Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Definition of Passive Aggressive

For those of you who live in Minnesota, you may not need a definition. For those of you outside our state, you may not know it, but being passive aggressive runs in our blood, just like blond hair, blue eyes, and skin that burns even in the winter time. People often associate passive aggressiveness as "Minnesota Nice." We aren't going to come right out and tell you you're a pain in the butt, but we will ignore your phone calls and purposefully not invite you to the potluck. If you are also passive aggressive, you will pick up on these hints and stop being a pain in the butt. HOWEVER, if you are not passive aggressive, you will not pick up on these hints, and the tension will mount and mount until...until you have a story like this one:

Once upon a time a rural Minnesota girl who was your typical Minnesota-Nice, passive-aggressive type fell in love with an atypical "just tell me how it is and quit beating around the bush" Twin Cities boy. They got married and all was well for a while. The girl vowed to try to be more assertive and the boy promised to try to pick up on her signals. But one can't change how they were raised to deal with problems overnight. Or even in 4 years.

One day Minnesota Girl was fixin' breakfast for her curly-haired daughters and herself (who was not quite great-with-child). They happened to run out of FOUR boxes of cereal at the same time! Girl thought, "I can't put all these boxes in the garbage at the same time! My husband is so faithful to empty the trash, he will be upset that it is full already this morning. When he wakes up and tries to empty his coffee grounds into the garbage with his eyes shut, the grounds will spill all over his feet and he will be very put out." So Girl placed the boxes neatly on the counter as a silent reminder for him to take them out with the next full garbage bag. And Twin Cities Boy certainly did wake, empty his coffee grounds and fix his breakfast with his eyes closed and didn't see the boxes sitting there through his eyelids.

Days passed. The boxes remained. The garbage was taken out several times and still the boxes remained. Girl found this curious. "Maybe he has grown accustomed to seeing them on the counter here and has adapted to their presence. I will put them somewhere he will see them and surely he will take them out with the garbage." So Girl took the bags out of the boxes and scattered the boxes on the floor. "There! He will step on them and take notice!" She nodded and went on her way.

But alas, when she came into the kitchen later on, the garbage had been emptied, but the boxes were kicked neatly under the cupboard overhangs to clear a path.

Girl inwardly seethed. "How can he not see these boxes? I have done everything to bring them to his attention outside of actually telling him about them! Drastic measures must be taken."

On their day of rest, Girl collected the boxes and coolly stacked them on Boy's office chair while he sat in it. Boy looked at Girl incredulously. "What is this?" he asked, clearly offended. "These are the empty boxes that have been waiting to be taken out with the trash for over a week. Maybe now that they are on your chair, you will remember to take them out."

Boy, in his great wisdom, said nothing to Girl, but requested a bag for them and placed them in the hallway for near-instant removal. This act of love on his part brought her to realize her lack of assertiveness. She repented of her passive aggressiveness. But we'll never really know what Boy's thought process was when he kicked the boxes under the cupboard overhangs.

The End.


The Charlebois said...

Oh Brenda, I totally love you. :)

Becky said...

Hahaha! No pot luck for you, box kicker!

Anonymous said...

This is so funny! I once read in a marriage book about a wife who left the empty toilet paper roll on the floor. She would get so mad that every time her husband used the bathroom he would never pick it up! This went on for a few weeks until she approached him and asked why he didnt pick it up... He said he didt pay any attention to it. Sometimes our men just dont get it unless we ask even if its there plain as day and we of course would pick up on it, they just need a little reminder- Renee

Deb said...


Leah said...

Ha! I love it - your writing is fun, Brenda! :-) And I have definitely done the same week-long routine with the laundry...

Sara said...

That's great! And btw - you're not the only passive aggressive girl who married a straight forward boy. It's taken work in our marriage as well. :)