|The Heirloom of Injustice|
1. Remember, timing is critical.
A great time to start one is late at night, perhaps while you're brushing your teeth before bed. At this point you're both tired, a little vulnerable, and not at your most rational.
2. Pick something that's been eating at you daily, but you haven't said anything about.
For example, me, I'm constantly annoyed by my husband's grandfather clock. It is beautiful, generations old, and imbued with family history and import. It was owned by his namesake. He has known his whole life that he would inherit it.
It chimes like his other ding clocks--and there's bitter history there--but louder. It sits near the bottom of the stairs, and the sound shoots right up to our room hourly and on the half hour.
DING. DING. DING. DING. DING. And so on.
I've been bothered by it for a long time. And to Nick's credit, since receiving it, he has tried various methods of stifling it. He's wrapped the dinger in a towel, in bubble wrap, etc. His goal was to adjust it so it is loud enough to hear but soft enough to be acceptable for me.
He was under the impression that he'd fixed the problem, since I'd stopped complaining. But I stopped complaining because the whole thing made me tired. And he was trying.
The DING is no longer so loud that it actually wakes me up at night. But if I am awake, I count the dings...
3. Wait until your frustration has built and built, so while it seems logical to you (you have daily conversations in your head) it will come out of the blue for your partner. This way you can really wallop her or him with your rage and righteous indignation.
The unsuspecting clock has come to symbolize every instance in our marriage where I felt that his opinion carried more weight than mine. Where his wants and needs came first. Where he pushed harder and I capitulated, because it was just easier to give in.
Now it irritates me every time I hear it. Which is a million times a day.
It is no longer just a clock.
It is the Heirloom of Injustice.
4. React to a trigger. Do not stop to think about the rationality of it.
In my case, the 11:00 chimes were the final straw.
5. Go for the nuclear option. Accuse. Use a tone, perhaps some profanity. With built up rage and righteous indignation, this is really the only approach. It works immediately, eliciting anger and setting you up for completely irrational conversation.
For example: "You know, if I ever leave you, it will be because your fucking ding clock is more important to you than my feelings."
You love your clock more than you love me. How much do you even really love me?
Pretty good, huh?
There. You'll of course have your own personal peeves, your own heirlooms of injustice, but follow this formula, and I've set you on the course for a big old fight.
You can take it from here.