Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bathroom slob? Urine trouble.

This morning I read a post by George Takei about a woman who posted a list of bathroom rules her husband had given her.  Apparently, this woman is a total slob in the bathroom.  Her husband of six years was fed up with his wife's disgusting habits.  He wrote out an admittedly snarky list of complaints and rules for her to follow.

I noted that the couple, who come from Australia, had apparently discussed the wife's lack of consideration in the bathroom.  He mentions in the note that they had talked about it some three weeks prior to his writing the list.  Among his complaints are that she doesn't flush the toilet and leaves the cap off the toothpaste so that it dries out.  She's also co-opted his one drawer and vanity with all of her makeup and crap.  She has four drawers of her own to use, yet that apparently isn't enough.


So... he wrote the list of rules.  I read them and, frankly, thought they were perfectly reasonable, albeit presented in a rather irritable tone.  At one point, he does mention that he's been tempted to replace the toothpaste with some other substance.  However, he "loves her too much" to do that.  What a relief.

I was pretty interested in what people thought of the rules.  To me, at their core, they seemed very fair.  Most people seemed to think the husband was well within his rights to make these demands.  However, there were a few comments that got my blood pressure up.  Behold...

Sigh... once again, people who don't understand what "passive aggressive" behavior is.

Sorry to bring this up again, but I have to rant.  People, passive aggression is not simply behavior that you find annoying.  It is a specific type of behavior.  There is nothing passive aggressive about this man's note to his wife.  In fact, I'd say it's rather direct and assertive... possibly even aggressive, depending on the dynamics between the two.  Maybe some people think he should have spoken to her in person and been less snarky, but it sounds like he tried to on more than one occasion and was simply fed up.  Some people express themselves better in writing.  Moreover, when things are written down, there's no question about what was communicated.  

If anything, I'd say the man sounds like he was frustrated by his wife's inability or unwillingness to show him some consideration.  Maybe it would have been better if he hadn't written that he'd been tempted to replace her toothpaste with something else.  That action, by the way, would constitute passive aggression.  Smiling at your wife and then putting Nair or something else in her toothpaste is very passive aggressive behavior.  His choice to write a very direct note rather than speaking to her is not passive aggressive.

Now... I actually have a bathroom related anecdote from my past that is a pretty good example of passive aggressive behavior.  In the late 90s, I was living with my parents, trying very hard to launch into adulthood.  My father, who was at that time in his sixties, was apparently unhappy that I had invaded his house after my stint in the Peace Corps.  

I was relegated to what used to be my sister's room and eventually became the "guest room", because it had its own bathroom.  The room was out of the way of the rest of the house.  You had to walk through the dining room to get to it.  There was really no reason to use the bathroom in that room unless you just simply wanted to.  There were two other bathrooms in the house that were more convenient to get to in almost every case.

More than once, I'd come home from work to find urine in the toilet.  My father had been going into my room during the day and peeing in the toilet, without flushing.  I'm sure he felt quite justified in doing what he was doing.  It was his house, after all.  He felt perfectly okay in going into that room, taking note of how I wasn't as neat as he would have preferred (I take after him-- my mom is the only reason he lived in a spotless house because my dad was an even bigger slob than I am), and pissing in the toilet, leaving it for me to find later.

I was seeing a psychologist at the time, so I mentioned the behavior to him.  My therapist's mouth kind of dropped open.  He said, "Wow.  That's like a dog marking his territory."

My dad was not necessarily a passive aggressive person by nature.  He generally had no problem telling me when he was upset about something.  I'd say he wasn't as confrontational as my mom is, though.  And, for some reason, instead of using the other toilets or being considerate when he used the one in the room I was using, he decided to leave me a calling card.

Imagine my glee when a few years later, my husband Bill and I visited my parents' house with our then dogs, Flea and MacGregor.  Both Flea and MacGregor are now at the Rainbow Bridge.  I have very fond memories of both of them for different reasons.  Flea was more my dog than Bill's and he was very protective of me.  I will never forget Flea's reaction to meeting my dad.  I don't think Flea liked old men in general, but he really didn't like my dad.  He would position himself between me and my dad and stare down my dad... barking at him whenever he spoke.  It was very bizarre.

Bill and I went out for awhile.  When we came back, my dad was "pissed".  I asked him what was wrong and he said, "One of those dogs peed all over my bed!"

Guess who?

I could always count on Flea to get pissed on my behalf.
Now, I had nothing to do with Flea's decision to pee on my dad's bed.  It was classic animal behavior probably driven by instinct, especially since Flea was very well house trained and ordinarily wouldn't have chosen to pee on a bed over a floor.  I've always kind of thought of that incident as payback, though.

Anyway... so ends another one of my rants about people who need to use a dictionary before using words or concepts they don't know.

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