Tuesday, January 27, 2009

“are you the same Meanie McMeanie who went out of her way to make my high school years miserable”?

This, folks, is the message I had in my Facebook inbox yesterday. Yes, I recall the sender, but I don’t remember being mean to her. My stomach dropped when I read this. My gut reaction was to feel guilty (that seems to be my default reaction to everything for some reason). But then I started to talk to Jo about this, and work it out in my head. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I sort of see myself as the one who didn’t have the greatest time as a pre-adolescent. I am certainly not innocent of being mean to others, but the whole “mean girl” thing was sort of cyclical at that age – one week you’d be popular, the next week not so much. By the time I had hit high school, I was sort of damaged goods, but had found my circle of friends. It’s safe to say these friends were on the fringe of the social scene, but while I remember lots of inner turmoil, I have really fond memories of these friends. I certainly don’t recall making anyone’s life a living hell.

The message from this girl disturbs me on a few levels:

1) That all these years she has been living with this perception of me making her life hell and obviously being bothered enough by it that she is contacting me almost 25 years after the fact.
2) That, if perchance I was mean to her, I have no recollection of it. That really does bother me. I have 12 stepped, I know all about making amends, and this gal just doesn’t register with me as someone who I need to apologize to.
3) That this guy would have a similar reaction as my reaction to this girl if I ever contacted him about being mean to me.

I sent a message back to her, simply stating that I do indeed remember her, but don’t remember what she is accusing me of. I’m open to discussing it with her, I’m actually kind of curious to hear what she says.

What would you do? What would your reaction be?


Stella said...

That's weird! I would be royally freaked out to get a message like that, only because it meant someone was fuming about me for that long. She needs to either let it out or let it go.

alison said...

High school can be a roiling mass of hormones, drama, selfconsciousness, and angst. I was not one of the popular kids in high school, but I had my friends, and I can look back on the experience as overall a positive one. I think the trick is to see it for what it was and then move on. Some people are still stuck there, like that was the peak of their social lives and provides the blueprint for how they view themselves for the rest of their lives, which is sad.

That being said, are you sure that she isn't saying this tongue-in-cheek? "Hey, aren't you the chick who made my life hell?"

I hope she emails you and that it gets worked out.

Chantal said...

My first reaction would have been to tell her to piss off - but I'm not very nice these days.

When I was a teenager, telling my mom how much I couldn't stand the way one girl treated me, she said to me "For every person you feel is making your life suck, there is one who feels the same about you."

It's subjective though, right? I mean, maybe you didn't really do anything to her directly. Maybe you did nothing at all and that's what bothered her. Maybe she tried to be your friend in a desperate way, but you never caught on. Someone said that about me at my reunion. I had no idea she was trying so hard!

Anonymous said...

If someone sent me a message like that it would probably be true. I know I've been mean to people along the way. And people have been mean to me. But geeze, louise, let's get over ourselves. We're all grown-ups now and we've all come a long way from puberty, I hope. Okay, obviously not everyone if they've been holding on to this so long. But ya, I'd see what they have to say, apologize for whatever they think you've done and tell them you hope they can get on with their lives now. They won't though because they'll just go find some other reason to be miserable that isn't their fault. (see, no compassion)

mamatulip said...

I would have done what you did - respond and see if she got back to me.

Did she get back to you?? I am dying to know.

Anonymous said...

I'd lean toward humour: "Really? So few of us acheive anything in highschool between popping pimples and crimping bangs. I'm glad to know that my ultimate goal was accomplished. So, where do you work? Are they hiring?"