I made the decision a couple of years ago to stop being passive-aggressive. I’m really good at it, but having been on the receiving end of some particularly undeserved passive-aggression, I decided right then and there that I just didn’t want to be that guy anymore.
Last night a neighbor put a passive-aggressive note on my door that I honestly don’t think I deserved. And I just feel sick about it. Literally, physically sick. Why can’t people just be polite, and honest? Why can’t they just ring the damn doorbell? Why doesn’t anybody ever think about anyone but themselves?
I’ve been saying for years that I feel like the only person in any given neighborhood who gives a damn about not disturbing my neighbors. I’m constantly telling my kids not to jump, not to push furniture across the floor, not to drop heavy things that will make a loud noise, not to talk loudly in the hallway. I bought my son a drum set, because he really wants to learn how to play, but I’m also spending more than the drum set cost to build a sound-isolation stage in his room so as not to bother the neighbors too much.
But I put on my headphones and sing along while I’m doing the dishes, because I’m f'ing miserable to begin with and I despise doing the dishes, and singing makes me feel better - and I get a passive-aggressive note on my door. From someone whose children run around the hallways screaming all afternoon, every day after school, banging on the walls and the doors and leaving bikes right in front of the elevator. From someone who leaves trash out in the hallway, sometimes for days at a time. I was bothering them. Of course, how silly of me. I sang in my kitchen. I was thinking about myself for once. Sorry, folks, won’t happen again. Back to putting your needs first.