I really don’t want to be passive aggressive, but I feel sometimes that my opinion might literally kill someone with words. Instead of, “Ya know, I absolutely loathe that you don’t care to pick up dog poop in the yard and assume that I will because I just tend to take care of everything so why should you care you son of a…”
Instead I do this. “Ya know, we’ll get a fine with all that dog poo in the yard. That’s really not a great impression of the Yellers to our neighbors. I picked it all up last time.” Hint Hint. Wink. Wink. Pick up the damn POO you son of a……
So one might say, I’m not the best at expressing my disappointment in things not being taken care of, especially when I have very vaguely and repeatedly directly but not directly asked you to do it. I like to let it fester and build. I like to see it every morning on my way to work and chew on it for the hour and a half drive. Then I like to work my tail off and expend all of my patience and energy at work. Then I like to drive home the hour and a half contemplating whether it will be there to greet me. Then I sit in my car. And stare at it. And think about it. And know in my heart that if one more day goes by….
And that’s how I escalate the poop in my mind.
So the other morning, I was trying to get my stuff together for a race. And of course this was just a typical race, but since the Packers were playing, it instantly became a themed race with lots of flair because I just can’t do anything at a normal pace/state/attire. So I’m searching for my green and gold leg warmers, because it was cold as blazes out and I want to be safe in my running attire. And I knew they were in my bin in the garage. My LABELLED bin in the garage. My LABELLED Packer bin in the garage. My LABELLED Packer bin of flair….in the garage. It’s early. I’m not the nicest in the morning because I don’t get sleep anymore between work and Peanut, and now the damn dog. So I really try not to speak before leaving the house, in general. I asked Bacon to help me get the bin down, because it’s early and I knew struggling with that was probably going to set me off. We go out to the garage to look for my LABELLED bin. And to my horror, we can’t find it. Not just because there are massive piles of BS thrown everywhere in this garage. Piles of xmas lights, boxes, bins, tools, who knows what thrown everywhere in this “shared” space we have. Bags of recycling piled up by the door to the house. Mid-progress projects abandoned in the middle of the floor. Summer clothes piled on top of the bins they should be piled INSIDE of. So I am pretty sure my huffs and puffs were audible at this point, as I am struggling to contain my frustration and not lash out….rationally or not. (Yes I’m aware I have organization/control/panic/lets-just-stop-the-list-now issues) And I finally give up in a boiling angry state of silence. And then I spot it, in the corner of the garage, I’m pretty sure there was a beam of light shining on it, or the light was merely a reflection of the lasers shooting from my eyeballs, but either way, problem solved. He helps me get it down, all nice, all quiet, don’t poke the bear just give it its leg warmers nice. I frantically shove my stuff in a bag, hugs and kisses goodbye, mutter some passive aggressive comment about dog poop and I’m on my way.
My run was, well just awful. Terrible performance on my end, but it was an amazing opportunity for ma and my sister (Whiskey Shots as I like to call her 😉) to really just lift my spirits after a tremendously dark and difficult week. I was happy as headed to work after the race. I was nice to my staff at work after the race. And then Bacon called.
And he asked if I was ok, because I seemed (pause for audible tension in his voice) “edgy” this morning. When I say I had no intention of getting into any sort of serious heartfelt conversation on the phone at work, I mean it. But he asked, and when he asks something, even though he may not totally absorb the answer, he really wants to at least hear it. So I started with some lame calm response that was passive about the garage. But, as we talked more, just talking got me to the root of why the garage bothered me so much. And what it ultimately came down to was an agreement that had been broken. The garage started off as a sacred space for both of us to share, me with my painting and he with his projects. But through lack of care or priority and excuse after excuse, I had been violently shoved out of my space (my own passive aggressive statement of defiance) and was now resentful, bitter, and down right ticked off. (That’s putting it nicely)
So in the end, a timid question, I’m certain he was terrified to hear the answer to, helped me express my honest feelings, that I didn’t even understand until that moment, and helped him understand how to more effectively ease my stress.