“Sorry, I’m not going to read your passive aggressive note.”
To the person who dropped an anonymous 2-page note on the counter while I was paying for my stuff at Target:
Hi! I’m Paulina. I’m not sure how many anonymous notes you left today, so let me describe myself to you. I was the tall blonde in a navy top pushing my pug in a shopping cart. I don’t know what you look like because you waited to drop the note when I was looking down at the card reader. By the time I signed and looked up, you were long gone.
At first, I was confused by what it was, since I was minding my own business in a crowded Target checkout lane. But then I saw the handwriting and the first few words about “Pets and Therapy Dogs,” and immediately realized what I was dealing with.
I looked up at the cashier and said, “It looks like I was just given an anonymous note.”
She didn’t understand “I thought that was your friend or something,”
‘NOPE! I just moved here! Don’t have any friends yet. Do you want to be my friend?’ I screamed inside my head, but on the outside I just shrugged, and left the note sitting there.
There was a lot of stuff going on in my head as I loaded up my bags, took the elevator down to the parking garage, and loaded up my car. Did I do something wrong? Should I have read that note? What if it wasn’t a mean note? Who the heck was that? Are they following me now? Why didn’t they just say something?
But guess what I decided?
I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt you or anyone else. You saw me with a dog wearing a backpack (with whipped cream on his whiskers from the puppuchino he licked up at Starbucks) and you made assumptions about me.
I can’t say what those assumptions were because I didn’t read it. Just like America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, I don’t waste my time on passive aggressive peace stealers (except to write blog posts about them).
If you’d used the time it took you to find paper and a pen and write me that note to talk to me, who knows what cool things would have happened. I was waiting in line for at least 10 minutes; you had plenty of chances to say ‘Hi.’
I can tell you’re observant! Did you also see the woman and small child that cut in front of me in line? Did you write them a note too, or does that not qualify? Did you notice that I didn’t get mad, or even roll my eyes at them? I figured they made an honest mistake and it wouldn’t hurt anything to let them go ahead of me. She wasn’t hurting anyone, and probably only set me back an extra 2-3 minutes.
Also, did you give notes to all the people who had their dogs in Target? There were a lot because they ALLOW dogs at this Target. But maybe that’s beside the point.
My point is…
You don’t know me. You don’t know my story or my situation, just like I don’t know other people’s stories and situations. That’s why I attempt to be kind to people. It’s not always easy, and sometime, like you, I fail.
Maybe I’m failing now and making too many assumptions about you. Again, I didn’t read the note so I don’t know what was in it. Maybe the note had a recipe for dog treats, or a map of the best dog parks, or even an invitation to a puppy play date…but I doubt it.
I know I’m failing at being kind when I say I hope you were watching me after you dropped that note. I hope you saw me look at it without reading it, walk away without taking it. I hope you felt as frustrated as I did that someone took the time to write you a 2-page letter instead of just speaking to you like a person.
And if by some crazy chance you DO find this, I’M ALL EARS! I’m happy to talk to you face to face about whatever you want to talk about.
The bad news is you still got to me. The good news is we both get to start over again tomorrow with a relatively clean slate. I’ll try harder to be kind, and I hope you will too.