There are a few things in life that make me get all stabby.
Long queues. People who walk slowly. Maths.
I hate maths. I am terrible at it. In my exams at school, I got A* marks for English, and an E in Maths. I was so bad at it that I completely gave up at about age 11 and was plonked into a class that the higher powers named "Foundation," which was full of people like me, people who couldn't add up 5 + 8 without using their fingers, and even then came out with an answer of 11.
Our teacher didn't care either, he knew we were lost causes. My class consisted of about 30 kids who would spend all hour doodling over our workbooks and tormenting our teacher by locking him in the cupboard that he kept his rice cakes in. He was obsessed with rice cakes. Rice cakes and coffee. He had the worst breath.
Anyway, as a result of my a) lack of interest and b) lack of good teaching, I am now absolutely SHIT at anything to do with numbers. I swear I am number blind. In fact, I think I probably have Dyscalculia, which is defined by people who know about shit like that as: "A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence." Sounds about right.
The long and short of it is, try and make me add something up, or worse -- MULTIPLY SOMETHING -- and I at first get terrified and go completely blank and then get angry at myself for not being able to do it. A simple task can suddenly feel like a mammoth trek ahead of me, a trek that I know will result in the wrong answer anyway. So then the red mist comes.
Thank the dear sweet 7lb baby Jesus that my phone has a calculator, because life would be a whole lot harder and angrier without it.
Similarly, I am also terrible at sports, as detailed on this very site a while ago. I was always horrendous at it at school, and that bit of my brain that even slightly enjoyed watching other people doing sport-type-things just shriveled away and died by the time I was 16. Sport was DEAD TO ME.
Now, I have the same kind of blank emptiness in my head when sport is on that I do when I try and add something up. I'll look at a screen and get white noise flooding through my brain, blanking out the commentary. I hear the words, but they float through one ear and fly out of the other, having made no impression on me whatsoever. I'll see something happening on screen but my eyes can't translate what's going on. There are too many rules, too many people and too many things going on. I CAN'T PROCESS.
I must add here that single person sports, like trampolining, or athletics, I totally get. I actually like cricket, because it's quiet and easy to understand. That's fine. I can deal. It's things like football, with its offside rule and overpaid poncy players, or rugby. It's irrational, whatever. The moment football comes on the telly, I get stabby.
I often feel terribly sorry for Chris, as he loves football (his team is Arsenal, for those who care!) and at first I really tried, I really did. I would accompany him to the pub to "watch" the games (him, glued to the TV, me with the paper and a pint of orange juice and lemonade) and one year I even knew all the player's names! I could reel them off, although not with ease. Nasri. Arshavin. Clichy. I would proudly throw these names into conversations like I knew what I was talking about, although there was nothing behind the conversation, just white noise.
AND THEN, the players all changed!! THEY CHANGE ALL THE TIME! It's so fucking hard to keep up! Jesus. So I gave up. And with giving up, came the frustration and anger at not being able to get it, to be involved and enjoy it. GAME OVER.
Now, if sports come on the telly when we are at home and I'm not expecting it, I get the red mist. Yesterday is a prime example. I'd been home for a couple of hours, happily staring into my new fish tank and not so happily fishing Earl's half eaten carcass from behind a rock, when Chris returned home from the gym. I was pottering about in the kitchen, making my favorite Monday night dinner (chicken kiev, jacket potato, baked beans, coleslaw, 10/10) when from the living room I heard the sounds of the Wimbledon coverage.
"I WANT TO WATCH EASTENDERS!" I screamed from the kitchen like a banshee. "DON'T PUT THIS ON! I DON'T WANT TO WATCH FUCKING TENNIS!"
At this point, I was not only not even in the living room, but otherwise engaged -- so what he was watching made literally zero impact on the quality of my life. I just got that feeling of not being able to be involved. Chris was watching something that I couldn't be involved in, couldn't talk about, because I Just. Didn't. Get it. All the "loves" and numbers at the top of the screen that swim around and make no sense.
He refused to change the channel, and pointed out that I was actually recording "Eastenders" and could watch it back at any point, whereas LIVE SPORT IS LIVE.
"YOU'RE SUCH A FUCKING ARSEHOLE!" I yelled, like a madwoman. "ARGH!" And then threw a punnet of grapes at the floor like a complete mental case. I'm not proud of it. I was a brat of the highest order. Luckily I calmed down whilst eating my (bloody delicious) dinner and sort of apologized for being insane.
My irrational sport rages are something I probably ought to work on, if I'm going to be a pleasant person to live with. I need to try and not throw fruit around when I don't like something.
Throwing grapes at her Twitter followers: @Natalie_KateM.