Releasing your inner Attila….

[this article appeared in DH this week]

Confronting her did nothing. She was weepy at first, then slowly turned belligerent. “Do what you have to do!” she declared staring me down. Earlier that day I had discovered my maid trying to steal some jewels. My faith in her for three years had been rock-solid, so this volte-face on her part stunned me. I had to let her go. The next day she was back demanding her pay for the previous five days. For a moment there, I admired her gumption.

This young girl on the threshold of marriage, was ready to face me head-on even though she was guilty as sin.

I remember the first time I tried to confront someone. I must have been 16 then. My bete-noire was the most popular girl in class. I resolved to tackle her on the last day of the school year. On D-day, my palms were sweating as I watched her approach. The cold put-down plan dissolved into incoherent babbling on my part when I faced her and I slinked away on the verge of tears, her high-pitched giggle echoing in my ears.

"Confront your fears!” My husband has a hard time understanding why I avoid unpleasant situations.  “Nothing like a healthy fight to clear the air — even if it means facing a recalcitrant friend, or a troublesome sister-in-law.

And when you’ve had not just words but even spice jars flung at you, you toughen up — all that simmering angst comes out in the open!” “It’s easy for you to say that,” was my constant rejoinder.

So when my maid stood outside with that smirk on her face confident that she’d wrangle some money out of me, it dawned on me that I wasn’t 16 anymore. I decided to take my husband’s advice. The look of astonishment on her face was well worth the effort as I sternly told her off. Even though I know I’m not going to morph into Attila the Hun, it was certainly a start. My husband now safely keeps the spice jars out of my reach!


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