Whenever I go home for the holidays, I'm good for a solid 10 days before I start going a little batty. Things I normally love about my mom (her insatiable curiosity, her interest in my career, her baking and candy-making expertise) all, and I mean ALL, start to grind my gears. "No, mom I DON'T want to try this new batch of caramel corn, for the 15th time, I don't eat sugar anymore," as she attempts to shove a handful of her tasty, insulin spiking treat into my mouth. "No. I said NO, please, stop. STOP." You know how it is with family. We know how to push each others buttons better than any other human on the planet. And things can sometimes get HEATED.
So with quarantine forcing many families to spend never-ending moments with one another, have no fear, our very own favorite global leader and former Russian head of the KGB Vladimir Putin and his health administration have a suggestion to solve your family woes.
Before we go into the sage conflict resolution wisdom from the Russian government, I wonder what brought on this declaration?
Well, it turns out there's been a spike in domestic violence since quarantine began. There have even been articles written for women in Russia that give advice on how NOT to get your ass beat (aka stop nagging you're bringing it on yourself).
According to the Moscow Times, the Russian Health Ministry recently wrote an advisory for its citizens called "How to Survive Self-Isolation and Not Go Crazy"
“It’s permissible to be angry at other family members, but not for more than 3-10 minutes,” the guide says. After that, you should forgive the other person, it says.
“You should calm down and ask yourself: Were you right or not? If you were wrong about something, apologize.”
Can we talk about this "recommendation"? This doesn't seem like a gentle guide. This seems ACTUALLY more like a mandate, which is totally unlike Russia btw. If you read between the lines, the Health Ministry states it is NOT permissible to be angry longer than 10 minutes.
I get angry for longer than 10 minutes when my Twitter DM's go down. It takes me HOURS to cool down and there isn't even any human to be mad at. I'm just angry and stewing on my own in my apartment. Can you imagine if there was someone there with me and little kids running around, playing, fighting and yelling, (as they do)? 10 minutes would be just the fucking warm-up.
I'm waiting for the government's memo regarding the punishment for staying angry longer than the allotted 3-10 minutes! I bet it's somewhere between bleach injections and Polonium poisoning…
Can you imagine at minute 11 if a husband and wife were in the middle of a fight? Someone inevitably is going to have the timer on, with the phone in their hand and the Russian authorities on speed dial. And then there will be a second fight between the couple over when the first moment of anger actually was.
This is absolutely absurd.
I have an idea, maybe at exactly 10 minutes is when you push down and suppress your anger until it turns into a low burning fire that manifests itself into little microaggressions like "accidentally burning the buckwheat porridge" or "forgetting to buy more beets for Sunday Borscht supper".
You know what they say, like beet soup, revenge is a dish best served… icy cold, like winter in Moscow.