Follow Me to the Senior Center Anger Management

By Carl and Jo Ann Hauser
No, this is not about Charlie Sheen’s new show. However, there are some things in life that are mildly irritating. Like that beer commercial; you know, the one where the most interesting man in the world is 80 years old with a twenty-year-old girl on each arm. He jumps out of airplanes, runs marathons, and, oh yea, he doesn’t drink beer often, but when he does, it’s cheap Mexican beer . . . really? I actually like cheap Mexican beer, but ask anybody, I have no taste. I also have no desire to jump out of airplanes, nor run marathons. And for some reason, twenty-year-old girls don’t want to hang out with me. Besides, the most important question remains unanswered: “What does he usually drink?”

Words do have meaning, though, especially when you are angry. No matter how nice, passive or forgiving you might try to be, there will always be someone out there who knows how to push your button. You could be a Monk who has taken a vow of silence, with nothing else to do but garden, read books, drink wine. Then the guy next to you drinks the last glass; there could be a rumble in the monastery. If you get into a fight with your wife, and find her taking notes while watching episodes of A Thousand Ways to Die, she might have anger management issues, but it is probably time to apologize. Our children also seem to manage ways of pushing our buttons, whether you’re in your 80s talking to your sixty-year-old, in your 60s talking to your thirty-year-old, or thirty talking to your twelve-year-old. We want to fix their problems, while yelling at them at the same time. “What were you thinking,” is probably the most common phrase, which is really code for “You idiot!”

Upon occasion I’ve also been guilty of pushing someone’s button. A few months ago I was sitting with some friends while they were having new linoleum put down in the kitchen. The installer had pulled up the old floor, but part of it would not come up easily. So, he decided to use a floor-leveling compound to bridge the difference in height. Not knowing anything about installing linoleum, I questioned his method and even went so far as to call his boss. He didn’t really explain why he was doing it that way, except that he had twenty years of experience and knew what he was doing. When his boss called him to find out what was going on, they only spoke in Spanish. But I’m pretty sure he called me a name or two. I caught a few phrases like “el diablo,” and “loco hombre.” It turns out the installer was right. By the time he was done, the floor looked great!

So after a great deal of thought (about five minutes), I believe I found a solution to anger management. It’s called ‘My Three Signs: YES, NO, and YOU’RE OBNOXIOUS.’ For example, you wake up in the morning, bounce down the stairs, and ask your wife, “What’s for breakfast?” She can immediately hold up the YOU’RE OBNOXIOUS sign. Or your wife comes to you and asks if you took out the trash. You can answer YES, NO, or if you don’t remember, hold up the YOU’RE OBNOXIOUS sign. In fact the YOU’RE OBNOXIOUS sign may become your most valuable tool. Now, if you’re at work, you might need to replace the YOU’RE OBNOXIOUS sign with something a little more diplomatic. For example, if your boss comes in and asks you where that report is, just hold up a sign that says WHAT? And repeat until your boss leaves!

All right, so let’s summarize: avoid conflict at almost all cost; failing that, hold up one of your three signs. Then there is always the Biblical approach: love, joy, peace, mercy . . . which always works! However, if you’re just not feeling that Christian love, you can always go back to, “What were you thinking?” (code for “You idiot!”)

Jo Ann and I run the bridge game on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every once in a while we find ourselves short a bridge player or two. So, we’ll call some of our regular players to see if they’re available. Now I know you all are retired, but some of the excuses were, “I’m still in my pajamas,” and “I haven’t put on my lipstick.” Seriously? Ladies, get off your little derrières, pretend you’re a guy, throw on a sweatshirt, put some pants on, forget the lipstick, and get in here! After all, you don’t want to see me angry. Now if you’re one of those Seniors who hasn’t been here for a while, “What were you thinking?” Come on down; we miss you! Love, joy, peace, God bless!

PS ~ Thanks to all of you who brought things, bought things, and volunteered your help; our Garage Sale was a great success! We raised over one thousand dollars! Come join us during this crispy, cool October weather for lunch Monday through Friday for only a two-dollar donation, and please call in your reservation. We play bridge on Tuesdays and Thursdays right after lunch. Our Seniors have been known to play Farkle, Mexican Train, and other games. Find some friends and have some fun! You can exercise on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00. Ride the van to Alamogordo on Mondays and Tuesdays for shopping and lunch out. Remember our Roadrunner Food Bank is in operation the first Wednesday of every month at 2:00. And do check out our fabulous website at, designed and maintained by Marty Ware.

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