To Forgive and Forget

I’ve always wished I could hold grudges, but usually I can’t. I think not being that type of person has resulted in my being okay with people when I shouldn’t have been. I’ve always said that I get over things in about 24 hours, and if I’m not over it after 48 hours then it’s pretty bad. I’m not sure there’s a rhyme or reason as to what types of things I can’t get over. For example, some people can’t forgive lying. But I think everyone lies and that lying is natural, so why would I be a stickler for honesty? There are times when I can understand a lie.

Earlier today, I was reading about a falling out this guy had with a friend after coming out to him as gay. He described the situation, and one part really stuck out–his friend said something like he had to question why he was spending his time “obsessed” with the gay guy. This made me think about one of my friendships that fell apart a long, long time ago.

I met this friend whom I will call Katie back in, like, 2nd grade. We became best friends. To be honest, from about Kindergarten to some time in high school I had a different best friend from year to year most years. Katie was my best friend in between some years I had classes with this other girl who was my best friend…and then Katie and I had classes with each other again in junior high school, when we became best friends again and when I really started to like her.

Katie was not my first crush, but she was my first big crush. I never thought about whether or not she liked me in return. I never made a move or did anything to show my interest. I probably was just possessive, which I don’t think is abnormal between young female friends. Anyway, being possessive didn’t work. When I was a kid, my friendships with black girls always seemed to go the same way–I would really like a particular girl as a friend, and there would be this other group of girls who didn’t like me who would sabotage my friendships with the girls I liked. There was one b!tch in particular who was always involved in ruining my friendships, but her entourage wasn’t always the same. This was over several years, and it happened with both of the best friends I mentioned having early in elementary school, with Katie being one of them. So, I wasn’t ever able to “possess” Katie, but the b!tch club was. Katie and I spent long stretches of time not speaking to each other.

I don’t really know what the b!tch club was saying to Katie, although I had another friend whom I did find out some of the lies they’d said that I’d said about her. But I know now that the b!tch club wasn’t the only thing–and probably not even the predominant thing–ruining my friendship with Katie.

My parents had talked about moving for a long time, but they finally were ready to do that when I was going to the 8th grade. Unlike most kids would be, I was so happy. I wanted to go to another school. I wanted to live somewhere else. I told people at school I was moving and going to a new school the next year, and it was obvious I was excited. I wasn’t moving that far away, but it was far enough for me. I had kind of found a new “group” of friends, or, really, two, since things weren’t working well with trying to be friends with Katie and the b!tch club. I had two white guy friends, and we bonded over alternative music. And I had a group of white female friends, and two of them seemed to love me to death. Even after I moved, I had a hard time getting rid of them. But Katie seemed upset that I was moving and wouldn’t talk to me anymore after I moved, even though I tried to call her.

I’m kind of amazed, looking back, because as an adult I have a super-hard time getting over women…but it didn’t take very much time at all to get over Katie, even though I probably liked her for nearly two years. There were other girls after Katie.

Flash forward 5, almost 6 years. I’m in college, and it’s Christmas break. I’m home with my parents, and I get a phone call. It’s Katie!

Katie and I talked for a long time, and we talked about a lot of different things. But there’s really only one part of the conversation I remember.

Katie was going to college out of state, which was a little surprising because so many people where I’m from don’t really do that. They might go to school in the tri-state area, but that’s about as far as most people are going. Apparently, she was going to college with this other girl I remembered from back when I was going to school with Katie, and they were roommates. Katie started telling me about how everyone at her college thought she and this girl were lesbians, and they were being given a hard time about it. I remember she got really worked up about it and started kind of going off about how she’s not a lesbian.

But she also started telling me more about her “friendship” with this girl, and the way she was describing things sounded more like a romantic relationship–lovers’ quarrels and such. Apparently, they used to fight about me. Now, remember–I hadn’t spoken to Katie in over 5 years. The gist of these fights, if I remember correctly, just sounded a lot like Katie’s “friend” was jealous because she had reason to believe Katie was interested in me.

