Thursday, March 26, 2009

Smash Shack

Someone I knew years ago had an old set of dishes to use when she was frustrated. She would on these occasions take a dish out to her yard and throw it on the sidewalk. Today, Morning Edition on NPR reported on the Smash Shack in San Diego, which offers a place and dishes to accomplish the same thing. Sadly, however, psychologists now say that breaking dishes doesn't reduce anger. I say there are limits to psychological studies, and psychologists I've known over the years don't always know what they're talking about.

Frankly, when the experts are so sure of themselves that they say "it's clear that", I think it's anything but "clear". While I'm not angry at the self assured smart asses who have studied this matter . . . (Oops, that didn't sound angry, did it?) I would be calmer and more collected if I could throw a few dishes before we discuss the issue. I have occasionally thrown something breakable when frustrated and have found great relief in the sound and sight of it scattering into bits. I do this very deliberately and, before I make the throw, I consider the clean up and the danger, if any, of the act. I also apologize to my dogs for disturbing them. Of course, that means I'm not out of control angry. I used to sometimes be out of control angry, and I broke things and felt bad about it afterward. My occasional controlled crashing, however, is for me quite therapeutic.

For example, a few weeks ago I had had enough of a little kitchen butter dish I had purchased whose lid was supposed to snap in place over the butter. I had naively assumed that meant the lid would stay in place! After the dozenth time when it had not done so, and the butter had fallen out and onto the counter, I threw the butter dish onto my tile floor and then stomped on it. It felt very, very good. And it was also easy and therapeutic to clean it up and dump it into the waste basket.

Not only had I released and dissipated my anger, I had gotten rid of the damned thing. Thinking of the event, even now, makes me feel peaceful and satisfied. Take that you hot shot professional naysayers. What you don't know about my anger management options would fill volumes. And best of luck to the Smash Shack in San Diego.


  1. Somehow I remember (and at my advanced age one can never be certain) someone who purchased those really wide lasagna noodles for the purpose stomping on them in fit of anger and frustration. Do you remember anyone who might have done such a thing?

  2. My sweet, intelligent Grandmother introduced me to the art of throwing eggs against trees at the end of the cabin season. And once I had a true rage which resulted in a broken door. Alas, or thankfully, menopause has cured such urges.

  3. I've heard of egg throwing - and even did that once a long time ago. I had forgotten, but do remember it as very satisfying.