Sunday, June 3, 2007

I can't help my concern that the ladies of River City keep ignoring all my counsel and advice

Here's a fun time-wasting blog, for those days when Restricted View just isn't absorbing enough: Passive-Aggressive Notes. [Update: they've moved here.]

In my experience, "passive-aggressive" is an oft-misused label; people enjoy accusing others of "passive-aggressive" behavior in situations that fall well outside the purview of the actual definition, possibly because this sort of not-strictly-passive-aggressive-but-still-annoying behavior lends itself so well to complaining, and possibly because "passive-aggressive" is kind of fun to say. (The same goes for "anal-retentive.") I'm not sure all, or even most, of these notes would really qualify as "passive-aggressive." (The folks that run the blog are aware of this, to their credit.) But they're fun to read, because each pissy little Post-It tells a story, a saga of human behavior and misbehavior. Sometimes a tragic story; more often a farce; almost always a story with which you, the reader, can identify. Sometimes you identify with the note's recipient/target; more often, you identify with the person who left the note, or with the bystander who took the picture. For the past few weeks I've been mentally composing my own note, a list of "instructions for using the garbage chute," because some of my neighbors don't seem to realize that they shouldn't leave their garbage bag (or, more often, plastic grocery bag with the handles left untied) squatting behind the door, at the top of the chute, waiting for me to come along and give it a push. I don't want to touch your garbage, people. I don't even want to touch my own, but we all have to do things we don't like from time to time.

I probably won't actually write and post that note, or any of the others I compose in my head in response to similar annoyances. Not because it would be passive-aggressive (which it wouldn't; I think "bitchy" is more accurate), but because it probably wouldn't work, and then I'd just be more angry: not only are people ignoring the conventions of civilized society, now they're also ignoring my note! The nerve! So I'll just keep on blowing off steam here instead. Because, really, what is a blog, if not a series of (so-called) passive-aggressive notes?

P.S. I seem to be invoking Marian Paroo a lot lately -- I've always identified with her. And you just know she wrote scoldy notes to post around the library.

No comments: