birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Fight Like a Girl

I am not a fighter.

I tend to shy away from conflict and think of disagreements as more of problems to be solved than battles to be fought. I want everyone to be happy at the end.

There are a great many physical fights in films and tv shows where characters really go at it, punching and beating one another in scenes that drag on for a large portion of the story. I cannot imagine being in a situation like that. I can’t even picture a scenario where anyone might want to hit me - or expect me to hit them back. Because there is no way I would start something like that. The most they would get from me might be some smart ass remark. That’s the way I fight. And then, I would probably soften the blow somewhat with a kinder follow up.

Because, I’m not a fighter.

And anyway, I am terrible at fighting. I have been known to begin crying right off the bat and that is very frustrating. Hard to get the words out through tears and sniffling. The other person has an immediate advantage merely by being capable of speech. And, all the good lines come to me hours later.

I do fume silently, however. I am a great one to seethe and mutter under my breath, usually in another room. And for days afterwards. Let’s be honest, I can nurse that for weeks. I may not fight, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get angry.

Some people think that a fight is a good leveler. If there is some discontentment, or disagreement or disappointment, blowing off a little steam with some angry shouting is a good way to clear the air. I cannot agree. Or at least, it doesn’t work that way for me. I am so conflict averse that an angry raised voice leads directly to resentment in me and then, more anger. Not win, not win.

You know, I've always wondered how Mary Matalin and James Carville’s marriage worked. Do you think they spend the whole day fighting? What drew them together in the first place? They are two fast talking, well spoken people with widely divergent political outlooks and devoted to pushing their own particular views. How does that work?

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