Thursday, April 23, 2009
Passive Revenge Is Fun
They say that revenge is a dish best served up cold. I like my revenge with a side of chocolate mousse and some raspberries. Because if you're going to have revenge, you should go all out and really have revenge and not worry about the calories.
But when you think about it, there's revenge, and then there's REVENGE. There's a big difference. I'll break them down for you.
revenge: Someone eats your pudding cup that you clearly labeled and put in the refrigerator at work, so the next day you dump her granola in the toilet.
REVENGE: Someone eats your clearly-labeled pudding cup and possibly bangs your husband, so you drug her and mail her to Swaziland.
And then there is passive revenge, which is something entirely different. Passive revenge is when you don't mean to take revenge; revenge takes itself. This is usually when someone does something to you that is pretty minor, perhaps not even deliberate. And while you are thinking about how much fun it would be to take revenge, something happens to that person that makes you feel like you've had your revenge. It's hilariously satisfying, and yet you did nothing to bring it about.
For instance: One time, my friend S. was telling me a story about her first pregnancy. She was nine months along, and she felt huge and uncomfortable. And she and her then-husband were at a baseball game. The husband got up to head to the refreshment stand and said to her, "You want anything, slim?" And before she could answer, a woman sitting near them muttered under her breath, "Yeah, like SHE'S slim." Five minutes later, a foul ball hit that lady in the face. To this day, that story melts the frost around my frozen evil bitch heart and makes me laugh and laugh. In a very wicked manner.
I have never felt passive revenge to that level of sweetness. But the New York subway system is always on my side. I have several subway pet peeves, from people who breathe with their mouths open after eating what smells like pig rectum, to those who rest their giant handbags on the laps of others. ALL of my pet peeves are related to my personal space being violated. Therefore, it made my heart just a bit jolly on Monday when a woman whose purse had been terrorizing me for blocks had to balance herself on one foot while she struggled to get her shoe back on the crowded steps coming out of the subway. It's really too bad she didn't have an extra shoe in that GIANT purse of hers. Oh, snap. (Did I mention that I may or may not have accidentally bumped said shoe right before it fell off? Because I did.) Passive revenge was mine.
I hope to never experience the kind of REVENGE that involves finding my pet's severed head on my pillow. Or even that type where someone sends my breakfast to a watery grave. But even I, the benevolent and wise Mayor of Bethville, frequently deserve the sting of passive revenge. Nobody's perfect. My purse is always bumping people, and I constantly utter mean things under my breath. When passive revenge does happen, I know that whoever I've just wronged will bask in the glow of my embarrassment, if only for a moment.
Until I hurl her cell phone onto the subway tracks.
(**Photo courtesy of Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and my sex sandwich fantasies.)