by Paula Michelle Gillison
My name is Paula and I’m a Pettyaholic!
Listen, I own my truth!
I’m Petty Betty, Petty LaBelle, PettyWop, Petty Pendegrass, Petty the Pooh!
Being petty is soooo … pleasing. There are few pleasures more satisfying than a quick quip to lighten up the conversation or an instant read with a lighthearted undertone that makes grandma grasp her pearls and pee with laughter. (Not my grandma though.) Being petty is like my ASMR or Dr. Pimple Pooper; it just soothes me and sends delightful little chills down my spine. I’ll repeat the glory of a petty moment to a random stranger like it’s a Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich gif that no one has ever seen before.”Paula is so petty y’all!”
However, you might never know just how petty I am cause I reeeeeel it in like a dollar bill on a fishing pool. You gotta be quicker that that!
Why? Because petty can instantly and easily become mean and hurtful! For myself, I was petty with everyone and it would spill out in the most uncomfortable places.
At a wedding: “She wearing white? Guess her man don’t know about Donte’.”
At a funeral: “He crying like he loved his auntie. Knowing dang ol’ well he owe her $50.”
At work: “You can’t approve this raise but I see your car ain’t lacking new shoes like my kids are?”
At church: “So we just gone ignore that pastor late every service? Do as I say not as I do huh?”
At dinner: “I thought you said the food was gone be good?”
There becomes a point where being petty is simply negative. The comments being made don’t bring any progression to the situation or conversation at hand. It may only cast a light and probably not a positive one.
Sure, you could point out how your friend’s modeling pics look like she works for a 1980’s startup magazine that never made it pass the first issue. But other than making people laugh (probably at her), you haven’t accomplished much.
A better comment might be “I know an amazing photographer who could really elevate your work. I think they’re looking for models. Interested?”
Or, as my mother might say as she’s popping my mouth in church for laughter at the choirs choice of varying notes in the same song , “Just shut up!”
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
However, we all have our moments. Sometimes, the person deserves…
When trying to determine if the situation is eligible for a petty prose or just petty problematic, ask yourself the 4 questions of F.R.O.G ?
- Can I get FIRED for saying what I’m about to say? (Social media or otherwise)
- Does this sound more like a RUMOR than a read?
- Would I be OFFENDING anyone not related to my intentions?
- Will I be stunting anyone’s GROWTH? Including my own?
If you answer yes to any of those questions, then stop! It’s not petty time!
You can afford to hold this one in! Save it for your diary or the mirror. But on your best pair of pumps, look them square in the imaginary eye, and give your best Elektra Wintour realness. Then marvel in your own humility for saving them from the verbal murder you would have delivered!
So moral of the story, don’t be that person who has nothing nice to say. May your compliments be genuine and your eyeroll be swift. And may your petty never be a thing you regret.