Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time for some change

For a brief span in seventh grade, a group of my friends nicknamed me patsy.  Not because I could belt out Blue like the legendary Patsy Cline.  Because I was, well, a patsy. 

They were amused that they could ask me to do anything, and I would.  Could you get this for me?  Could you do this for me?  Yup.  It looked like a sign of weakness to them.  Amusement.  They didn't understand that this tolerance and kindness would shape who I am today.

Those of you that know me, and my tiger of a personality, are probably puzzled by this.  I know, I can be fierce.  But you also have to notice that I am kind.  I may back you in a corner with fire in my eyes, but I will also never say no to a favor.  My insides are truly marshmallow softness.

My Gandhi-like nature has served me well in life.  You really do catch more flies with honey than manure.  Recently, I encountered something I didn't think I had the softness, or strength, to do.

A year or two ago, I was involved in a real life drama of women.  It was brutal and infuriating.  I racked up a few enemies, and shed a few tears.  Women of the 'burbs can be brutal, especially over territory. 

Time has passed.  Many of my wronged friends have not forgiven or forgotten.  I'm not good at holding grudges.  I try to forgive, and I truly don't have the capability to remember how mad I was in the first place.

Here's how I see it.  These moments in life are an opportunity to reflect on yourself.  Clearly I can't be innocent in these situations, even if I do feel like the victim.  Did it have to go down like that?  Could I have handled it differently?  It's a learning experience for all involved.

Also, there has to be good in just about everyone, right?  I mean, let's exclude serial murderers and dictators... but the rest have people that like them.  There has to be a reason.

One woman is in my life whether I want it or not.  We have kids the same age, and are at the school together.  It just makes practical sense for us to get over this.  She has been nothing but supportive and nice to me since the "incidence."  This got me wondering if we both got tied up in someone else's fight, on opposite sides.

My son was invited to play at their house.  When I went to their house... I stayed for an hour.  I chatted with this woman.  I heard funny stories.  We shared parenting stories.  I discovered something.

I really like her.

In a different situation, I think we would have instantly been friends.  Sadly, we took a long and difficult road instead. 

Our youngest kids are in second grade.  That's a whole lot of years to mend fences.  I don't know if others relationships will ever forgive and forget.  I don't know if others will ever get to this place.  I don't know if damage others have done will effect all future chances for the bystanders to be friendly.

I'm happy to report that I see a slow, healing friendship in the works.  We may never be best friends, but that's okay.  I feel peaceful and happy leaving the past behind.  I enjoy getting to know her.  I see the possibility of drinking coffee together in our future.

Maybe I'm a patsy.  But I'm a happy patsy, with a happy heart, that always has room for kind people in my life.

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