Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

The Passive Aggressive Girl’s Guide to the Universe (again)~ Rae

on September 6, 2013

For our one year anniversary I am reposting one of my favorite Pieces. I had so much fun writing this post! Plus it really caused me to do some soul-searching and I definitely grew because of it. That is not to say that I am no longer A PAQ- because I totally still am!!!

PAQ2

The last few weeks I have been dealing with anger. Not the passionate rage of an injustice that demands action but rather the sneaky little, snippy annoyances that build and Build and BUILD. Everything gets under my skin and it all propagates, gathering up like a storm from The Wizard of Oz. Little things like the tone I think I read in an email, to the fact that there is no toilet paper on the holder (Doesn’t that make you want to scream?) start to drive me slowly insane.  Confession time: I do not handle anger well but most people would never know it.  I tend to smile and nod, while secretly plotting my revenge upon which I will most likely never act. Instead, next time that person who made me livid asks me for a favor – oh I will do it, but maybe a little bit slower than I could. HA, that will show them!!! Then one day, when I can’t take it any more so I explode in a rant that my poor husband has to listen to over the fact there is no Diet Coke in the fridge.  He doesn’t even drink Diet Coke….

I now proclaim myself the Queen of the Passive Aggressive Universe.

To prove my sovereignty of this magical kingdom I will share a tale of my passive aggressive past that haunts me still.

20 years ago (dude- that makes me sound old) I worked my way through college as a “Formal Wear Consultant” at the local tuxedo shop inside Sears. This was a fabulous job. I was able to work around my college classes and mostly I dealt with joyful scenarios such as weddings and proms (However, I do now contain copiousness amounts of useless information about Tuxedos. Also, I have serious issues with gentlemen’s pants length- the back of the hem should fall to where the heel meets the shoes, Guys- WHERE THE HEEL MEETS THE SHOES!).

So one day while I was busy formally attiring the world, the Security Nazi, I mean “Loss Prevention Specialist”, rushed into the tuxedo domain and pointed his finger at me announcing that we needed to talk. Realize please, I was in the middle of helping customers.  My mind raced all over the place. I thought oh no, who died? What happened that could cause this beast of a man (and he was huge) to need to speak with little ole me? I was worried sure, but not scared, because I knew the perfectionist in me would never allow me to do less than stellar work. My heart trembled, because I just knew a tragedy MUST have befallen someone I knew.

He escorted me to his lair, I mean office. There he proceeded to read me the riot act and write me up with an official looking document that would be placed in my “Permanent Employee File”. ME? I never even had detention in high school.  My head spun and I gasped for air. What could I have possibly done to make him this angry and put my glittering employee record in jeopardy? Had I been caught shop lifting, one might wonder? Was I rude to a customer? Oh no my comrade, my heinous crime against humanity involved parking. That’s right; you read that correctly, “PARKING”.

I had not parked in the official parking zone of the Sears parking lot. And why- you ask- would Miss I Follow All the Rules not park in the appropriate place? Frankly because, I didn’t know that there was a designated parking area. The company I worked for rented space from Sears. Not being an official employee of Sears, I had never received the employee training that included the very important detailed section on parking rules and regulations. I pleaded my case: I didn’t know. I hadn’t even parked in the front parking spaces thereby stealing prime spaces from customers. The lot was huge and never full. He remained un-swayed and didn’t show an ounce of mercy. He took me out on a walk of shame to the parking lot to physically point out where I should have parked. He made quite a show of gesturing at the lines on the ground. He seemed to have a talent for pointing. I even wondered if showing mastery of pointing was part of the employee interview process for his position.  “Here” he snarled, “Not here” he pointed. I struggled to hold in the tears that threatened to fall as I promised, swore on my dog that I would park appropriately from now on.  And I did… for about 2 weeks…

Then my distress and dishonor turned to wrath. The kind of passive aggressive ire I am a Jedi master in. By golly, I showed him. For the rest of my tenure at the Tuxedo shop (4 years) I parked exactly ONE space over from where he had indicated on that dreadful day. There were no official lines or landmarks that separated the employee area from the rest of the lot. It was more a general area in the back of the lot. Nevertheless, I remembered exactly where he had pointed (repeatedly) and parked one spot to the wrong side of it. I smiled a little bit every time I did it to.  Honestly, I am smiling right now as I remembering my satisfaction of winning that battle, at least in my head.

Obviously if 20 years later I can still remember this event vividly, it reveals that I have not let this issue go and just how poorly I deal with my anger. Also with the last few weeks weighing heavily on me, I knew I needed help.  I decided to do some research and compare “The Passive Aggressive Queen’s Guide to the Universe” that I live by (and wrote) to the more mainstream healthy approaches to dealing with anger to see how much therapy I am really going to need.

My Comparison:

According to the article “The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with Anger” there are 13 ways to handle anger well.

“The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with Anger”`

  1. Do Count To 10 (Or 100)
  2. Do Forgive
  3. Do Distract Yourself
  4. Do Take A Deep Breath
  5. Don’t Deny That You’re Angry
  6. Do Write About It
  7. Don’t Stomp Or Storm
  8. Do Exercise
  9. Do Practice Compassion
  10. Don’t Send An Email When You’re Angry
  11. Do Try To Be Grateful
  12. Do Talk, But Not Right Away
  13. Do Consider Prayer

According to “The Passive Aggressive Queen’s Guide to the Universe” I am annoyed that there are 13 items on the list. Isn’t that unlucky? What happened to the magical number of 10 for lists of self-help?  Furthermore, my obsessive compulsive self also does not appreciate the way the list switches back and forth from DOs and Don’ts without a pattern. Either list all the DOs first and follow with the Don’ts or switch off every other one- DO, Don’t, DO, Don’t etc… Come on people. My annoyance level =13.

The Passive Aggressive Queen’s Guide to the Universe

  1. What if a Passive Aggressive Queen (PAQ) counts to 3000 and still wants to stick a fork in someone’s eye? Instead PAQs will count 10 ways to get even that the person will never realize came from the PAQ.
  2. PAQs forgive the person who annoyed them. Maybe. Someday.
  3. Squirrel. PAQs can distract others from the real issue with finesse (UP movie reference).
  4. Oh PAQs can breathe it usually gets faster and faster like an evil genius of epic proportions or a woman in labor.
  5. PAQs Deny, Deny, Deny and SMILE.
  6. Ok, well here I seem to be in agreement, even if it is years later.
  7. PAQs throw grandiose hissy fits behind closed doors.
  8. PAQs ask- would I have to put down my cupcake? If so I am out.
  9. Dang it- I admire compassion. Just not for my parking lot nemesis. He gets NONE.
  10. Emails are the perfect passive aggressive response for a PAQ. It’s fantastic since we do not even have to be in the same room as the enemy. (Seriously, I definitely need to stop sending emails while angry. I always regret it later)
  11. PAQs are always grateful I have so much in my life to be grateful for: a wonderful family, great friends, a good job. I am also grateful parking lot brigadier never caught on to my diabolical plan.
  12. Avoid, Avoid, Avoid. Passive Aggressive Queens don’t ever talk about why they are angry. Well at least not about the REAL issue.
  13. MAN- now God has called me out. I hear you Lord; I hear you. I will try to work on this about myself. AND I will stop parking in that same dang spot every time I go to Sears even now. Let it go my fellow PAQs, let it go.
  14. (I just couldn’t leave it on an uneven number) EVENTUALLY PAQs realize they need to deal with themselves and their approaches to anger. Of course everyone gets peeved and stressed, that is normal. It is how a person deals with it that makes her either a Passive Aggressive Queen or just a Queen.

Be a Queen (or King) my friends. Be a Queen to your love ones and your enemies.

And for Pete’s sake watch where you park.


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