Ring the Bells – It’s PAGL Day

After the rousing success that was Incoherent Friday, I think I’m going to institute another Tartitude tradition. (Because by now you all know how convention-bound I am.) Smilie by GreenSmilies.com

Welcome to Passive-Aggressive Wednesday, in which we take a proven clinical psychology tool and warp it to fit our needs. (Which in this case, consists of me trolling for blog topics.)

You’ve probably all heard of the gratitude list. Did you know that in double-blind crossover placebo-controlled studies, it actually works to reduce a bad mood? Cures bad breath? Gives me an opportunity to sound like I know what I’m talking about?

(Warning: when I talk in  med-speak, I’m probably trying to blind you with science. You’d be wise to distrust anything I have to say immediately following.  Also, am struggling with my parentheses addiction today.)

Yes, there is such a thing as a normal gratitude list. And it does work for most people.  But when you’re in a really bad mood, or artistically inclined, the normal gratitude list might not be enough. (For example, when your long-term crutch – the ellipsis – is wrenched from your writer’s toolbox by a cruel and vicious critique partner.)

Hence the Passive-Aggressive Gratitude List™. I tested it last Wednesday on some fellow writers and I’m pleased to say the results were uniformly positive. Nor were there any side effects. (Except for that one person. But she was a bit weird already, and the tic hardly detracted from her appearance.)

That’s why I am pleased to offer the PAGL™ here, at the Tartitude, on a limited time basis.  That’s right, Gentle Reader. Free to all Tartitude readers, is a unique tool you can use anywhere, anytime. Feeling down on the bus? Make a PAGL™. Boss whipping your behind? Haha! You are so prepared.

Now is that not an excellent deal?

And just to sweeten the pot, I have prizes for the first 10 people who are brave enough to comment below, and prove their competence in this important life skill. Come out of lurkdom, peeps, and I will throw in a free case of “was” sentences too. (Goodness knows I have enough of them, ’cause they’re now verboten too. Smileys  )

Before you get started – and yes, I can see some of you already rubbing your hands in gleeful anticipation (Laura)  – allow me to provide an example or two.


Hope101’s Passive-Aggressive Gratitude List for Sept. 23, 2009

1. I am grateful for my teeth, because I’ll need them to tackle the cookies my daughter baked last night.

2. I’m grateful for meat-eaters, because they allow me to feel a smug sense of superiority.

3. I am grateful to the book Twilight, because now anything I might do to  inadvertently sissify a hero, pales in comparison.

4. I am grateful for my Prime Minister. Those insomnia problems of earlier?  Pfffft!

Got the idea? Now it’s your turn. Make me proud, guys. Smilie by GreenSmilies.com

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19 thoughts on “Ring the Bells – It’s PAGL Day

  1. 1) I am grateful God is testing my fortitude to handle immense stress–I am guaranteed Sainthood. And doesn’t Saint Suzanne sound lovely. I know you are wishing you were me.

    2) I am happy I have to fly overseas for a funeral, because I actually get a break from my living hell here.

    3) I am so thankful my husband broke his ankle while the weather is warm, as snow shovelling tops the list of whats me happy. Revert back to #2.

    4) I am blessed with three slave-driving-critque partners, who push me to my limit to produce a masterpiece. Yes, they are aware of the stress endurance test God has is punishing me with. But they are MY cross to bear. Please see #2 again.

    5) Last but not least, am humbled by my many friends, who offer advice and actually think they are helping me by adding more than their 2cents.

    6) Yes #5 was suppose to be the last, but I feel I owe you one more—Did I mention how much I am looking forward to this funeral? 🙂

  2. I am grateful that my job was eliminated in the early 2000’s because I am now accustomed to a standard of living that my local friends are just learning about … to their horror!

  3. Pat’s Passive-Aggressive List for Sept. 23, 2009

    1. I am grateful for 8am Very Important Job Interview calls, because I don’t have enough brain cells rubbing together to worry too much in advance.

    2. I am grateful for the geography-challenged American impression that everything in California is right next to everything else, because it prompts people I want to get in touch with to call _me_ and ask if the fires are at my house.

    3. I am blessed by extra-capacity washing machines, because I can put off laundry another few days “until I have a big enough load to justify the water.”

    4. I am blessed by absolutely no income, because I have no more room in my closet anyway!

    5. I am blessed with a college age son who never calls his mother, because if I knew what he was doing I’d be crazy out of my mind with worry.

    6. I am grateful I’m only supposed to do five of these because I got up in time for #1 and my mind is a total blank.

  4. 1. I am grateful for my critique group because they are helping me develop a thick skin for when I am called cruel and vicious.

    2. I am grateful my internet at home is on the fritz again because I should be writing not facebooking anyway.

    3. I am grateful to know Suzanne BEFORE she gets her Sainthood status because I am quite certain I may never see her after that.

    4. I am grateful the air conditioning in my vehicle is broken so that I don’t take winter for granted when the cooler temperatures approach.

    5. I am grateful my husband is working out of town so he doesn’t catch on to how truly terrible I am with housework.

  5. 1. I am grateful for that lousy sportswriter in our local paper, because he gives my husband reason to talk with me every morning.

    2. I am grateful for this cough, because it’s encouraging me to drink even more water.

    3. I am grateful for Twitter, because I feel “@” and “#” have long been under-appreciated.

    4. I am grateful for dust, because making it disappear gives me a sense of accomplishment. Nay, power!

    5. I am grateful for eBay, because without it I’d have to start writing about estate taxes and school marketing and bankers’ civic contributions 10 minutes–no, 15 minutes–no, half an hour earlier every day.

    1. Sounds like quite the sportswriter. MJ, I’m on Twitter too: @Tartitude, if you want to hook up. But no obligation whatsoever.

      And woot for power, even if the dreaded housework is required to gain it. A different kind of magical wand…

  6. Okay, I was temporarily distracted by your amazing blog line-up. I’m too busy checking them out now — I’ll have to check back and write a proper response to this brilliant post!

  7. Wow, passive-aggressiveness must not come easily to me.

    My mind is an utter blank – although I should point out that I agree with your Twilight comment, Jan – and I’m in the same boat as “rewinn” – I’ve been so poor for years that I’m actually starting to think I’d survive a post-apocalyptic world, which is a nice feeling. 🙂

    Ooh, wait, I just thought of five…

    1. I’m grateful for Facebook because it reminds me why I lost touch with some of my high school and college friends in the first place.

    2. I’m grateful for Twitter for teaching me that none of my thoughts are profound enough to exceed 140 characters.

    3. I’m grateful for not having a dishwasher – having to wash dishes by hand gives me something to cross off my to-do list, which is so important.

    4. I’m grateful for people like Lindsay Lohan, who make me realize my life could always be worse.

    5. I’m grateful for my cat’s playfulness, without which I might be able to get down the stairs without a near mishap.

    Phew. Once you get going, you almost can’t stop.

    So, how’d I do? Did I master the PAGL concept, or what?

    1. Congratulations, Laura. You just got a Ph.D. in PAGL. Haha. 🙂 Not so hard when you get going, is it?

      BTW, I hope it is emmanently clear to one and all that I actually adore my critique partner. We already have some wicked teasing going on in our group, which, to me, is a sign of the trust level.

    1. Haha, Laura. Good thing, since I have no control over the avatars. I just pick between aliens, cogs, geometric figures, or no avatars at all, and WordPress assigns them through some unknown formula.

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