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Ten-Year Reunion Week, part the third

We just got home. I'm exhausted, in a good way. There will be pictures as soon as I can get them.

Homecoming was a blast, folks. There was a lot more standing about in the cold than I had predicted, and the crowd was weighted toward what my pal Claire dubbed the "jocks and princesses," and many of the true freak-ass freaks who made my college years so colorful gave the weekend a miss (not surprisingly). But I saw so many of my ol' chums, and I had a lovely time reconnecting with former roommates, ex-lovers, long-lost friends and even a guy I could not fucking stand back in the day but who makes for a swell dinner companion these days. Hi, Dan!

Everything went wonderfully, even better than anticipated. Sadly, by the end of the day the only thing that fucked up my lovey-poo vibe was me.

What's the best way to react when you run into someone you'd rather not see? In giant groups or out on the Quad, ignoring her seemed to work just fine. But as the day wore on and our group dwindled down to a handful, the ignoring became more conspicuous and thus more pointed, making everyone around us uncomfortable. I operated under the assumption that a serving of cold shoulder would be preferable to the icy-hot stew of invective I feared I might unleash if I opened my mouth. Those were probably not my only two options. But couldn't think of any others, and by the time we retired to the campus bar to sit by the fire, some freaky and possibly prideful momentum prevented me from just caving and saying hello. A bigger person would have at least made eye contact. I guess I'm not that big yet.

But at the same time, how much shit do you have to take from someone before it's acceptable to just cut that person from your life completely? Is sucking it up in the name of group harmony always the best course? Seriously, these are not hypothetical questions. I want to know the answer. If you know, illustrate it in stick figures on an unlined 3x5 index card and mail it to me with all speed. Or just leave a comment.

Replies: 8 Confessions

A good grudge well tended lasts a long time -- for example I still hate Nixon. But if the object of your disaffection has not invaded Cambodia or similar, maybe it is better to clear yr karma, since yr animus (so to speak) seems to be hurting you the most. Doesn't mean you have to make yrself vulnerable or extend any trust. (Imagine a stick figure throwing a paper airplane with a question mark on it to another stick figure and between them a scary-looking abyss with viscous pumas in the cravasses.)

elavil @ 10/20/2002 04:23 PM CST

ignore. you did right.

amy beth @ 10/20/2002 08:04 PM CST

is the person you are pointedly ignoring one of those vampiric (sp?)fucks who when given any chance with suck the life out of you? if yes, then ignoring them was the way to go.

if not, fuck 'em and ignore them anyway. You really don't owe anyone anything outside of not stealing their shit or actively trying to harm them. some karma points aren't worth the effort.

shechemist @ 10/21/2002 10:08 AM CST

I agree with shechemist - when I was in college I was a magnet for all those "vampiric fucks". After a few years of valiantly trying to save these doomed relationships, I had a revelation - I was much happier before I met them. So I said good bye rather abruptly and severed all ties. I still run into them occasionaly and feel a little weird but I don't regret my decision because my instincts tell me it was the right decision in the first place! Never suck it up because it ends up backfiring on you in the end...

bookalooka @ 10/21/2002 12:17 PM CST

I had a friend, recently, who I realized was doing nothing positive for my life. My relationship with him was all about his drama and how fucked up he was. While it was entertaining, and sure did make my life feel normal, it was an emotional drain. So, about a year ago, I just stopped the relationship, I broke up with him. I should have been explicit about it instead of just not returning his calls, but NEXT time I'll do it right, I promise. I never felt a pang of guilt, a twinge of doubt, I just felt unburdened. It was a relief!

Okay, not really on topic. I think a little of the old, 'Serenity Now' therapy is called for, here.

Charlie @ 10/21/2002 01:24 PM CST

I always liked the cool politeness. Polite enough for the others to not think that you were being rude, but cool enough for the person to get the point that they are not really appreciated.

Actually, that's what I would like to think I would do. Sometimes it ends up being me running nilly willy in fear. I'm a chickenshit when it comes to confrontation sometimes. What can I say?

michelle @ 10/21/2002 07:30 PM CST

Regardless of the right(er) thing to do, I took keen notice that you *are* much nicer than 10 years ago. And, well, I probably am too - but don't tell anyone! Even though we had a hell of a time trying (did we?) to get along, I've always loved your quick wit and ability to call it like it is. This past weekend, it was great to spend time and laugh with you. You were my highlight of our reunion. A is for Amy who fell down the stairs ...

(that one guy!) Dan @ 10/21/2002 09:47 PM CST

Dag, Dan! I'm gettin' all misty-eyed! You also are in fact nicer than you were 10 years ago. But your secret is safe with me (nobody reads this blog)!

And thanks, folks, for your advice. I should have asked before last Saturday so I would have done the right thing, thus avoiding any puma-filled cravasses of poor etiquette.

amyc @ 10/22/2002 08:16 AM CST

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