I don’t know how I’ve managed to make it this far without knowing there is an actual word for what I’ve spent years trying to avoid.
But at least this Halloween, I finally have a simple adjective to describe the turbulence that regularly sweeps through my house as if it were haunted by a ghost who needs anger management therapy.
Our teenage daughter brought it to my attention. She told me the other day she gets really “hangry” when I fail to keep the cupboards stocked.
I may be an out-of-touch, middle-aged, nerdy dad who needs his kids to keep him up-to-date on the finer points of pop culture, but, for once, I didn’t have to ask what she meant.
We had, after all, just averted what could have amounted to a prolonged meltdown.
Our daughter is usually borderline hangry when she comes home from school. That day, we had to make do with what we had on hand because I had yet to go the grocery store.
But even without context, the mash-up of “hungry” and “angry,” seems to define itself.
In any case, I know a hangry person when I see one. I live with enough of them.
To adapt a line from one of the trailers for the new “Star Wars” movie coming out next month: “Hanger runs strong in my family. My wife has it. Our daughter has it. And our cats have it, too!”
Earlier this week, a text message from my wife jolted me out of bed while I was trying to catch up on sleep after having worked an overnight shift in the newsroom. She warned that our cats were out of food. She didn’t have time to go to the store herself before leaving for work, but she urged me to go immediately.
And she left me with this disturbing thought as a motivator to wake up and get moving. She said if our truly ornery cat Skitty didn’t get something to eat soon, she may commit … BLOODY MURDER!
My wife was exaggerating, but when I investigated the food situation, Skitty WAS sharpening her claws.
And when I peered into the kitchen, I saw that our other cat was hangry, too. She expresses frustration in a less threatening but more messy way – by leaping on top of the fridge and hurling cereal boxes to the floor.
At least she kept her claws to herself while I swept up the rainbow of fruity colors and grabbed my car keys for an emergency trip to the grocery store.
It was only after I picked up food for the cats that I realized that I had neglected to rustle up snacks for our daughter. But I worked out a strategy to satisfy us both.
Our daughter doesn’t need a whole lot on her stomach to keep her happy, just a nibble here and there usually does the trick. And while she prefers to snack on healthy fruits and veggies, I went big and unhealthy.
I got her a massive bucket of fresh, hot french fries because … plenty of leftovers for Dad.
And because the cats just seemed too hangry to share.