Thursday, March 12, 2009

Petty Much?

So, I've jumped on the bandwagon. I'm going to participate in one of these writing prompt thingamabobs. I figure, my tank of interesting subjects is nearing "E" so I should probably go trolling the internet for ideas rather than repel any remaining readers that I still have with my random thoughts spewed out at their expense.

So, Mama Kat. The Writing Assignment. Here it goes.

The Prompts:
2.) Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

Have you ever hurt someone unintentionally, and feel tons of remorse about it? But then the person does something and you realize what an asshat they are and then you don't feel quite so bad?

Well, this story isn't anything like that. Because the person I hurt was not an asshat. She was one of my very best friends in the world. And, after I hurt her, you know what she did? She didn't rub my face in it. She didn't call me out. She didn't even mention it at all. And, when I finally got around to owning up to my stupidity and apologizing, know what she did? She forgave me and told me how much she loved me. Which is why, I think, it is so hard for me to forgive myself. When I hurt someone, or do something less than kind, I would certainly EXPECT him or her to get angry or sad, and for those emotions to be directed at me. That would be logical, right? But when a person you hurt shows you MERCY and GRACE, the person LOVES THEIR ENEMY, after you slap their cheek they TURN AND OFFER THE OTHER CHEEK TO YOU, it is very hard to walk away feeling any better than a turd.

Back in high school in 1986, I met my future soul-mate, Angie. And by soul-mate, I don't mean my romantic love. I mean the person every woman can relate to: the other woman who is the peanut butter to her jelly. The Thelma to her Louise. The "see ya later alligator" to her "after while crocodile". We just ...clicked. That's the way I remember it, anyway. We were on cheerleading together. We dated best friends. We spent the night at each others' houses. We went to school dances together, sometime double-dating and sometimes going stag together. We went on family vacations with each other's families. We had a ton of fun.



When we went to different colleges, we tried to keep in touch, but we were both really excited to start the new chapter of our lives on different campuses. Our relationship kinda got put on the backburner and went forgotten. Phone calls grew further and further apart. Eventually we didn't really see each other. We reconnected senior year, and I kicked myself for wasting all those years without her. She was an incredible friend and seeing her after a few years was like I had just seen her yesterday. The connection never died, it just needed a little CPR.

After college, and a few different jobs, and a few different moves to new cities, Angie was getting married to her college sweetheart, Brian. I was thrilled for her. Until she told me who was going to be in her wedding. And it wasn't going to be me.

Ouch. I was hurt. And a bit spiteful. There was one person in particular in the bridal party whom I'd never even met. Why did SHE warrant a spot in the line-up and I didn't even get to be "guest book attendant" or anything? I mean, WHAT THE HELL?

So, how did I handle it? Not very well. On the day of the wedding, in classic Catholic style, Angie and Brian got married in the morning but had the reception later that evening. So, for the "in-between time" I was invited to come to her Aunt & Uncle's house where the rest of the family and wedding party were gathering. I felt completely welcome and at ease there. My high school years were spent around this family. I knew them well. At the party, Angie's uncle said to me, "I know it means a lot to Angie that you came to the wedding." My response? "Yeah, but not so much to put me in the wedding party."

It pains me to write those words. To admit that I actually said that. It's very very shameful.

The uncle (I think) tried to console me with, "No I'm sure she cares for you very much." Blah Blah Blah I was too filled with my petty and selfish feelings to hear any of it.

And, within 6 months, I was planning my own wedding. I found out what goes on in a bride's mind when choosing her bridesmaids. I learned, for the first time, to face the idea of including or excluding someone from this huge event in my life. I thought about Angie, and as much as I loved her, how we really HAD been out of each other's lives for a long time. I was torn: I felt like maybe I should include her in the bridal party just to show her how sorry I was. I also felt like not doing that because she would see right through it and tell me straight out that while she would be flattered and my intentions may be honorable, it was a crappy reason to include someone. I cared for her so much, but ultimately there were other friends who I was closer with at the time. So I didn't ask her to be in the wedding. (BTW of course she was invited, and came.)

