I can’t remember exactly when I learned about grudges, but I do remember someone saying that The Hatfields and the McCoys were an example of why holding a grudge was bad. For the most part my childhood was free of grudges. There were the usual disagreements and I had an arch nemesis or two, but there really wasn’t anything that could easily be defined as a grudge.
That changed for me around my 20th birthday or so. I fell in love with a girl. She dumped me. It was surprisingly painful. I won’t bore you with the sad tale of who, what and why. All that you need to know is that a good friend spent time listening to me kvetch about it and offered his counsel.
What I didn’t know was that the price of his counsel was shtupping my ex. He never bothered to tell me. The only reason I found out was that she called me one day and screamed at me that he had dumped her because he was afraid of me.
He later came to my place and confessed. But in the process he told me that I was lucky that she and I had broken up because she was a bitch. I told him that if he didn’t leave immediately I couldn’t guarantee his safety. He tried to apologize, but I wouldn’t hear of it.
Looking back it all sounds relatively trivial and in many ways it was. So you’re probably asking why twenty years later I am bringing this up. The answer is that he recently contacted me and said that he is extending an olive branch and that he hopes that we can rekindle our friendship.
Part of me says that there is no reason not to. His kids are around the same age as mine and there are a number of mutual friends we share.
But I am irked about this. It may sound ridiculous, but telling me that he is extending an olive branch just pisses me off. I don’t want or need an apology. I don’t feel any need to rehash the past with him, what is done is done.
So I suppose I ought consider why I am angry and whether he is worth the anger. I always tell my children that you can never have too many friends, but they’re kids and they have much more free time than I do. I barely have enough time to keep up with the friends I have now, let alone adding more.
What to do, what to do, what to do……….