It seems to me that going past the dreaded 50th birthday landmark makes people want to start digging around in their past to find out what has happened to whom, on a far too regular basis.
And if I were to hazard a guess why this phenomenon takes place, I would say that the unfulfilled, regretful and bored empty nesters tend to do this because they want to either compare themselves with their old schoolmates, hook up with some old boyfriend/girlfriend, or simply try and recapture their long lost youth by reminiscing about the old days.
Those of you who know me may have gathered that I’m not a fan of anything or anyone from my past re-emerging into MY present, uninvited. They’d be about as welcome as one of my forty odd year old stools popping up in the loo, Mr Hanky stylee shouting ‘Howdy ho! Guess who?’
Ever the bridge burner, cutter offer and drawer of lines under the past, I like to past lovers/friends/employers to remain in the parallel universe they occupy and stay the hell outta Sistaville.
They have their country, I have mine.
They have their county, I have mine.
They have their borough, I have mine,
They have their street, I have mine.
OK, so I do know that I’m rapidly running out Sista only territory (hence my fondness of pseudonyms), and I don’t have any lifelong friends so I’m pretty lonely hence it might not have been the best life coping strategy to adopt, but it’s a bit late for this old bitch to learn new tricks.
Well, that’s debatable I guess as ‘networking’ <shudders> is something I’m going to need to embrace moving forward according to the dreaded ‘book’, but what I didn’t welcome or accept is an unwelcome blast from the past knocking on my cyber door the other day.
Some woman whose name I’d never heard of tried to ‘friend’ me on Facebook.
I didn’t recognise her face, we didn’t have friends in common, so I was about to reject her and move on, when I noticed that she used to go to the same school as me.
Curious I had a look at her profile with something akin to dread churning in my stomach. Of course I recognised the Christian name, but this was 40 years ago, so how was I supposed to know if it was her or not?
Then I saw the old 70’s photo of her family that she must have scanned and uploaded, and immediately knew it was Sally B.
The only close friend I had in my childhood.
The very same friend who fucked me off when I started getting bullied and picked on at senior school.
Well she actually picked a fight with me over a necklace but we both knew that she manufactured it as an excuse to break away from me, or only see me when her popular new friends weren’t around. What she didn’t bank on though was my uncanny ability to totally cut off from people and, if encountering them again in public, being able to look through them as if they were a pane of glass and/or a piece of shit in the street. And given that I was geeky and she was cool, Sal was very indignant about my coldness, so sent her younger brother out to beat me up, and he kicked the hell out of me.
We had been friends since we were about 6, which is pretty much a lifetime when you are 12 years old, so the break up felt like the end of the world, as it was the ultimate betrayal and indeed full confirmation to me that no one, but NO ONE could be trusted.
Over the years I got my own back.
I got contact lens and bleached my hair. I became skinny, sexy and cool. I had a very hot boyfriend. I hung out with a band. I moved to London. I brought home an even hotter boyfriend. I had expensive clothes. I went to all the best clubs in London. I travelled the world. Well I got beyond Costa del Chipshop which is probably more than she ever did.
And whilst I don’t remember her seeing me in all my punky/new romantic, trendy, hot other half glory, Shitsville was a small town and I’m pretty damn sure she got to hear about it all. Especially when I turned up to mass one Easter, Siouxie Sue’d up to the eyeballs, in leathers with my hot Italian Catholic BF (his idea, not mine) and stunned the entire congregation.
So fuck her and market stall clothes, her chavvy boyfriend, her lame job and predictable, shitty small town life.
As the years have gone by, whilst I still have some family oop North, I rarely find myself in that neck of the woods, so I pretty much forgot all about her.
And before you say it, I KNOW.
We were only kids. And kids are horrible.
But being a fucked up, BPD, revenge loving bitch, I find to my surprise that I still hate her. And her horrible family. Just looking at that photo makes my lip curl with contempt.
And as I scrutinise her profile I see she is friends with a few of the other thuggish bitches that made my life an utter misery all those years ago. And I smile cruelly to myself at the way they look, the clothes they are wearing, the jobs they are (or mainly are not) doing, and inwardly jeer at their appalling grammar, shit taste in music, middle aged outlook and the fact that yes, they are still living in Shitsville and probably will for the rest of their days.
And I wonder what the fuck she thinks we have to say to one another after all these years. Does she remember what she did? Is she sorry? What she couldn’t possibly know is that she was my first ever severance. And whilst over the years, I could do it with nary a flicker of emotion, as we all know, the first cut is the deepest, and losing the only person on the same wavelength as me at such a tender age was like losing a limb.
So, to be perfectly honest, whilst I’d like to say I’d rise above it, I don’t know if I’d be able to stop myself from being horrible to her if we did enter into some kind of dialogue.
So much for my Tutu approved Forgiveness course. Sorry Des 😦 It is pretty apparent to me now, like diet and exercise, I am going to have to work on this deeply challenging skill for the rest of my life, because I hate how this ugly emotion makes me feel inside.
So for now, I think it best to ignore her and move on, as, if I can only look back in anger, it’s best not to look back at all.
‘And so, Sally can wait….’
Sorry…couldn’t resist that…. 😉