I’ve always thought of myself as the mellow one in the family. I’ve never, in a fit of anger, broken up pieces of wood in the basement with my bare hands, and I only backed into my grandfather’s car once when I was seventeen-years-old. I chalk that one up to being young and impetuous. Occasionally, I yell, but I consider that more like “talking loud”, and I only do it because most people around here don’t listen to a word I say.
In my opinion, every family needs a floater – a person who is flexible and who can stay fairly stable (mentally) with the ebbs and flows of life.
Yes, in my situation, that person is me. My husband’s job is one of very high stress. He works long hours, and what he does calls for a great amount of responsibility. It’s been that way for twenty-five years. Don’t ask him to deal with young adult angst. When he gets home, he literally melts into the chair in the living room, his computer on his lap, a stack of papers by his side. His brain goes into “cruise” mode, his eyes close, and his head bobs back and forth from time to time.
I’m the one who has to be ready – sort of like a firefighter, I always say. Things are usually calm, and I can watch “House Hunters” and take my cats for walks on their leashes – fun and (what my husband calls) leisurely and almost counterproductive stuff like that – but every once in a while, the shit hits the fan, and I need to spring into action, like when somebody forgets their dance shoes and it’s minutes before the show, or worse, when someone rips their pants in front of the whole cafeteria, or worse worse, when someone gets cheated on by their girlfriend, or worse worse worse, when somebody crashes the car, or gets really drunk, or fails a major test, etc. etc.