys, what are they mad about?”

Gladys exhales and says, “It’s more about who they are mad at.  They are mad at their boss, or their boyfriend.  Most often they are mad at their husband.  A lot are mad at their mother or father.  Hell, they’re mad at everyone.”

Margaret slices another piece of pie, “Watch your language, dear.  Don’t you think that they are mad at themselves?  Don’t you think they misplace their anger?  They are mad about their own shortcomings, and they take their frustrations out on their loved ones.”


Perched on the top of a marker, Gladys crossed one leg over the other.  “You know what they say when a woman stops being mad at you?”

“No.  What does that mean?”  Jon puts down his fork.  “I never even got the chance to make a woman mad, ‘cept maybe my mom, and she never stayed mad long.”

Margaret wipes the pie server on a cloth, “Well that’s because your mother loved you, dear.”

Gladys laughed, “Jon, when a woman stops being mad at you, she has long since stopped caring.”

“Gladys is absolutely right, Jon.”  Basil reaches for his thermos.  “You know, I used to do something to annoy my bride about once a week.  Just to make sure she was still paying attention – to make sure she still cared.  Don’t get me wrong.  I didn’t make any big messes.  I’d forget to take out the trash or throw my socks on the bedroom floor or get up from the table without helping to clear the dishes.  She’d bark at me in her sweet way.  It was almost a game.  Then she’d rein me in and I’d be good for another week.  I miss those spats.”

“Somebody explain that to me.”  Jon held his empty plate out to Margaret.  “Why do we want a woman to be mad at us?  That doesn’t make sense.”

“It’s complicated.”  Margaret served another piece to Jon.  “You see, Jon, a woman may sound mad at you, but really she’s tweaking and molding and adjusting and tailoring your character.  She doesn’t mean you any harm.  She wants the best for you.  You see mothers doing that with their children.  You see girlfriends doing that with their boyfriends.  When she’s done sounding mad, she’s done tweaking – or caring about you.  Gladys, correct me if I’m wrong, honey, but that’s not the same kind of mad that you’re talking about, is it?”


“No, Margaret.  I’m talking about real anger – the kind that festers in the stomach.  The kind that keeps you awake at night.  The kind that explains rash decisions and burned bridges.  I’m talking about the kind of anger that keeps folks from living the lives they ought to be living.”

Basil pauses before taking a sip of coffee.  “I’m sure my bride was never that kind of angry at me.  She could always be jollied out of her kind of mad.”

Gladys hops down from the marker she’d been sitting on.  “You were a lucky man, Basil.”

“Yes, Gladys, I was a lucky man.  I remember my sister being mad – I mean really mad – at our mom.  I never knew why.  I just chalked it up to moms and daughters.  I never pretended to understand.”

Jon set his empty plate down.  “Margaret, that was the best chocolate pie I’ve ever tasted – even better than my mom’s.  She can’t hear me say that, right?  My sister was always mad at my mom, too.  What is it with moms and daughters?”

“I’m glad you liked the pie, son.  I’m sure your mom still thinks you loved her pie best.  As far as moms and daughters – maybe the daughters resent the moms’ need to tweak and adjust and mold them.  Maybe the daughters are craving being loved for who they are.  I believe that most moms do love their daughters – with all their hearts – but they can’t help but encourage them to reach their true potential.  They end up sounding critical or judgmental.”  Margaret took a bite of pie.  “Oh! that is good, isn’t it?  I remember my daughter used to complain to me, ‘Mom?  How come everything that comes out of your mouth sounds like, ‘That’s fine, honey, but.’  There’s always a but.  Can’t any part of me ever be good enough for you?’  It would break my heart when she’d say that, because she was my perfect baby girl.”

Jon grabbed his skateboard.  “Why don’t sons have the same issues with their moms?  What are sons – men – angry about?”


To be continued …

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  1. Always leavin’ me hanging… ;)

  2. Z,

    Blame it on Margaret. She gets to serving pie and gabbing and the post runs too long.

    I do love her, tho.

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