Me, the Karate Kid

I have this coping mechanism I use when people get on my nerves. I developed it when I tore a ligament in my foot during a wrestling match. Well ... I was "fake" wrestling, but the guy I was with? Totally wrestling, like all he needed was the tights and a rubberbanded goatee.

Anyway, this guy, he never apologized or anything, even though we saw each other ALL THE TIME, and I was on crutches from mid-summer through Labor Day. And he acted like I was inconveniencing him by being so obvious about my injury, and by being slowed up with the crutches and the swollen foot and the huge space boot and all.

So one night a group of us were playing a card game--I don't even remember the name of it, but it was one where you make up the rules as you go along [ETA: It's called Mao]--and he said something just INCREDIBLY rude, and I SNAPPED. (Emotionally; it wasn't my ligament--again).

I was the one making up the rules for that hand [ETA: I was the Mao], and I said, "Here, you get more cards for being an ass." The room fell silent.

I laugh when I think of it now, how quiet everyone got, and almost scared-looking. This is because I almost NEVER cuss (out loud). Like, I even get all shirty about it when other people do it in my presence, and these particular people had heard my sermon several times.

I really am an old spinster lady.

Also, the reason there was a large group of us all together was that we were on a CHURCH TRIP. See, that is how mad I was. I had been through a month of the swelling and the pain and the smelly boot and the stupid crutches and Mr. Jerkface's ignoring of the whole situation and of ME, and I was through with it.

Now I wish I would have said more, but at the time I was mortified at what I had already said. I was not, however, done being mad.

There wasn't really anything I could do; I mean, obviously I was no physical match for him, and frankly, he was--and still is--no mental match for me. So I did the only thing I could do: I used my imagination.

Imagination is an awesome thing. Mine is quite healthy, and some of the scenarios I dream up are absolutely incredible. I think having an imagination has helped me to remain calm on more than one occasion, and it has certainly kept me from getting into a lot of trouble in real life. It's funny to think of using your imagination as a weapon, but I do this all the time now.

In my head, I put together this whole Alias-like fight scene, wherein I used every martial arts technique I had ever seen in a movie, and I totally beat this guy up in the manner which he deserved. I was quite impressive, especially considering my lack of coordination and martial arts training. I believe I ended with a Karate Kid-style crane kick, after which my opponent was down for the count.

I put myself to sleep with that dream for several nights. Just now, I relived it, and it has really improved with time, I can tell you.

I totally recommend this technique as a coping mechanism. I cannot tell you how easy it is to dismiss other people's rudeness and downright meanness when I can mentally take them down. It puts a smile on my face the next time I see them, and while those people may think I'm delighted to see them, I am actually looking at them and thinking, "POW!"

I choose cartoon violence over actual violence, because I am too big a chicken to even think about throwing punches in real-life, plus I'm not sure real violence solves anything. Imaginary violence, however, helps me to get pseudo-revenge without breaking a sweat, and it helps me to recover my sense of humor at the same time.

Without that, I really would sink into a depression, and then the enemy would WIN, and I just can't have that AT ALL.

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