I admit it, I'm a grudge holder. I was reminded of this while attending my recent 20 year high school class reunion.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not vengeful about my grudges for the most part: I just have a difficult time letting go of past events and moving on. Maybe this is why I am not in close contact with most of the people with whom I graduated.
I couldn't actually "attend" the reunion because I had my kid with me, but we did stop in to say "hi" and ended up staying for about an hour and a half. It was great to see my old pals, but I had no desire to "schmooze" with the others. It felt as if I was in a parallel universe when I saw people that were mortal enemies 25 years ago engaging in friendly conversation.
Had they "grown up" and overcome their differences? Perhaps all was forgivin now. Now, turns out - one guy cornered the other who was terribly uncomfortable while remembering in the back of his mind that this guy was a complete jackass as a kid. Did "jack" think the rest of us had forgotten? Why didn't anybody say anything to him like "hey you know - it was really mean of you to call Jane "fish face" in school and we really did not appreciate you "hocking loogies" at us while we practiced formations for marching band in 1983."
I guess it was just easier for me to avoid people like that because I am "just" a stay at home mom and had nothing to offer them - as far as they know. It's a good cover, anyhow. I think I'll stick with it. Little do they know I am the REAL CIA employee! Okay, I'm not really. But it was fun to type it out. I suppose next somebody will tell me that I'm too old to pretend. Bah!
Where was I? Oh yeah . . .
At the same time, I am completely willing to forge new friendships with my classmates that I never really knew. It's hard to believe that in a small town like Defiance,Ohio my path would not have eventually crossed with that of the captain of the girl's basketball team or one of these dudes that had all the parties in his basement. Sure, I knew their names, but I can't really remember talking to any of them. Ah . .. wait a minute - it was a long time before Paxil! I didn't talk to most people then. I couldn't. Call it generalized anxiety or selective mutism, but in all actuality I didn't have the skillset to befriend people. So, unless they approached me first, there was no way we would ever get to know one another.
And speaking of knowing one another . .. The friends that I was close with even then . ..they don't know me very well at all now that I think about it. Is it because I didn't know myself then? I was so busy pushing away the ugliness of my early childhood (about which they mostly still know nothing or very little)that I didn't really understand what made me tick, or what my own value set really was. I worked a lot, kept busy with activities, and participated in a ton of competitions so that I could travel. Anything to get away from the misery of home. I tried to present the "self" that my teachers and my employers expected of me that I don't really think I really became "me" until I was pregnant, 10 years after marryig my high school sweetheart. (Okay, one of them.)
Maybe it is simply a function of growing up. I have heard the old cliche of people going to "find themselves" and always thought it was cheesey. Maybe that's just another way of saying that you're occupying your time until your "self" finds you!
Whatever the case, once I realized I was a mom, I knew that I would be one full time. My main mission in life is to protect my child while she grows into an adult. This mission necessitated some soul-searching to more clearly define my values so that I could be sure to properly instill them within her.
The friendships that I have formed since that time are so much more deeply entrenched than those before. Of course, high school friendships are basically superficial at best, but I do have a handful of friends who were very meaningful to me at that time. Thanks to "facebook" I have reconnected with most of them! And now that we are reunited, perhaps they will also become the kind of friends - at least some of them - who know me by heart.
Friends are highly important to me, as you may have read in past posts. I couldn't function in the world today without the great system of support that I have. My biggest sorrow (outside of something happening to my family of course) would be to lose the friendships that I hold so dear.
Enough of that schmultz. The babbling brook hath run dry.