Minnesotans’ renowned passive-aggressiveness is practically an art form. So why not stamp it on a T-shirt?
Joel and Lauren Gryniewski, the husband-and-wife team behind sassy greeting card company Old Tom Foolery, are celebrating locals’ penchant for not really saying what they mean with a T-shirt that’s as Minnesota Nice as it gets. It says:
“Keep Minnesota Passive-Aggressive. (Or not. Whatever you think is best.)”
The Gryniewskis came up with the design for the Minnesota State Fair last summer, and it’s become one of their most popular offerings at their Nicollet Avenue Greater Goods shop (2515 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., oldtomfoolery.com). You can also get it as a poster.
“I thought it would be a funny idea to visualize this idea of passive-aggressiveness,” Joel Gryniewski said. “It’s a bold statement, and then we walk it back a little bit. It seemed like the way to exemplify what passive-aggressiveness is all about.”
A Brooklyn Park native, Gryniewski had to move away to Virginia and California and back to Minneapolis before realizing he had the Minnesota trait.
“It’s really noticeable in the workplace,” the ad copywriter said. “I can’t say we’re immune to it.”
Now, he’s supplying the shirt and print to plenty of ex-Minnesotans, who order them online from all over the world to get their passive-aggressive fix.
“Maybe that’s one of the reasons they left,” he said.