This I Believe

Lucy - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: courage, question
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Vive la résistance!

I believe in passive resistance. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” Besides having a badass name, Nietzsche makes a profound point. Perhaps as individuals we are not meant to follow every rule. Perhaps a meager few minuscule rules are meant to be bent and broken.

As a reasonably inhibited girl, I tend to shy away from full-out mutiny. Yet I’ve always made it a point to stick-it-to-the-man in my own creative ways. As a waitress I would hand out extra cookies to people who ordered the buffet. The managers insisted “One per customer”! They would watch me as I whistled ominously and looked at them shifty eyed. I would grab four or five cookies and then dart out of the kitchen, looking over my shoulder to see if I were being followed. Time and time again I got away with it, because none of the managers thought that I would be that crass.

I used to work at a photo lab, where I would develop pictures in one hour, or facilitate their being sent away to a lab. When people came back to pick up their pictures at my counter, I always smiled and said my hellos. Some would hurriedly shout their last name at me instead of responding to my greeting. “BANE”, they would say. “B-A-N-E”, they would spell. Just to be obnoxious, I would struggle to find their pictures. At first my hand would hover around the W’s. Then I would look up at them in confusion and sweetly ask, “Wane?”

“No. B – A – N – E” they would offer again.

“Oh”. I would stare at the drawer for a while. “Bane, Bane, Bane…” I would search with tedious inertia. I might pass over it once or twice, and glance up to see their eyes twitch or the veins in their neck pulsate. After a time I would hesitantly pull it out of the drawer and look it over with philosophical intensity, just to thwart their progress. From there I would quickly ring it up and hope that next time they might begin our interaction with a “Hi, I am fine thank you, how are you?”

It is my philosophy that passive aggressiveness is not a desirable trait in a friend or a lover or a relative, so I don’t recommend this to anyone. However, sometimes a little un-assertiveness is just what the doctor ordered. Breaking dress codes and time limits make us better, more balanced people. Whether it is to teach someone an obscure lesson, or just to make yourself feel better in this fragile, cruel world. Passive, unproductive rebellion is the way for me. This I believe.