“This is passive-aggression in action.”
– Chuck Palahniuk
So, I was recently accused of writing a “passive aggressive” blog. (This one in particular.) And while I don’t feel the need to explain myself to anyone, this particular critique struck a nerve. And here’s why.
I’m going to define passive aggressive. Not using Webster or anything – no, this is 100% Melissa. Passive aggressive means that you get a point across in a sneaky way without being blunt and obvious. Am I right? Fair definition? Well, here’s what I say to that.
This blog should be renamed
Of course, every blog I write is passive aggressive. Sheesh.
For instance, I write a blog about having been falsely accused of something I didn’t do. Do I say JimBob accused me of telling his wife Bertha that he’s cheating on her? Of course not. You people don’t know JimBob and Bertha. You can’t relate with specifics, but you can relate with a generality. JimBob never accused you of telling Bertha anything, so what do you care? But I’ll bet money on the fact that you’ve probably been accused of something unfairly, am I correct? You can relate to what I’m saying because you can substitute your situation with mine when I write in generalities.
Or, I may write about a problem that Richard and I are having and the events that took place surrounding the argument. Do I tell you what the problem is? Of course not. That’s personal. And besides, our problem was probably pretty specific and you most likely couldn’t relate with it. But have you had a problem with your significant other? Sure you have! If I write non-specifically, you can relate with what I’m saying.
I could keep listing examples of blogs from the past, but there’s no point. They are ALL the same. I don’t come right out and use specific situations and specific names because that would defeat my purpose.
I have a confession to make. Recently, I’ve been a little disappointed with my blog’s views. They have gone down quite a bit lately. When I expressed my hesitation in continuing the blog, someone asked me this question.
“Well, who are you writing it for? You or them?”
And you know what my answer is to that question?
If I were writing this for myself, I’d write a journal or a diary. I’d use specific names like nobody’s business. And I probably wouldn’t be nearly as nice about it, I can guarantee you that. But I’m not writing for me. I’m writing in the hopes that someone somewhere can see themselves in my situations. They can take my life experiences, replace their own in the story, and come away with two things. One, the knowledge that they are not alone (we never are); and two, a slightly different perspective on what might be a negative situation.
I recently wrote a blog about a visit to the nursing home to see my Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother. Someone that I don’t know from Adam sent me a message telling me how much that blog meant to them. It gave them a new perspective on their own parent who has Alzheimer’s. It made them see her in a different way. She said that she would remember what I said for a very long time and that it made her understand her parent like she hadn’t up until the point she read my words.
Why do I write? That is why.
If you see yourself in my writing, there’s probably a reason. If it helps, I’m thrilled. If it steps on your toes, well. Frankly, forgive me for being blunt, but I’m not a bit sorry. I didn’t mention your name – if you put yourself in it, that’s you that did that. Not me. And you might want to ask yourself why that is.
I am a very public person. That’s just the way it is. It’s the way I was made, and there’s nothing I can do about it. The stories that I have to tell are going to be told. I’m not going to use specifics in most cases unless I’m given permission. My stories are mine, and I am going to keep telling them.
Yes, I get frustrated sometimes when they don’t seem to be read as much as usual (as I mentioned above). But like my daughter said in a recent conversation:
Me: My blog views are dropping drastically.
Her: How do you know?
Me: Well, I can look at the stats. A story that may have gotten 100 views before is now only getting 25. I think maybe I should quit.
Her: Then you’re going to have 25 disappointed people.
Ah, the wisdom of youth.
So, yes, I’m going to continue writing. And yes, I fully admit that most everything I write from here on out will be passive aggressive. It’s what I do. If I write something that you feel is about you or directed at you, please – see me about it. I can assure you that the passive aggressiveness is only found in this blog, not in real life. I promise you I’ll let you know exactly what you want to know.
Pretending (unless I’m on a stage) is just not my thing.
And that’s all I have to say about that.