“The Eleanor Roosevelt Challenge”- Day 1 (An apology falling on deaf ears)

Okay, I promise I am a nice person, but when I was younger, I had a few teething problems. Namely, one problem. My sense of humour. I often cite it as my greatest quality but, equally my biggest downfall.

I suppose you could say that my sense of humour is dry. 80% of the things that I say, are dripping with sarcasm. Disgustingly sarcastic.  Whilst my sense of humour has won me the admiration of many and enabled me to build eternal, hilarious friendships, it has equally cost me many friends. Particularly in my youth, when I was a poor judge of who could and couldn’t take it. Especially those annoying people who dish it out like it’s nobody’s business but then can’t hack it when the tables are turned.

Well, my friend H, is one of them. Except she is not really a friend. In fact, I’m sure she would call me an enemy.

It is so difficult to explain to people that you mock them because you are fond of them. I KNOW that it sounds innately illogical, but it is true. Sarcasm and mockery, is my way of being comfortable with somebody and wanting it back. I want as good as I get. It’s just who I am. I know and have always known that some areas are out of bounds….family members, sensitive issues, a girl’s appearance, intellect…but some things aren’t…some things do lend themselves to what I perceive as my hilarity!

Now I did not do an actual, tangible thing to H. She could never say I did a, b and c, but it was a general feeling that she had at the hands of my sense of humour. It made her uneasy. Aged fourteen I was oblivious to it. I still would be if it wasn’t for a mutual friend telling me when I was seventeen, how much I had upset her. H had NEVER said a word, she had NEVER shown distress…and so I hadn’t ceased. She seemed to give as good as she got. But she hated it and she hated me, in turn.

By the time I was seventeen, H was out of my life. She had left our school and was onto bigger and better things. The evening our mutual friend told me, I went to message H online, but discovered that I had been deleted off her facebook. To me, it was a done deal.

Now I am twenty two. SEVEN years since I saw her last. She probably never thinks about me, but the fact that I have one person in the world disliking me without my intention or knowledge and without having the opportunity to talk about it, bothers me. It has bothered me all this time. Not in a kind of weighing on my shoulders, type way….but it’s something I think about now and again on a rainy Sunday afternoon or when I’m looking through old photo albums.

So my task for the first day of this challenge, hit me, immediately.

I am proud. Especially of my sense of humour- my wit has been highlighted by numerous people as an illustration of my intelligence. My sarcasm has laid the foundation for the closest of my friendships and relationships. I am not ashamed of this. What I am ashamed of, is my failure to realise. I am ashamed that someone I considered my friend was going through hell, at my hands.

So, it scares me, to contact this girl who I know doesn’t like me. It scares me to confront an issue that happened years ago. It scares me to admit my flaws. It scares me that I cannot anticipate her response, if any.

I facebook messaged H.

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It was a lengthy message. I explained the mutual friend, how I had thought about H over the years and how genuinely sorry I was. I explained my delay in getting in touch and wished her well. It was a lovely message, if a bit formal, but I said everything that needed to be said.

A few painful hours passed. I convinced myself that I would get no reply, but finally a notification flashed up on my phone.

“Hi, thanks for your message. In all honesty we aren’t in each others lives so I don’t get why you are messaging me now but I’m not really that interested in what you have to say.”

THAT WAS HER RESPONSE.

Okay, so I lied, when I said I did not know what to anticipate. I didn’t. But I assumed, strongly assumed that I would receive a nice friendly “all is forgiven, it was so long ago”- esque reply. I knew we wouldn’t become best friends, but I didn’t think she would shun my apology so dismissively.

Her prerogative, I told myself. I did my best and despite her reply, feel better in myself. I have closure. Maybe I hurt her too much, but I cannot let my childish behaviour affect my adult life. I am not that same person anymore and if she cannot see it, then it is out of my hands.

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