The funniest thing happened this week… someone with whom I’ve been feuding called to say that she was sorry. She said, more than once, that I had been right all along. She brought up all the nuances of our battle, and point-by-point, admitted that she had been rude, obnoxious, mean-spirited, and denigrating.
Our fight has gone on a long time, and everyone I know has heard about it in great detail. Great detail. Of course they were all in my court. They’re MY friends, after all. But I can see the dazed look that comes over their faces when I bring it up.
So this call was both out-of-the-blue, and something I had daydreamed about many times. Driving in the car, I would imagine how I might run into her at the supermarket, and as we perused the Oreos, I would tell her everything I was thinking and I would see the light go on in her head. I would bring up each perceived slight. I would imitate her southern twang and she would hear how her tongue could cut you. "Oh my god," she would exclaim in dazzled amazement, "you are soooo right." She would fall to her knees in gratitude.
And here it was, my daydream come to life. The more she talked the less I had to say. She told me that I was right so often that I started thinking I was dreaming. I was so disarmed by her honesty that I had the desire to say, “No, no, no hard feelings. It was half my fault anyway.”
Except it wasn’t. Oh please, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I definitely could have handled it better. I could have taken a breath before I shot off those emails. I could have made sure that I never answered her emails when I'd been drinking. I could have tried to walk in her shoes. I could have... blah blah blah.
The truth is, she was wrong. She did terrible things, all in the name of "what needed to be done". And while I'm a big enough person to forgive her, I must say that I am basking in that most wonderful feeling; being on the other side of an apology.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Lately I’ve been ruminating on the nature of luck. Why is it that some people seem to breeze through life when others have such pain? Why do children battle cancer, while ornery assholes that drink and smoke and make everyone miserable live to be 93? How does a talented, wonderful guy work so so hard and still have trouble paying his bills, while lazy bored bitches become Real Housewives? Why does someone fall in love, once and forever, while her best friend can’t find a soul who fits her? And I’m not even talking about the people who have to drink straight from the Genghis River, or children born to parents who burn them with cigarettes or worse. Don’t even get me started on that kind of stuff.
I’ve been wondering how much of a role luck plays in all this. When you’re sick, anyone who’s healthy seems incredibly lucky. When your heart is broken, those lovers strolling hand-in-hand seem sun-kissed lucksters. And when you’re broke, anyone with money seems blessed.
I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. My gorgeous, fabulous young niece, Mara, had a brain aneurysm, and the surgery was more complicated than we thought it would be. Money has been unbearably tight, and the stress has taken a toll on me and on Steve, and some days we forget to lean towards each other to feel comfort. Hurricaine Irene came through and stole the bridge to our house, and completely blotted out towns nearby. The government is a disappointing mess, deranged children are gunning down other children, Amy Winehouse succumbed to her demons and we will never hear that impish, booze-soaked voice again.
And yet… Mara gets better each day, although sometimes it is hard for her to see that, what with the swollen brain and all. Steve and I, despite our money troubles, have the most incredible life. We have traveled around the world. We have wonderful, loving friends. Wherever we go, we meet fabulous people. I have the best career, and this new book I’m working on is filling me with glee. The Woodstock Writers Festival is going to be a huge success this year.
Steve won 2 awards at the prestigious Norman Rockwell Museum this past summer, and wherever we go people tell him how much they love his furniture and sculpture. Not to mention how gaga they get about his cars. We have been fortunate to be able to work at our art without having to take other jobs. This summer he'll be teaching a course in creativity at the Omega Institute.
Even though it seemed like it might never happen, a new bridge now connects our house to the world. I went head-to-head with some of my neighbors, and stood side-by-side with others. What a long strange trip that was.
Through it all, I continued to kill at the poker table!
When I look around I see rich people who can’t find love; loving couples who can’t conceive the children they so desperately desire; young mothers battling crippling cancers. Nothing is ever what it seems, it seems.
So instead of complaining, instead of worrying and concentrating on what isn’t, I’m going to hold on to my good-luck charms and feel the real luck that has always been my constant companion. Even if I have sometimes lost sight of it.
Posted by Martha Frankel at 2:53 PM