Friday, June 13, 2014

They Always Come Back -- Unfortunately

A long time ago, I discovered that it didn't matter how badly any of my relationships might have blown up, the guys always came back, whether I wanted them to or not. Except for one. 

Just an FYI, this isn't a story about that one. It's about another one.

As I recall, the night it all ended, we were on the phone, so I could hear about his latest whatever, and I made the mistake of thinking it was my turn to talk, like people do when they're having a conversation. And he proceeded to act like a complete ass, which I found disturbing, since I'm supposed to be his friend, not his fucking therapist. So I reminded him, "You know I can easily walk away from this and never see you again?" He said something I don't recall. But my final words were, "Good bye. Have a nice life." And. I. meant. it. After twenty years of whatever it was we had, I was D.O.N.E.

On May 20, 2014 -- I received an email:

Hello,

It's been an ice age since we last spoke.

I'm writing to acknowledge and take responsibility for my unfortunate, disappointing behavior, which led to the lack of communication, and sincerely apologize for it. I was a bad friend. You deserved, and deserve, much better.

Whether you can forgive me or not, I just wanted you to know that I know I let you down. And I completely regret it (and my lack of maturity).

[NAME]

NOTE: I did not reply to his email. I thought that would be message enough.

On June 2, 2014 -- a large white envelope arrived at my home with a note written on graph paper, the kind you use for anything but letters of apology.

Mrs. Linklater [actually, he used my first name, but by now you must know the drill for this blog],

I'm sending this on the heels of the email in the belief that one can't apologize too often for regrettable bad behavior, and to ensure that this message avoids the bulk mail folders and other pitfalls of the internet.

I'm writing to acknowledge and take responsibility for my unfortunate, disappointing behavior. I sincerely apologize for it. I was a bad friend. You deserved, and deserve, much better.

Whether you can forgive me or not, I just wanted you to know that I know I let you down. And I completely regret it (and my lack of maturity).

If you'd like to hear this apology in person, I'm at your disposal. [EMAIL ADDRESS AND PHONE].

To avoid the unintended appearance of stalking, if you wouldn't mind, please acknowledge receipt of this message so I can stop trying to make sure it arrived.

[NAME]

I didn't want to reply to this either, especially because of his lame attempt to control my behavior. Not to mention the graph paper. However, knowing him, I was concerned he might decide to show up at my house as a last resort, and I wanted to prevent that. So I responded to his original email with one word, "RECEIVED."

What's amazing to me is that he was so determined to apologize for that one incident and there had been a boatload of others he could have included. And it wasn't like I'd asked him for a favor and he'd let me down. Nope. He'd just behaved like a complete jerk during our conversation and frankly, I got tired of it. Locally and globally. Plus it was the kind of behavior that requires an apology the next day or so. 

Not ten years later. Yep. You got that right. 

At my age, he's lucky I still recognize his name. 

4 comments:

Donna said...

Also lucky you're not dead. Don't take that the wrong way, I am the same age as you. I'm so glad my marriage has worked out and that Cliff didn't croak from his two serious surgeries. I would hate to deal with something like this!

Mrs. L said...

Haaaaaaaaa, Donna. You are so right!!!

Jon said...

I have nothing profound to add (do I ever?). In my humble opinion, my gut feeling tells me that this wasn't a sincere apology at all but rather a desperate attempt to see you. And undoubtedly manipulate you.

Some things are best forgotten.

Mrs. L said...

You got that right, Jon.