You know how they say that anger boils up under the skin? Something like that, right? Well my husband used to literally get boils from not expressing his unsavory feelings. He comes from Lutherans, so there you go. And he has me for a wife, so there you double-go.

As a Jew, I’m used to being mouthy and then feeling incredibly, superfluously guilty afterwards.

But as I get older (46 now) the guilt doesn’t hold as much power over me and the mouthiness is something I grow to regret NOT indulging. Not that I’m looking for a fight. I am not. I’m looking for peace of mind. But sometimes that comes from speaking my mind.

Mostly people I have mouthed off to in the past don’t have that third ear—like a third eye—the one that actually hears criticism and responds sooner or later (usually later) with a, “Yeah, you know what? You’re absolutely right! I am sorry and I am going to change!” So many of us don’t have the courage to open the third ear. Mine closes up around finance, for instance. And other things my husband would mention if I allowed it.

We know when criticism is true though, because it makes us mental with fury.

Just this morning I indulged an acquaintance in a twenty minute online conversation regarding her health, diet and fitness shortcomings—perceived shortcomings. I listened to a lot of self-bashing and frustration, and I doled out a shit-ton of advice, photographs and online resources. In other words, I gave my professional services for free. Which I am happy to do. Especially when someone actually asks for it. In a buttshell, my advice is typically, “Add protein. 100 grams or so a day. Strength train.”

At the end of the conversation, this is what I got: “Can you give me that web address again? I gotta go.”

I was like, WHAT? Bitch please. You have the nerve to ask me for info I gave you five thumb scrolls ago? How lazy and inconsiderate can you be?

OR—was I just some narcissistic sounding board for her Saturday morning pity party?

Oh and by the way, YOU’RE WELCOME! Twenty minutes of my life! Gone, girl.

I didn’t say any of that. I just typed in the url again, sent it her way and made myself a piece of toast. It tasted like homicidal fantasies.

Lesson learned here on my end? Because there is only and will ever be MY end:

1. Limit my advice to a single helpful and encouraging sentence, adding, if you want to schedule a consultation, I’m available at ___ o’clock on fucking Tuesdays.

2. I SO wanted to write, “You’re welcome.” But she was already mired in the gutter of her stinking thinking, I didn’t want to shove her face deeper. But I did. I wanted to shove it way the fuck down. That’s not a lesson. More of an observation. But this is where I hold my tongue. When I feel like I would be kicking someone when they’re down. I hate this sticky place. It kills and I am going to learn how to master it.

3. How much does someone really want to change? Because, when I want some vital piece of information that I believe will improve my life, I search the web until my fingers bleed. And how in 2015 has the simple online courtesy eluded this person? That is, don’t make someone else do the work you can do. This applies to finding addresses, directions, phone numbers and the like. I mean Jesus Christ people, it couldn’t be easier. And so with a backdrop of “I’m such a fucking pig and I need to change things up,” why should I expect her to lose the weight if she can’t take thirty seconds to retrieve a url I just gave her?

4. I am so fucking angry in my middle age. And not in any way that needs your advice, thank you. Because I am concurrently stupid happy too. I love my life—my jobs, my kids, my home, my man. The dogs. I have a great life, created by culling the bullshit over the years, and am filled with gratitude at how generous people and the universe can be and frequently are. I feel rich in so many ways.

5. But people are also shitbags. Myself included on many occasions. (Again, do not ask my husband about this.) And I am sick up to my balls in their shit-bagginess.

So shitbags, cock open that third ear of yours and hear this—

6. If your life sucks and you think you’ve been dealt some unfair hand, and you harbor the belief that everyone else has some special secret that you missed, and you’re jealous of your stick-thin cousin and you can’t lose weight, make money or find a lover no matter how hard you try, it’s your own damn fault. Try thanking someone for their free advice. Thank the air for letting you breathe it. Thank your fingers for clicking across the keyboard of your sleek Apple laptop. Thank your kids and your body for being healthy. Thank the government for making a good choice, and thank whatever you believe in for giving you the consciousness to believe it. Oh, and take your head out of your goddamned stupid ass.

Thank you for reading this.

7. It comes from a place of deep caring, which may not look like love to a serial victim or someone used to sugar-coating or amputating certain unpopular emotions, but it is, goddammit. IT IS.



8. P.S. Lewis Black plays this necessary and charming emotion in a recent movie…