So, yesterday, there was a heated declamation about my "tone," i.e., how I speak to one person (Person A). This followed on the heels of another conversation--uh, yeah, discussion--with someone else (Person B) over the weekend on the same general topic.
It's hard not to take it to heart when two entirely different people accuse you of having "a tone." The ironic thing is that the first discussion--over the weekend, with Person B--was probably caused in part by my unwillingness to tell Person A about how annoyed I was with her conversational tactics all day that day. I was left, by the end of the day, with a very lousy attitude on top of being tired. I'm sure I had a lot of "tone" to spread around that evening. Person B bore the brunt of it. And yesterday's "tone" comment from Person A happened after she had, once again, handled a conversation in the same way that had driven me right up a wall over the weekend.
What I'm left with is this fact ringing in my ears: I have "tone." I wish I could be "toned" instead. And I'd rather have "timbre" than "tone." But "tone" is what I've got. It's clear that "tone" is not a good thing. In fact, "tone" flat-out sucks, and should be banned from the planet along with nuclear waste and emo pants. There may be a treaty in process right now.
Person A wrote an apology to me. It is, without a doubt, the weirdest apology I've ever seen or heard, so weird I can't bring myself to paste it in here. After sitting with it for awhile today, my reply went like this: "Hey, [Person A]. No worries. I'm sorry, too. I just figured we both must have had a rough couple of days. I will try to moderate my tone and be less obnoxious. See you soon."
Whatever. Obviously, the whole forgive-and-forget thing hasn't quite taken hold yet. Maybe it will once we see each other face to face again.
Or maybe my "tone" will rear its head and it'll be Friday Night Fights. You know, two or three years ago, I'd've been crying all day and feeling terrific guilt. I told a friend that if nothing else, the last year of consortial hell (now THAT'S irony!) has taught me how not to be a doormat. And I've learned the value of a good eyeroll even if it is inside my head and metaphorical, not external and obvious.