so the fish said...
  home links archives about contact

« Help, I'm geeking out over here | Main | McClivey »


The problem with being a stay at home mom is that I have entirely too much time and opportunity to swim around in my own navel.

I used to have this friend, you can read a bit of the history here, but the short version is that we were close, we fell out senior year of high school, and we never put it back together. Over the summer, a mutual friend mentioned that he had been in touch with her through Friendster, and I sent her a note. Very generic - hi, so-and-so mentioned you, I hear you got married, sentence about my kid, hope you are well. I never heard back. Maybe she never saw it, maybe she never wanted to hear from me, whatever. I wrote it off.

A few weeks ago, this former friend added me as her "friend" on myspace. I was surprised, and I waited. Surely, I thought, I would hear from her. I never did. And so, a little more than a week ago, fueled by my masochism and need for closure and I suppose a small hope that we could at least end things on a pleasant note and certainly also by a splash or two of wine, I sent her another note. Hi, was surprised to see you, sorry we lost touch, hope you are well.

The thing about myspace is that I could tell she read the email almost immediately. So I waited, and I didn't hear back. I decided that was it then, I wouldn't try anymore, just ignore her the way she ignored me and do nothing. But then yesterday, in a fit of, I suppose, pique, I deleted her from my "friends" list. Because I'm twelve. Because I'm twelve and spiteful and hateful, because I hold onto grudges like a drowning woman clinging to a life preserver, and because if you hurt me you had better believe I will do my utmost to hurt you right back, preferably worse.

I don't know why I do that. I don't know why I feel compelled to rip off those old scabs, to poke poke poke at the bruises and soft spots. I don't know why I feel the need to bring up something that happened five years ago or eight or twelve and go another ten rounds on it. I don't know why, but I'm tired of it. I don't want to be that person anymore. I don't want to carry those heavy recriminations and injuries around with me anymore. I don't want to continue to suffer the thousands of ruptures in my thin skin.

So here it is. I forgive everything. Everything. And I apologize for everything, even - especially - those things for which I have no right to expect forgiveness. I know it isn't that easy, but I am going to work on it. It is going to be my new thing, being gracious and forgiving and letting all the crap that doesn't matter roll off my back.

I don't want to be twelve anymore. It wasn't that much fun the first time and it's time to grow up.

Comments (54)

Good luck with that. My husband can carry a grudge like no other. He is still plotting revenge on people who wronged him almost 20 years ago. When he is angry at me he likes to toss things I did when we were first dating back in my face. If you figure out how to let go, please teach my husband how.

I am SO bad about grudges. I totally feel your pain...

maybe i'm stunted just like you but i don't think deleting her means you're 12. then again, i take things like that a little too seriously and don't quite get the artificial, superficial connections other people seem so damn content with. quite frankly, i think she's the childish one. adding you simply for what? to increase her buddies list? pointless.

i understand having a hard time letting go of people. i do. it's so hard for me to make connections that i despair at letting them go. but i keep telling myself that some people are just not meant to be in our lives forever. sometimes this helps. sometimes not. it's, as you said, a part of growing up. it must be said though, it's one of the suckiest parts.

Oh Beth. I don't know why, either. But I also agree that deleting her doesn't make you 12. That was a weird situation, and you *were* the bigger person, and you *tried*, and she was, well, a real jerk about it. That's normal, not immature.

However, in the immature camp, I'm right there, as I still (STILL) fantasize during my low points of running into this horrible, horrible woman who treated me badly during college. Why? So I could tell her off, finally. Which is not crazy or grudgy at all. Noooooooo.

It's difficult to deal with your past when the people you're trying to deal with are unwilling to support the exercise.

Ironically (or would it be coincidentally?) I recently got bit by the nostalgia bug and googled some people I knew in another life (the one with shoulder-length burgundy hair, mutton chop sideburns, bandanas...) in the hopes of touching base and essentially just saying "Hey."

One such person came up (actually found their IMDB page - the first person I know with an IMDB page) and it happened to be someone with whom things were left, uhm, poorly. So, I thought I'd try and see what came out of dropping an actual email to them (via their company's info email address - the website had no specific address for her). It's been a few days without reply, and I'm not too proud to admit I too want to send another note, but I'm restraining myself.

