Miffed vs. Pissed

The other day, I got really miffed when someone stole my handicapped parking decal. I was so put out, I did something atypical. I posted my emotional state on Facebook.
My dear friend, the novelist Goldberry Long, posted a rapid-fire reply. “Miffed? Shoot, I’d be pissed.”
When I read her words, I felt…nostalgic.
Just then I realized I haven’t been properly pissed off in ages. Not recreationally so. There used to be a time when I would have a lot of fun raging, describing, in ebullient detail, the myriad of ways in which I was right and the opposing party was dead stinkin’ wrong.
A few things happened along the way. I had a baby. Babies aren’t particularly entertained by excoriating critiques of social norms. I quickly discovered I had to take it all down a notch. A baby is a powerful motivator. So is multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis loves the rage state. Whenever I get pissed off, MS gets pissed off, too. It musters an army of zombie T-cells to attack…my own immune system. Who wins that battle? Take a look at any of my MRIs.
So yeah, if fear of rousing my own baby weren’t enough to keep me in check, fear of rousing another MS attack would eventually polish off my rougher edges.
Getting pissed off just wasn’t fun any more.
Now my kid is fifteen. My MS is in check. Fifteen year olds happen to find excoriating critiques of social norms f’n hilarious. Even so, I find I’m somewhat out of practice at getting recreationally pissed off.
Goldberry wrote, “I’m going all the way to rage for you, Lisa.” And that prompted a wistful smile.
Though I no longer can afford to get pissed off recreationally, perhaps I can become be a fan of those who do so on my behalf. A vicarious thrill never hurt anybody.
Go, Goldberry!

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