Thursday, March 26, 2009

Treating anger by smashing plates

NPR reported today on a service for angry moms:
The Woman Who Throws Plates For A Living

The story of Sarah Lavely's business began shortly after her husband of 12 years left her cold, alone in a house in New Hampshire. After her husband's departure, Lavely took up an unusual hobby. Every morning, she would go out her front door and smash his belongings in her long, asphalt driveway.

"It was fabulous," says Lavely. "I was picking stuff up and holding it up over my head and smashing it straight down on my driveway … really good."

Lavely enjoyed the cathartic anger, though some psychologists are now saying that this isn't the most effective approach.

Lavely decided to move back to California and stay temporarily with her mother. But a couple of days after the move, she woke up one morning yearning again for destruction. Realizing she no longer had a forum for her impulses, she had a Field of Dreams moment: She decided that she would build a small store — a refuge for frustrated people old and young who wanted an outlet for their aggression. Today, about 200 customers a week carry their anger to Sarah's Smash Shack in downtown San Diego. For around $25 a head, Lavely provides dishware, protective gear and the felt-tipped pens that people use to write on the plates they then violently fling at the walls.
Some claim that it is an ancient Greek tradition:
Greeks smashing plates to accompany musicians is a mental image of Greece practically as common as the sight of the Parthenon. ... In its earliest form, plate smashing may be a survival of the ancient custom of ritually "killing" the ceramic vessels used for feasts commemorating the dead.

Some Greek restaurants even cater to the need of clients to break plates by designating a special "smashing area". Many countries, including Britain and Greece, are regulating the ritualized breaking of plates - though clumsy wait staff still are apparently exempt.
She enjoys the carthartic anger? Weird. A lot of women see shrinks and take pills for their anger. I don't know if any of that stuff really works.

No comments: