From my cousin Donna's fridge
She has refrigerator poetry magnets, so a lot of these
magnets will be sayings she's made out of the magnets
* Discussion *
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
(not for the squeamish!)
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
This Week in Northern California
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
That's it for today!
25 August 2001
"Dumbfounded" is the only word for it. I am just plain dumbfounded. Or, if I
were in Ireland, I suppose I could say I'm "gobsmacked."
This is going to be very tricky to write about because I don't want to get too specific
here in order to protect all sorts of people, so I hope you'll forgive me when I get kind
I'm sitting here, mouth hanging open. I'm reminded of the time when I was in the 5th
grade. I was kind of a goody-two shoes in grammar school and often teacher's pet. On this
particular day, I was in Sister Mary Johnetta's class and we were going over to the church
for some sort of religious thing. Whenever we went from school to the church, we always
lined up in twos, and marched in total silence to the church.
I can still picture it. We were standing at the foot of the stairs on the second floor, on
our way down to the street. All of a sudden, Sister Mary Johnetta whirled around, pointed
her finger at me and yelled "YOU HYPOCRITE!" Apparently she had heard someone
whispering in line and assumed (wrongly, I might add) that it was me. She went on in front
of the whole class saying that I pretended to be so good, but I had deliberately disobeyed
her and that I was nothing but a hypocrite.
Now I'll admit that I got away with lots of stuff in my time, but on this particular
occasion, I really hadn't been whispering and her accusation was false. But the occasion
was such a shock to me that here I sit, some 40+ years later, and the incident is almost
as fresh as it as at the time.
That's kind of how I feel now. Let me try to explain the situation as obliquely as
I have a friend who lives at a bit of a distance. We've been friends for several years. We
were initially drawn together by a tragedy in our lives and we became the support for each
other. As the years passed, we continued to support each other and communicate by
telephone and by letter and then, when we each had computers, by e-mail.
We haven't actually seen each other in about 10 years and though we remained friends, our
lives began to move in separate directions and the communication became less and less. In
fact, I'm not sure when was the last time I talked to her until recently. We had been
fairly good about exchanging e-mail at first, but she didn't have a computer at home and
they were starting to get fussy about people using work computers for personal reasons, so
the communications got fewer and farther between, and we just kind of drifted apart.
An event occurred recently which revitalized our friendship. She also by this time now had
a computer at home and started using it again. We picked up right where we left off,
talking in depth about the things of mutual interest, sharing the emotional ups and downs
of our lives, and I felt that we had reestablished our connection and felt good about
One of the journal entries I wrote within the last couple of months kind of related to the
whole of our relationship over the years. It was both positive about what was going on
now, and brought up some feelings from the past but the point of it was to say
"things are really great now!"
There is another person involved in all of this. A mutual friend who has been part of
everything all these years and who has actually been closer to my friend--oh let's make up
a name for these people. Let's call the first friend Esther and the second friend Howard.
(I could say "John" and "Mary" but that's so tacky!)
Anyway, Howard has really kept in closer contact with Esther than I have. He kind of took
a special interest in the various traumas of her life and has tried to be supportive all
of these years.
Well, he just had an e-mail from her essentially accusing him of using her to further his
own interests, and accusing me of being mired in the past and both of us never having
liked her in the first place.
Howard and I sat there on the phone just amazed. I haven't a clue where these thoughts are
coming from. I re-read the journal entry in question, picking it apart, word by word, and
can find absolutely nothing remotely offensive about it, nor anything which indicates that
I'm trying to recreate the past. Howard is practically speechless, since he's bent over
backwards to do everything he could for her--with no nefarious intentions; he truly cares
about her as a friend and has tried to be supportive of her through a lot of travails that
I was not even aware of.
I know that Esther has suffered from depression for as long as I've known her. I know she
has a lot of pressures on her, some that she has no control over, and some which she may
be contributing to. I know how demoralizing depression can be.
But I absolutely cannot figure out what I--or Howard, for that matter--have done to elicit
such a vitriolic, hateful message, or why she has suddenly decided to push us away in the
most dramatic fashion possible.
I feel just like I did when Sister Mary Johnetta whirled on me and called me a hypocrite.
And the worst part is that Esther has slammed the door shut so violently that I can't
even think about knocking on it or trying to defend myself.
One Year Ago:
Life in the Fast Lane