I know exactly what you're talking about. I have friends from college, and there was a sort-of falling out, but I always jump right back in the middle of it whenever there's a chance I could say hi to one of them. Then they ignore me or leave me out and I'm right back to how I was feeling back then. To be way too Oprah-esque, I need to stop giving them my power.

(Completely unrelated: I had my left hand over one letter on the keyboard by mistake and typed the verification word with an "f" - and I'm so tired it made me laugh for about 2 whole minutes.)

Hey - you tried. All she did was add you to a list. Her loss.

It's so hard though, to forgive old transgressions. I'm still hanging on to lots of stuff, and it is easier when you let it go.

You're not being 12 - you were being a realistic adult. As we get older, at least for me, we learn to not put up with as much BS as we would when younger. You just moved on.

I think part of being mature and letting go is deleting her from your friends list. Now you've admitted that she is not someone that has to do with your life right now and you've let go of the hope that she will be your "friend" again. It's a good thing.

I am twelve too. I would have done the same thing, hey you can't even shoot me back a small generic email? Then FU.

I guess I should try growing up too.

The friend sites are ridiculous, and although I participate and usually have fun on them, I keep in mind that they are just silly things for that--to have fun on.

I decided last spring I needed to stop holding grudges. It's not easy, but it's possible. Good luck.

The friend sites are ridiculous, and although I participate and usually have fun on them, I keep in mind that they are just silly things for that--to have fun on. I think pretty much everything that happens on them falls under the "crap that doesn't matter" and "rolling off the back" categories.

I decided last spring I needed to stop holding grudges. It's not easy, but I think it's possible. Good luck.

Oh no! A slightly different double comment post! I'm sorry.

I can carry around a grudge for a long time too.

I would look at it this way: by deleting her from your friends list, you're letting it go and moving on.

But how do you decide which is the crap that doesn't matter and which does? Sometimes it's awfully hard, and we are only human.

Deleting someone who isn't really your friend from your friends list also does not make you juvenile. It keeps you from being reminded each time you log in to Myspace that she hasn't responded to you.

Good luck, Beth. Just remember that even with grudges, you are still a pretty good person (and doggone it, people like you).

Even if it does make you twelve, you did what is right for you, just like she did. I do understand your desire to try and connect...I recently made a fool of myself trying the same thing. All of my effort amount to nothing but bad feelings on my part and I have also decided to try and let it all go. Good Luck to all of us on that!

Eh.. Piss on her, anyway! I wouldn't bother with her anymore, either. Okay.. Maybe that's my 12 year old coming out too, but quite frankly I think you made a very nice effort... twice, in fact and the lack of any type of response just seems rude, at best. I think you're smart for making the decisions you have.

I have a similar situation in my life. Only now, I know it will never be closed because this person has early onset Alzheimer's. What I have done to settle things in my own mind, is to know that I tried everything i could to make things okay, or at least to end it well, and that was all I could do. I couldn't make her respond. I couldn't make her care. I just had to walk away.
I hope this helps some.

Dont you already have EVERYTHING? Now you're going to add "gracious and forgiving" to the list? Hmmfff. :::hair toss with a flip:::

Dont you already have EVERYTHING? Now you're going to add "gracious and forgiving" to the list? Hmmfff. :::hair toss with a flip:::

Dont you already have EVERYTHING? Now you're going to add "gracious and forgiving" to the list? Hmmfff. :::hair toss with a flip:::

I feel your pain, I really do.

I still have dreams about my friend that dumped me.

Letting go of a grudge or forgiving or making amends (which is what I call it) will help you much more than her.

That being said, it has nothing to do with deleting her from your friends' list. She did that to herself - you let it go and moved on.

Cliches become cliches for a reason. Perhaps it's time to stop beating that particular dead horse.


Good luck, and you know, sometimes people are just poopyheads... so there! (Yeah, I'm mature!)

Sorry for the triple-post, it kept telling me there was an error. Oops!

Well I would do the same thing. She is the one being juvenile. You? You're just streamlining.

Funny you should mention this today - I'm currently in the midst of a similar situation and am wrestling with finding a mature response when I'm really tempted to be petty.