I don’t really remember a lot about my response–I think I just let Katie talk and talk. And at one point I think I said there’s nothing wrong with being a lesbian. I didn’t tell Katie I was a lesbian because I wasn’t yet thinking of myself as such. I didn’t have that worked out and was really nowhere near having it worked out then. And as far as her telling me all this stuff, I think I was just like, “Why is she telling me all this?”

Katie wanted to hang out since we were both home for break, so we did. It was awkward. She had changed. I don’t really know how to describe it. She had big baggy clothes on and was driving this big SUV, blasting rap music. You know, at that time, I had a bunch of white friends who mainly liked really commercial music. There were these girls who lived on my hall who were obsessed with *NSYNC and watched TRL on MTV every day because *NSYNC was a TRL mainstay. My friends and I used to burn mix CDs, and they’d have Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Vitamin C, Spice Girls on them. That’s the best example I can give of how culturally different Katie and I had become from each other.

Katie still wanted to communicate with me, though, but I wasn’t particularly interested. It wasn’t just how different we were.

See, one of the reasons I wanted to move and go to another school was I needed to get away from the b!tch club and girls like them, and just the whole dynamic of having friends who weren’t my friends because of them. I don’t think I was ever sad that I wouldn’t be seeing Katie, and that says something. I remember I almost ended up going to high school with Katie and the b!tch club anyway. Even though I no longer lived in the city, my address still was considered to be in their school district. My mother and I went through a lot to make sure I didn’t end up at that school. She knew I didn’t need to be around those kind of girls. My high school years would have been miserable. I’m also not sure I would have ended up attending the kind of universities I ultimately attended, because this was a bad school.

I mean, to be honest, there were tears shed when I thought I’d have to go to that high school. I’m not going into a lot of details about what it was like dealing with those girls and people like them, but it really was a big deal to me that I not have to go back to that. One of the reasons I was happy to move where I did was because I figured I’d be going to a different high school.

I guess if there’s anything that consistently leads to my holding some sort of grudge, it’s…not being a real friend and not being there. I could never be friends or anything else with Katie after she saw how those girls treated me and still sided with them and wouldn’t speak to me. Why would I ever consider dating someone like that? I know now that a lot of it probably had to do with her struggling with her feelings and such. Even though I know a lot of gay and lesbian people avoid people to whom they’re attracted or treat them poorly when they’re struggling with their orientation, that still actually makes things worse somehow. How could you have a thing for me to the point where it lasted for years, where you’re fighting with your current girlfriend over it when we haven’t seen or spoken to each other in years, but you couldn’t have my back? Why would I ever date Katie, or even just be friends with her, after that?

I don’t know what Katie feels today, but Katie actually tried to contact me again last year on Facebook. This would be over 10 years after she tried to contact me in college. I took a look at her profile, and I noticed that she was engaged to a woman. I had already found out years before that she came out, so I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t accept her friend request for a while. For one thing, I’d fully figured out at that point why I didn’t want to interact with Katie. For another, I was worried about what exactly she wanted with me. Eventually, I accepted her friend request…not sure why anymore. I think maybe I just wanted to see her full profile or something, just being nosy. Sure enough, she sent me a message afterwards.

I now would classify this as doing her a favor–I ignored the message. I never wrote back to her. Again, I don’t know what she wanted with me. I don’t even know how she found me, as I’m not in the Facebook search. Between that and history, I don’t feel safe in just chalking it up to her wanting to merely be Facebook friends. So, if she was engaged and contacting me for more than just Facebook friendship…yeah, I did her a favor. There’s no reason to contact another female if you’re trying to marry someone. I also look at the woman she’s with on Facebook and suspect that she’s a much better match for Katie than me.

After reading the gay guy’s situation today, I looked Katie up on Facebook. I noticed two things–1) it now say she’s in a domestic partnership with this woman, and 2) she un-friended me. I kind of laughed at the un-friending. Again, if Katie’s interested in me at all and she’s “married,” then it’s for the best that we have nothing to do with each other. If she hasn’t moved on, she needs to. It’s kind of disconcerting to think there might be someone out there who has been stuck on me for 15+ years. When we were kids, I had no clue she had any interest in me…and then one day I got that weird phone call.

I seriously hope she has moved on and I don’t hear from her again.

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