Friday, January 19, 2007

Off My Chest

I'm fairly guarded on this site. Mainly because my words tend to get me into trouble. They have before and I'm sure they will again. There's something that happened a couple of years ago, related to this site--well, actually related to another blog that I had at the time--that has gnawed at me since then. It shouldn't, really, and I'm not sure why it does other than I know someone out there has the totally wrong impression of me. All I've ever done is play meek and apologize and never really explain myself. So maybe I just need to write all this to put it to rest. To purge it, if you will.

Some of you may see where this is going. You may be groaning. True, this is probably a pretty dumb idea.

I had a friend in college. We were friends for probably a little over 10 years. Anyway, back in...let's see, I'm not even sure of the year, probably 2003 or 2004, this friend broke up with his girlfriend of several years. I made the mistake of mentioning her on my blog. All hell broke loose.

I called her crazy. That wasn't very nice, but it wasn't really aimed at her--it was a sidebar to a whole other story I was telling on my blog. I didn't know she was reading. I didn't know that she regularly broke into her then ex-boyfriend's email account, got my blog address, and was reading. She was reading all my friends' blogs too. And their friends.

Here's how it went down: my friend, let's call him Bob-- because oh I don't know, that's his name-- and I had gotten together for drinks one night and he told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. He had been complaining to me about her for years, about how miserable she made him, about how crazy she was. Lots of stories. So when he broke up with her, I, like an idiot, supported his decision, figuring that he'd finally find happiness somewhere. So when I shortly thereafter mentioned in passing, something about her and crazy in the same sentence, and she was reading, she sort of went ballistic. Thought I was the biggest bitch ever, that I was trying to steal her boyfriend. Dedicated a blog to her hatred for me. Developed an entire online identity based on a typographical error in one of my posts. I didn't know all this at first, but after a few months I finally figured it out.

I wound up taking down my blog entirely, after writing an open letter of apology to her for calling her crazy, because my philosophy is that it's better to play nice with the crazies. And I did feel badly about referring to her as looney when I didn't really know her. Two points on that though 1.) with an entire blog named for her hatred of me, she certainly was giving more direct reason to think she was wacked out and 2.) I don't know that it ever dawned on her that at the time I originally wrote those things, my entire impression of her I had gotten from Bob. I didn't make up what I thought of her out of the blue. It was based on what he told me. The man that supposedly knew her best. It was easier for her to blame me, of course.

Here's the lowdown on Bob and I, in case any of you happened to think that I was in love with him, as she thought, or that I was trying to steal him. Some of this you may have read on my previous blog. He and I met when we were 18, the first weekend of our freshmen year. Like I said, that friendship continued for about a decade. Honestly, I did pursue him the first few weeks of our freshmen year and after that, we took turns half-heartedly pursuing each other throughout college. Back then, particularly earlier in college, I thought he and I would wind up together in the end. After college was different. He moved away for awhile, I moved along in life, he moved back and from then on, he did the half-hearted pursuing. I always wound up continuing the friendship, because frankly, it was great for my ego. I viewed it as a type of game. He became a habit. He was as familiar to me as he was foreign.

We kissed, maybe, half a dozen times over the years and nothing more than that. Usually more to do with alcohol than anything else. More than anything though, it was friendship. We did have some strong connection and...all right, I know this will sound strange, but I think we both wanted to be in love with the other. Once when we were in our mid-20s I think, he had said to me "I think we could love each other very much" and I replied, "But we wouldn't make each other happy." I guess that's what it always came down to: I knew, no matter what else I might feel, I knew he wouldn't make me happy. That I wouldn't make him happy. That the qualities we liked in each other would be exactly the things that would drive us apart. I could see what was down the road for us, and I'd rather not get involved, than get involved and watch it fall apart. I'd rather think of our friendship in the innocent way it started, as two naive 18 year-olds. I liked the idea of dating him more than I knew I would like the reality. I think I knew if I was in love with him, I was in love with an ideal. I didn't want to tarnish my image of him.

I don't know that he could see what I saw. He argued each time I dismissed the idea of a relationship. Then again, he didn't pursue it with reckless abandon either, so maybe he did know a relationship would never work, but just never spoke those words. I don't mean to make it sound like this talk of romantic relationships dominated our friendship. It didn't. Mainly, we drifted in and out of touch, would meet up for drinks or other events. Typical friend stuff. Looking back on it though, it seems that he reached out to me primarily when he was unhappy in other arenas of his life. If I really think about it, maybe that's what he always did, even in college. He wanted me to fix things for him somehow, to settle him.

Of course, my image of him, the one thing I was probably protecting, was finally ruined when this whole weird blog thing happened. I had not ever been so disappointed in someone. I never spoke to him again. Not likely that I ever will either.

Anyway, I did continue to read his girlfriend's blog until a few months ago. She thought it was so I could keep tabs on him. Really, it was because she fascinated me and because I felt sorry for her. She and Bob got back together, of course, got married, the whole nine yards. And I was curious about a woman who would stay with a man who betrays her trust, who speaks so badly about her. I mean he told me for years how miserable she made him. I bet he told her too. I bet he tells her still.

Interestingly, I realized the way he spoke about her certainly spoke to his character. Did I ever want to be the one that he would complain about to other people? Did I want to be the one who made him miserable?

No, he was too broken for me, I had known that. So these years, this woman has thought I was trying to come between them, that I was in love with him. How could I be? I found the whole thing laughable. Here is this woman, with all sorts of ideas about me and not even close to the truth. If I had wanted to date him, I would have. I knew him for years before he met her. In all those years, we certainly could have. I did not want any part of that.

The truth is I hold him responsible, because he allowed the situation to unfold the way it did and because he did nothing to stop it. Her, well, it's gnawed at me that she had carried so much anger towards me when it was he that would pursue me, when it was he who spoke of her so poorly. She believes so many untrue things.

I think I can put it to rest now. Now, go on about your business.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger Christy said...

While you were on vacation, I got a myspace invitation from someone named Sireia. After I sent an email asking who that way, I googled it. Guess who it was?

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Christy said...

That was supposed to say "who that was" not "who that may."


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