When you figure out the secret to letting things like this go, please share it.

it takes a big person to forgive things. i have the same complex...when someone hurts me or makes me angry, i try my hardest to hurt them back even worse. its something that i too have to work on. it always comes back to bite me in my would think that i learned my lesson by now, but i havn't.

Let me know how that works out for ya. I'm fairly good at the "forgiving", but have no interest in working on the "forgetting" part. Once bitten, twice shy.

I find it's easier to simply expect less of those certain people. That has given me a much bigger opportunity to exhale.

Oje Beth, I know what you are talking about. And if you are 12, I am 12 too. You know, 4 years ago, I had this internship during my studies. And I had this wonderful office in a wonderful 5-star-hotel. And there was my boss - I learned a lot from her, she had an enormous knowledge and experience. I respected her, but I was also always a little afraid of her. She was doing an excellent job, and she expected the same from me. Well, I think, I was quite good, because when the internship ended, she gave me wonderful gifts and a very very very good job reference. And she wanted me to stay in the hotel. But I was not able to stay because of my studies at the University. So I continued my studies, but I came back during the summer holidays for a second internship. And she gave me a huge project to do. That project was too hard for me, too difficult. I was exhausted, I was overwhelmed. And suddenly, it was stressful and not exciting. And I was very sad, and not happy at all. She noticed that I failed, and then she said a lot of scathing remarks. After finishing this intership, I was completely devastated and lost my self-confidence. I really w a n t e d to do a good job, I wanted her to appreciate me and my work - but far from it. She was not satisfied with my work. Since then, I am thinking a lot about that internship and my ex-boss. Was I really t h a t bad? And why did she say those curry things? Why can't I forget the whole thing? Why am I always thinking about that. I tried to forget it, tried to play it down. But no chance. I even thought about telling her about how much she offended my feelings... I really should leave this whole thing behind my. but I think I am not able to do so.....

Sorry for my bad English... you see, you are not alone. I think that a lot of people have these feelings and think about things, which date a long time back.....

Greetings from Europe, Zurich


See---I think removing her from your list is part of the letting go, and, as such, is actually a very good thing.

But, what do I know? I'm a pretty spectacular grudge holder too!

Actually, I think one of the refreshing things about getting older is that I don't feel compelled to pretend I am friends with somebody who I am obviously not. I feel like I can say "well, we obviously don't get along, so let's go our merry way, no harm done". Keeping her on your friend's list, when you really have no true contact with her is pretty much just gratitous, and can be ended with impunity.

The politics of friend's lists is just another nail in my avoidance of myspace - although I will admit to having a profile. Doesn't everyone? ;-)

Cacti, not duck?
Good luck with the forgiving thing - I know I have a hard time with it, but it's worth it, I'm sure!

I also don't think that you're being juvenile by removing her from your friends list on myspace. You extended the olive branch to try and apologize for the past, and if she can't find a way to forgive you then just treasure the time you did have together and then treasure the friends you have now that love you and want to be a part of your life. :)

What I want to know is why the hell did she add you to her "friends" list on myspace if she never intended to connect with you in the first place? I mean, what, so you have more "friends" numerically on myspace? that's just fucking lame as shit.

I think we all know my hatred for myspace anyway. But still, she's the one who's retarded, not you.

Helping all of us become better people by helping kids one small change at a time, check. Helping yourself become a better person by becoming more forgiving and understanding of the failures of your own doing and others, check.

What's next, cold fusion and world peace? :-)

Somehow you always write what I'm thinking. I am twelve too and I wish I weren't. I wish I were able to just let things go, but I can't. Bah.
If you feel better about it, then I'm glad for you. Don't fret about it too much - it sounds like she was 12 also.

Didn't you just say something yesterday (or close to it?) about moving the commenting box to after the post but before the comments? What happened to that?

Also. Feed. Full Length. Didn't you just say something yesterday (or close to it?) about moving the commenting box to after the post but before the comments? What happened to that?

Also. Feed. Full Length.

I do it, too!

I hate this about myself.

I wish I could grow up like you.

(perhaps someday ...)

By deleting her, you were moving on. And, letting go sometimes, that's a good thing.

