Monday, October 5, 2020

Snap

Once, more than 40 years ago, I became so upset over a college friend's plan to get her mutt-dog pregnant so that her children could "experience the miracle of birth," that I stood up, told her I didn't want to see her again, and left.   And I never did see her again, although she made a few overtures over the years.   I have no idea what became of her, and have not wondered much about her, but I have wondered more than once about me, and what  made me snap like that.   Certainly, I considered that her plan to purposely impregnate a dog with no plan for the pups, in a world over-run with unwanted pets, was irresponsible at best, and I have not changed my mind about that.  She was, I thought, a selfish, silly woman, but there are many of those, and I did not view it as my job to chastise the rest of them.  I can't say, exactly, that I am sorry about shutting her out of my life.  But I am still surprised at the memory of my snap, and that fascinates and confuses me on some level.

A similar thing happened this week.  A childhood friend, someone I was close with in elementary school but only in Facebook contact since then, is a Trump supporter.  She and her posts are one of the reasons that I took myself off Facebook, to avoid ugly confrontation.   This week she sent me a sappy "meme" saying that we could respect one another's different opinions and still "play in the same sandbox."   She added the question, will you still play in the sandbox with me?

I could, and probably should have just ignored her text.  Instead,  I snapped.

I responded that Trump had, several times, supported and refused to condemn white supremacist groups.  I could not understand how my friend, herself part of a large Jewish family, could overlook or support that.   And I told her that I would no more play in a sandbox with a Trump supporter than with someone who had given  support to the death marches.

I suspect that the isolation is making me a bit dramatic.   Once again, I can't exactly say that I am sorry,  and I have no regrets about losing her friendship, but I am again bemused to have had such a BIG reaction to such a little irritation.

Perhaps it does not surprise you that I have not held onto any relationships from childhood or college?  I will be 71 years old next month. It is a good time to consider who I want to become, where I want my focus to be, going forward.   I am not sure whether it is time for me to become more tolerant or to speak out more forcefully.   There is, after all, a time honored tradition, at least in children's literature, of cranky old people in every culture; perhaps I should use this year to embrace it.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I’m always amused and amazed at how similar we are. Maybe we are sisters from another mother. I have left relationships in just that way. What I’ve realized is that it really wasn’t the one thing that made me “snap,” but the accumulation of many things. The “snap” was that sound you hear when a straw breaks the camel’s back. I can grow weary of people’s pecadillos, and then something makes me decide to walk away for good. I can’t say I’ve ever regretted it. We grow and change. Sometimes we grow apart. Change is good.