Before my wedding day came, I apologized to Angie for what I had said. Actually, I had to first TELL her what I said (that was even harder), THEN apologize. Her uncle had shared with her what I'd said at the party, but she kept it to herself. She responded to my apology in a manner that can only be described as ladylike. Classy. Christian. Humble. She wasn't mad, she didn't scold me for my remarks, she didn't even try to offer up her feelings about it. I can only assume she was very hurt. But she let me come to her and ask her for forgiveness. And she gave it to me.

Like I said, it's easier to get over yourself when you've hurt someone if you feel like they got their chance to be mad, air their grievances, and have their say. But when you're given love that you don't deserve, I think it's hard to allow yourself to accept it.

22 comments:

jori-o said...

I remember the internal drama of figuring out who to have in the wedding party. She sounds like a great friend.

Simply AnonyMom said...

That is a good story with a happier ending. She sounds like an awesome friend.

Dan said...

I think it is simpler for guys. No guy I know of feels slighted to not be in the wedding party.

But any hurt can be hard to heal, so here's to friends who do heal.

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

Wow!!! She is class personified!

Don't beat yourself up... we can all be mean... it's human nature.

Michelle said...

She sounds like a good friend to have.

Andrea said...

Thanks for popping in on my blog yesterday! I had a cousin in my wedding because I felt like I had to since we were close growing up and at different times as adults, but looking back I wonder why. That was good of you to admit what you said and ask forgiveness.

Jennifer said...

You're supposed to apologize when you do something mean to somebody???

Just kidding..... You are awesome.

Jenners said...

Visitng from Mama Kats...

This was a great post ... and full of great writing too. I know what you mean when you are forgiven without someone getting mad at you. You almost need them to feel mad so you can feel better. Weird, huh? And the whole choosing who to be in a wedding is such a loaded thing that is fraught with danger at all sides. I'm glad you have such a great friend -- and I love the photos!

Connie Weiss said...

Visiting from Mama Kat's!

I totally understand how you would be hurt...I honestly think I would have felt the same way. I'm impressed that you told her what you did and asked for her forgiveness.

Wendy said...

Weddings are so hard. After one of my roommates canceled and rescheduled her wedding three times (because her future husband was a RAT) and finally decided to have it on the SAME DAY as mine (which had been planned for 6 months) at the same time, on the other side of town - which would have put at least two of the bridesmaids in a huge quandary... I decided not to have a wedding party at all. It was just us & the preacher, in his parents' house.

After participating in several other weddings and seeing the D-R-A-M-A that goes on, we still think this was a brilliant choice over 9 years later. Every now & then I still think that roommate was a total turd. But her marriage fell apart (which any of us could have predicted) and none of us are in touch with her now... so it's hard to stay mad at her and I hope she finds a good life.

April said...

Sounds like a great friend.

Namine said...

What a wonderful friend!

blueviolet said...

I think it was wonderful that you told her later what you had said and that she forgave you. That's friendship.

Jessica said...

Wow. What a great friend. I did the same thing at my wedding. I didn't invite my HS to be in the party and I think she might have felt a little bad.

Eudae-Mamia said...

I'm going to learn from your experience. Part of my bloggy funk is that I'm going through some friend growing pains myself. You've talked me in to reaching out - we'll see.

Thanks for sharing!!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Great story and even better friend! Sometimes these things happen--you and Angie are lucky to have handled the situation and moving on!

Sometimes Sophia said...

That was a riveting story and beautifully told. ... something about walking a mile in another bride's shoes. We just don't know what it's like 'til we get there ourselves. She sounds like a great lady and a better friend.

I am Harriet said...

Hi.
I'm just passing by via SITS.
Have a great day!

Jen said...

Good for you writing this, I know it must have been hard. I have said word that really hurt some one but I couldn't write it.

Sturgmom said...

What is it with weddings that brings out the worst in people? I can think of 3 different friendships I've had that have been marred by hurt feelings over wedding plans (for various reasons). Thanks for sharing that story!

Tamstyles said...

I have been searching all over for people from DFW with blogs and just happen to run across your blog because of your title..Hi fellow Texas...

Mammatalk said...

Hey, Texas mom,

Thank you for your kind comments this morning. Looks like your blog is doing quite well, too. Have you been featured on SITS yet? That was what pushed me over 100 followers.