Don't be so hard on yourself.

very bold of you to want to change this aspect of yourself. i think everyone holds a grudge or two at some point, though. letting go can definitely be one of the hardest things to learn how to do. good luck and i hope it gets rid of a load off your back (and conscience). :)

"So here it is. I forgive everything. Everything. And I apologize for everything, even - especially - those things for which I have no right to expect forgiveness."

The only time that works is when you're either A. Drunk B. High C. About to die.

Being 14 isn't so bad! You're "youthful!"

Pfft. Or twelve. Whatever. Even better!

I have almost none of my old friends because I'd get so upset with them and refuse to tell them that I'm upset ~ but I didn't talk to them about it, we fell out of touch and stayed that way. I'm starting to notice that's getting a little lonely...hmmm...ahh, hell with it. Who needs toxic people around anyway?

For example, I had this really good friend who I took to the police when her "boyfriend" beat her up. I told her then and there that I couldn't be the Matron of Honor in her wedding because if she married him I'd never talk to her again ~ I guess I was wrong...we don't talk least I don't talk to her...she still insists on calling and I don't have the guts to tell her to stop.

Maybe I just need to start picking my friends a little more carefully...too bad I didn't think about that sooner.

Myspace ~ argh, I recently added an ex-boyfriend (actually the ex-boyfriend) to my friends list - at his request...then he sent me a message! Some things are really better left alone. When will I learn?

I have such a hard time letting go of grudges too. I don't mean to act like I'm 12, I'm just, uh... sensitive. And it's hard to forget about it, even when I try to get over it.

I think this is a great thing a) to recognize in yourself and b) to have the gumption to address. Good luck with making the change. I know it won't be easy, but it will be worth it!

Maybe you're twelve and maybe you're not, but good for you for deciding that, however old your internal age, those old patterns just don't fit you any more and you want to break them. I don't really have any words of advice (and I note that you haven't actually asked for any anyway), but I congratulate you on deciding to forgive, and wish you all the best in trying this "new Beth" on for size. Keep us posted on how it all works out for you.

I just don't get why someone would put you on her "friends" list when she can't answer a damn e-mail. It's odd and hurtful, but it still inspires curiosity.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that it turned out that way, but it is completely understandable that you would react the way you did. It's really hard to let go. There are people I've known that act rejecting or rude--for my well being I've eventually had to minimize contact with them when it's become clear that it won't ever be any other way, but it's amazing how it can eat at you anyway--injustices, nasty remarks, etc. Though all long term friendships/relationships seem to have periods of mutual dislike--hopefully gotten over in time. Anyway, I was just thinking about calling an old friend that it never goes well with, and I seesaw back and forth because I don't want to give her the opportunity to come up with anything new that I'll feel bad about. It's hard to know if someone has changed, and if you can learn to trust them again. No easy answers to any of it. I just think that in time, there is very little that you can't forgive--I know I'd hate to meet up with anyone holding a grudge against me since I was 17. Good luck with the struggle.

It's so hard to be grownup, though. Why not just give yourself permission to feel what you feel -- then, maybe you'll feel even better than letting things simply slide. That's what I do, anyway. I've given up on the idea that I can be anything that I'm not.... I hope that helps a little. Your feelings about this person are so warranted!

love the new passphrase!

but I also wanted to say that when people are asshats (did she just want more MySpace friends?) like that, it's okay to delete them from your friends list.

that's pretty benign actually.

and more interesting than forgiveness.

not that i won't completely support you in the forgiveness, too.

"Because I am twelve." Yes. So funny because it is true, and I have said it about myself a million times. Sometimes the only way to not be twelve is to turn thirteen. And what sucks is you have to invite the folks who make you feel twelve to your birthday party -even if, and especially if they don't come -because the point is that YOU'RE turning thirteen. And what sucks the most is having your thirteen birthday party when you're thirty three, no? Hope you're well. How's the book your not writing?

Dude, I just want to know what this girls problem is. I mean, why add you as her "friend", but then not respond? She's the idiot.

Post a Comment

Remember personal info?

So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

RSS Syndicate this site (XML)

Design by Emily

© Copyright 2004
All Rights Reserved.