The Joys of Passive Aggression!

I have definitely enjoyed my share of passive-aggressive behavior!

Not long ago I got sucked into a clickbait about windshield notes left on cars parked by people who seriously needed an extra session (or sessions!) of parking practice during driver’s ed. The notes were hilarious. I especially liked the ones which included simple diagrams. I really appreciated the time it must have taken to produce these little gems.

Like many people who avoid conflict at all costs, I understand, even approve, of passive aggression. Leaving an anonymous message when someone has upset me often seems like a really smart choice, especially in today’s violent, mannerless society. So, yes, I’ve left a parking note (or two, or five) on the windshield of various thoughtless asses, and have definitely enjoyed my share of other passive-aggressive behavior.

There was, for instance, the note I left blatantly on the building entry door of the apartments where I resided. I taped the poster-sized missive, written in heavy black felt tip pen, to the glass, where it would be visible to everyone entering or exiting the building:

To the Couple in Apartment 4B:

WOW! That was some GREAT SEX you had last night!

Thank you for sharing it with all of us!”.

Then there was the harsh winter when the post office put out a warning that, if deep snow was not cleared in front of our condo mailboxes, our mail would not be delivered. Displeased with my Old Curmudgeon of a neighbor*, I considered our condos’ three side-by-side letterboxes before shoveling out my own mailbox and that of my other, inoffensive neighbor. Then, leaving the Curmudgeon’s box still encased in a tall, mail-proof glacier, I dusted off my hands and marched inside to drink hot chocolate.

That wasn’t the first time I’d used snow as a P/A weapon. At another apartment where I’d resided, we had no assigned parking spaces, but each still had our accustomed spots. I’d cleared my usual space after a snowstorm, and even helped my elderly neighbor with her customary spot. But when I returned home from work that evening, I found that my upstairs neighbor (young, strong, healthy, childless, and therefore without excuses), who’d always previously parked in his own place two slots down, had co-opted my beautifully-cleared parking space. Sighing, I took a hit off my asthma inhaler and, wheezing, began to dig through the now-frozen snow to unearth a new parking space. But I carried every shovelful of snow and carefully dumped it right behind his car. I scooped up a few spades’ worth of snow from the lawn, also, and tossed them on his windshield for good measure.

Apartment parking was a bone of contention almost everywhere I’d lived, though. One night I hustled out the door to hurry off for an evening meeting, only to find that I was blocked in by a moron who’d slewed diagonally into the space next to mine. With a vehicle also parked on the other side of my car, there was no room for me to exit. Fortunately, the individual parked to the other side of my car happened to come out. Seeing my dilemma, he not only moved his car to give me space to maneuver, but helped guide me past the diagonal car. However, when I returned home that evening, I was forced to park over a block away, since the only space left was the one made impassable by the moron.

Happily, though, just a few days before this incident, I’d purchased a lipstick which turned out to be a Very Bad Mistake. Now, using that unwanted tube, I carefully wrote in glossy, greasy magenta across his windshield, “LEARN HOW TO PARK, YOU CRETIN!”.

Parking at my condo hasn’t always exactly been a joy, either. Just as the mailboxes are grouped, the driveways of the three condos are diagonally conjoined, emptying out into a single area for entry/exit. Often, careless people pull in, blithely ignoring that each section actually leads to a specific condo. I returned home from the supermarket one afternoon to find an unknown SUV blocking my single-car garage.

Grumbling, I parked my car immediately behind the gas-guzzler and schlepped several shopping bags across the lawn to reach my front door. But when, an hour later, I heard irritated banging on that selfsame front door by the offending driver, I took my time both in answering the door and then slowly putting on my shoes before pretending to search for lost car keys and finally moving my car so that the offender could exit. Playing the dithering old lady, I smiled sweetly the entire time.

But the crowning jewel of my passive aggression probably occurred when a relative texted to ask for a recipe: the peanut butter pie that I have for over a decade brought to Thanksgiving dinner–the same Thanksgiving dinner from which she’d trounced my daughter and her family not once, but twice, due to a situation over which I had no control*. Now, considering her request, I responded calmly that this particular recipe was one that I never shared. No one was getting it until I died, I said.

Then I smiled evilly and sent the recipe to every other person I know.

Ah, the joys of passive aggression.

If you want to know the stories behind the Old Curmudgeon or the Thanksgiving Shunning, check the Archives for “There’s Always One”, 04/20/2020, and “Typhoid Mary, Covid Carrie”, 08/24/2022

A special issue of this blog tomorrow will carry the recipe for my Passive Aggressive Peanut Butter Pie!

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