Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If I Were a Better Person Dept.

Today's title has become my universal disclaimer. I have been told a number of times that when I begin a sentence with this statement that it gets their attention. Because I'm about to say something funny. Or confess some bit of behavior or a tiny secret that binds us together and makes us feel a bit less petty for our pettiness. Sometimes it provides an open forum, breaks down the walls of self-judgement and makes us feel a little better for recognizing our own personal foibles. Case in point. Last Friday evening. If I were a better person, I would not take such utter delight in speaking to people who are not speaking to me. It's fine with me if members of my former social group choose to ignore me. It's no skin off my nose. I'm not likely to attempt to ingratiate myself with them by making nice or apologizing for my presence in a public place. How dare I exist! The nerve of me, anyway! But I do most definitely have a stubborn streak, and this is where I draw the line in this situation. If you join the table where I am sitting with friends we happen to have in common and do not acknowledge my presence, you better bet your self-righteous ass that I'm going to say hello to you. In a very pleasant manner with a smile upon my face. Which will force you to respond in kind. And maybe squirm a little. Which, if I indeed were a better person, I would not enjoy. I do remain a bit mystified as to why I still elicit such a strong response from these people who used to be among my closest of friends. They still claim the social ground from which I was ousted eight years ago. They still have each other. But for whatever reason, I have overstayed my welcome in their bubble. And may I point out that this is a function of their choice, not mine. Why on Earth are they allowing me to take up space in their heads rent-free? I have moved on to rebuild my life without them. And am the happier and healthier for the lessons learned. My final thought on the matter would be this. When a sister-in-law arrived at the door for Reid's high school graduation party three years ago, it was our first face-to-face since the divorce. She said she was finally over being mad at me and missed me. We cried a little and hugged. And I said, if Allen and I can can treat each other well and move beyond the sadness and pain we inflicted on each other while our marriage was falling apart, it's time for everyone else to do the same. For the life of me I can't understand why others continue to take our marital problems more personally than we did. 

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