Monday, February 21, 2005

Good for me, good for you... good times.

While I was in the shower this morning, I was thinking about this time that me and Amy Thruman went to get a drink at Abraham's. Abraham's is the only "classy" place to drink in Rochelle- it's a restaurant/bar in the Holiday Inn and it's the only place in town where you can drink without being white trash. Other choices for drinking include The Sunset Lounge (full of scary alcs), The Pour House (full of scary cowboys), and Wayne's World II (full of scary drug dealers).

This was a couple of weeks before Kyle and I's wedding, so Amy Thruman and I were at Abraham's to have a drink and catch up on old times before our lives diverged. Right as we arrived, we saw a table full of girls from our graduating class. I can't remember who all they were, but Kristina Kasmar was there, and Lisa Linebaugh, Lori Meadows, and some others.

I knew Lori somewhat because I had been friends with her older sister Shawna. She stood up and gave Amy and I a hug, but the other girls just sat there and kind of waved.

Amy and I stood there awkwardly for a few minutes, trying to make conversation and wondering if they were going to invite us to sit down for a drink. They didn't and we moved on.

I forgot about the incident totally until Amy's mom, who works at the police station with Kristina Kasmar, asked us why we had been so rude to her at the bar.

She said in Kristina's version of the story we "totally blew them off." Furthermore, Amy and I "really needed to grow up and get past all this petty high school stuff."

Which is laughable because I don't know what petty high school stuff she was talking about. I don't really remember thinking much about Kristina Kasmar or any of the other girls at the table. If we were enemies, I certainly didn't know about it.

This experience made me wonder who else perceives me as an enemy. How many other people might hate me for reasons I don't even know about? For silly, stupid miscommunications that really don't mean anything?

I remember when I took piano lessons in the fourth grade, my mother used to always drop me off five minutes early, so I would hear the last five minutes of the lesson before mine.

There was a pretty junior high school girl who had the 4 'o'clock spot and I always got to listen to her play her last song.

One day, for about the third week in the row, she played a catchy, fast song that I liked. As soon as I heard the opening strains, I said "Oh, this one again," and was just settling in to tap my foot along to the music when the girl stopped playing and started BAWLING.

"She didn't mean it!" consoled my piano teacher. "Honey, she didn't mean that!"

I sat there silent and confused, wondering who had said anything to make the poor girl cry. I figured it was something that had happened before I came in.

It wasn't until she retreated to her mother's car, sobbing, that I realized I had made her cry by saying "Oh, this one again." See, music teachers STOP making you play a piece when they think you're good enough at it- so if you have a piece week after week, it's because you still need work on it. She thought that because I said the word "again" I was making some kind of comment on her playing- which I totally wasn't! But she bawled like her heart was breaking just the same.

So there's one who surely hates me.

But in a way, I kinda hate her too. I said what I said with complete innocence and good intentions. Yet every week for the next FOUR YEARS my mother would drop me off for my lesson with the words "Have fun! And don't criticize anyone else's playing!"



Unknown said...

I've offened people so many times just by being shy. I'm super shy when I first meet people and apparently that comes off as being stuck up. People have even thought that I was racist. Also a boss that had just hired me thought I was way stuck up. Fortunetly in those two cases they got to know the real me. I wonder how many people wander around this world thinking I'm a total bitch?

Anonymous said...

i have to admit i thought you were a bit standoffish when we first met.

then again, who isn't as a 9th grader?