Why Someone’s ‘Little Joke’ Sometimes Is A Very Serious Matter
An ugly confrontation earlier this week led to strained family relationships and my decision to sleep on the basement sectional the past two nights.
The cause? A prank.
Since March, I’ve been working at home in a contract role for a large employer. The manager to whom I report absolutely requires me to stop each week when I reach 40 hours.
Some additional work responsibilities in recent weeks have stressed me more than usual. I’ve worked long days with occasional short lunch and dinner breaks. Even though I only worked four days because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, I still reached the 40-hour mark.
The following week, which ended today, was even more stressful for various reasons. I was working at a desk in my basement on Wednesday, concentrating on some detailed work, when my wife called down.
“Tom, can you come up? Caitlyn fell on the ice while walking Mickey.”
I hurried up the stairs and saw my wife standing in the powder room doorway. I could hear my daughter running water. When I looked into the powder room, Caitlyn was leaning over the sink. I saw her reflection in the mirror and saw a large amount of blood above her eyebrow and on a towel in her hand.
I asked Caitlyn if she had lost consciousness, and she smirked when she said she hadn’t. I then asked Kim to hand me another towel that I could use to wipe the blood from Caitlyn’s forehead.
My wife asked if we should take her to the hospital, and Caitlyn said no. Then she started to laugh…because she was faking the whole incident.
When I looked at the two of them laughing loudly, I got angry. I swore at them and went back to the basement.
I wish I could say that I fumed for a few minutes and then laughed it off. Or called a trusted friend to vent.
But I was so upset that I instead went back upstairs with the intent of calling them on their poor decision to prank me during the work day when they knew how stressed I have been.
The angry exchanges lasted several minutes. The fallout is still being felt. I slept in the basement over the past two nights because I was too angry at my wife to sleep next to her. I haven’t said more than a few sentences to my daughter for two days.
What made this such a big deal? I’ll explain in my next post.