I went to a family event this weekend and saw someone I lowkey used to hate: my former BFF.
You see, many moons ago (read: the late Nineties), this chick & I met and became besties. Then we had a meaningless falling-out of which the details I cannot recall. It was almost ten years ago; my third grader was months old when this Mean Girls-adjacent exchange occurred. I couldn’t tell you what I ate for lunch two days ago so anything that happened during the Bush Jr. years is a total blur.
In any case, we saw each other at this gathering, we engaged in the most god-awful clumsy half-hug, and pleasantly ignored each other for the remainder of the blessed event.
I’m woman enough to admit that it was weird. I was feet away from someone that once knew my deepest and darkest collegiate co-ed secrets. Now, in 2016, we were strangers. I even hated her for a while back then. Loathed the very thought of her.
I’d hear one of her favorite band’s songs and change the tune on my iPod. Snarled to myself whenever I’d see her on social media. I wasted so little yet so much energy on not liking her.
Then, years passed. Other shit came into my life and became a focus. I got busy working and raising kids and she got busy doing whatever she was doing and ‘we’ became more of a memory in my mind. The loathe lessened.
And this is adulthood, I suppose. Some people are in each other’s lives for a season. A moment in coming-of-age madness, and you are expected to accept that. Accept that you probably won’t have that golden moment of reconnection with them. Otherwise, you’ll believe the dream, which unfolds like a scene out of The Big Chill: you see each other at a reunion, or a birthday party, or other mundane celebratory event. One of you invites the other to sit. One of you sits & then you two catch up. No pretense. No mention of the past, and if there is, it’s all whimsical. Because it’s about moving forward. It has been ten years, after all. What’s to really discuss? You’re both different people.
And, in reality, you are different. Sometimes that difference is…we never need to speak to each other again.
I used to loathe her. That means that if I can loathe someone, I once loved them. That’s the weird part, the wound that itches. Best not to scratch it, I suppose, I thought after the awkward hug. She’s happy (I hope) and I’m happy (85% of the time). All is well.
Until the next event.